Ask an Expert: How to Support Someone with Cancer
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Author of "Love is the Strongest Medicine," oncologist Dr. Steve Eisenberg shares advice on how to help someone who was just diagnosed with cancer.
From his experience dealing with cancer patients, Dr. Eisenberg warns that there is no perfect thing to say. Despite your desire, you can't change it, and you can't fix it. He shares that what someone really needs when they are first diagnosed is active listening.
Dr. Eisenberg says that hearing those three words, "You have cancer," are awful and your body shuts down, and goes into a PTSD-like state. Dr. Eisenberg shares with his patients that it's important to express your feelings and to get them out of your body, so as their loving support the best thing you can do is allow them a place to fully express their feelings.
He knows from years of treating patients that connection is one of the most important things to get through this. He shares that being able to communicate and bond with your medical team, and your support team, is truly an important part of supporting someone with cancer.