Dealing with a cancer diagnosis can be a major shock to anyone.
However, it can also be scary for loved ones who may not know what to say.
Tonight in our Freeman Buddy Check 16, KSN’s Tiffany Alaniz shares some tips on how you can support a loved one diagnosed with cancer.
Ginger Brown has been making a difference in the lives of cancer patients for several years.
As a social worker at Freeman's Cancer Institute she knows a diagnosis can be a shocking blow.
It affects not only the patient, but family members as well, while you may not know exactly what to say.
Supporting your loved ones is vital.
"Just to be able to listen to their feelings, their thoughts and not interject a whole lot and let them talk and support whatever they choose."
Brown says don't try to fix it even though it's hard for you to see a loved one suffering.
Even a small show of support can make a big difference.
"Offering to do anything is a plus, but offering to do something specific is the best because people don't even know what they need"
Grocery shopping, taking a pet to the vet, or taking dinner are all ways to help when you don't know what to do.
Most importantly let your loved one know you are there.
"I'll say do you have kids where are they they'll say local are they pretty supportive? They'll say I hardly hear from them"
Brown says family members feel scared of losing their loved one and often times respond by pulling away.
“Sometimes it's our own fear, we don't want to face our loved ones disease and it's our own fear that keeps us away but that's really the time to mend fences and bring a family closer together if possible"
If you feel scared about talking about the illness talk about other things.
"You don't have to discuss the illness if that makes you uncomfortable, but that is part of the patients reality."
All patients are different and may like different types of support.
And don't forget about the kids...Depending on their age they need to be included as well.
"Because kids will make up what they don't hear and they usually make up something worse than what's actually going on"
Include them in helping loved ones watering flowers, taking over small love gifts, or just visiting.
Your support will mean so much.
If you are interested, there are support groups for patients and families.