Finding out that a family member or friend has been diagnosed with a brain tumour can be overwhelming, and it may not be easy to know what to do or say. However, the person may well appreciate some much-needed support. Here are some ideas on how to best handle the situation.
Offer specific practical help
Saying to the someone, ‘let me know if you need any help’ might make you feel as you are being supportive. This puts the initiative back on the sick person. Some people are reluctant to reach out for help, even when they are in need. They might be too overwhelmed with other worries to really consider what help would be most useful.
Make suggestions, such as offering to do the grocery shopping, or give help with meal preparation. If you have limited time, make contact with other friends and family members and divide up the chores between you.
Offer to give lifts
The person may no longer be able to drive. Ask if they need assistance with attending medical appointments or going shopping. They may also appreciate going for a day out, if they are feeling well enough.
Offer to help with admin
Unfortunately, a diagnosis of illness can lead to a lot of admin, such as medical insurance claims, enquiries for benefits etc. Help would be particularly welcome for people under heavy medication.
Find out about support groups
Talking to other people in a similar situation may be really helpful. There are many support groups online that provide advice, support, or just a friendly chat, for patients, carers, relatives and friends. Putting the person in touch with their local group may be of benefit.
We would strongly recommend the following charities: