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How to support the spouse of a cancer patient


Human beings have gotten so lost in their own world that people forget to check on each other. Some of us live with the assumption that if someone is not okay they will call and seek help. We forget that many people who go through emotional and mental stress barely speak to anyone as they do not want to burden other people with their problems.

Nobody is ever prepared for the news that the spouse has cancer. This is news that may feel like carrying a thousand bags of cement on the back. It is heavy and heartbreaking.

There is nothing as heartbreaking as not knowing what the future holds for someone you have known for the better part of your life. This is someone who is not just a spouse, but also a best friend, family and your everything. The thought of losing them is enough to send chills down the spine.

Be the person a friend runs to when they need a shoulder to lean on. Offer to help them run errands around the house, help them with their shopping and at times even drive the patient to the hospital and sit with them through their sessions. These are some of the ways you can support the spouse of a cancer patient and help them manage the difficult times.

Maintain constant communication with them

Many a times, we forget to check up on people and ask them how they are, if they need any help or not. We forget that even though this person may not be sick, their spouse is suffering and it is also causing emotional distress on them.

Do your best to check on the spouse and how they are doing. Call them often and send them messages of encouragement and to remind that they are not walking this road alone. Ensure them that it is okay for them to feel defeated as it is not easy but everything has an end, this too shall pass.

Help them overcome the shock of the cancer diagnosis

When you get the news that your friend’s spouse has been diagnosed with cancer, put other plans on hold for a little while. Be there for your friend.

The news of having cancer does not come easy to many people and is taken so hardly by spouses. One starts to question if their loved one will survive. Uncertainty creeps in and at times people get filled with feelings of blame.  Talk to your friend and make sure they are the wealthiest in terms of mental and emotional health.

Keep checking up on them and if things go south, make sure they start seeing a therapist. Offer them support when they will be breaking the news to their families and extended families as this is one of the most difficult moments.

Listen when they need to talk to someone

Nursing your sick partner is one of the most difficult things couples have to endure especially when you do not know if the treatment they are undergoing will work. The spouse who is not ill goes through an emotional turmoil. They will always need a shoulder to lean on without having to show their partner that they are struggling emotionally. Take care of them, be there for them when they need a shoulder to lean on.

Make sure that they know that in you, they will always have a friend, a home, and a support system.

Help them manage the treatment logistics

Cancer treatment can be very daunting and may be quite a handful for the spouse of the patient. You can help the couple by taking over small planning details for the treatment of the patient. You can help drive them to the hospital and sit with them during treatment. You can go shopping for them, either for their drugs or anything they may need back at home.

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