Tips to help a loved one with cancer during holidays

— The holidays can be a difficult time, especially if when a family member or friend who has been diagnosed with cancer.

“Often times when someone is told they have cancer, they feel overwhelmed, vulnerable and alone,” notes Deb Dillingham, director of Quality of Life for the American Cancer Society Great Lakes Division. “There is not only the concern about a diagnosis of cancer, but that person also must begin to understand and sort out the huge amount of information the doctors will provide.”

To help a loved one who has cancer through the holidays, the American Cancer Society offers suggestions:

• Prepare meals to keep on hand, or deliver meals each day at certain times so the person doesn’t have to worry about what to eat.

• Help out with the kids by driving them to and from school, practices and other holiday activities.

• Drive the loved one to and from doctor appointments.

• Fill in for him or her when not feeling well. Run errands, take care of chores, or just answer the phone.

• Offer to do holiday shopping or decorating for the loved one.

• Research the disease so you can discuss what the person is going through. Go to
or call 1-800-227-2345 for the most up-to-date information.

The ACS reminds anyone who is facing the disease that comprehensive cancer information, day-to-day help, and emotional support are just a toll-free phone call away. — G.G.

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