What to say to someone with cancer?
The life of a person changes immediately after cancer is diagnosed. Different people react to cancer in different ways. Some people mobilize and concentrate all their forces into the fight against the disease for the quality of their life. Others are paralyzed by fear and they do not try to change anything.
The diagnosis of cancer becomes a shock for both the patients and their relatives. All joint plans for the future are destroyed. The lifestyle of a person changes. Most people find it very difficult to live in such a reality.
Often, a person and family members eventually accumulate aggression. This is a natural and almost inevitable reaction to what is happening. The feelings of the patient can be understood. These are shock, pain, despair, fear of the future, depression, anger, aggression against everything and everyone.
Similar feelings may be experienced by people close to the patient. These people, as a rule, cannot forgive themselves that aggression accumulates in them. There is a feeling of guilt after an attack of aggression. Then these cycles are repeated. Relatives of a cancer patient mistakenly believe that they do not have the right to fatigue, discontent, resentment and irritation. It is important to understand from the very beginning that you may experience negative emotions in this situation and there is nothing impermissible about it. Find it possible to build family relationships in such a way that the reasons for the emergence of aggression were much less. There are a feeling of hopelessness, despair, the thought that all your efforts are empty and useless if a close person is seriously ill. The situation does not change and does not get better. This leads to alienation or to co-dependence and complete immersion in the relative's illness. Both of these paths are erroneous.
You will inevitably accumulate a sense of guilt in front of the patient if you withdraw from participation in his life and will live as if nothing happened. However, complete immersion into disease of a loved one and protecting him from everyday household tasks lead to overtaxation and fatigue, which eventually will lead to a nervous breakdown. The most important thing in dealing with an oncology patient is to listen to him. The patient expects simple human participation and understanding from you. An oncology patient doesn’t need a specialist consultant or your advice and opinions but he need the opportunity to speak out, to express his thoughts, fears, doubts, fears, hopes and all that he has in his mind. Let the patient know that you hear and understand him, hold his hand during a conversation, look into his eyes, be silent, nod and in every way make him feel your constant attention. Do not interrupt the patient, speak a little and often ask again (Yes? Really? Is that so? It's true?). It is necessary to encourage and push the patient to communicate, to give him confidence that he can share with you everything that disturbs him. Ask questions and listen carefully for answers. Do not be afraid of tears or sadness of the patient. Let him cry out if he needs it. Cry with him if it is hard for you, do not hide your grief. It does not hurt the loved one but helps to establish emotional contact.