How to Motivate a Cancer Patient – 5 Tips to Help your Loved One

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer will strike one out of every three women and one out of every two men at some point in their life. These numbers are continuing to climb.

Dare we say it’s the epidemic of the twenty-first century? We are desperately searching for a cure as a society, and until we find that life-saving solution, we can only treat the sickness as best we can. Cancer affects people of all ages. It is a beast that is unconcerned about your age, strength, or frailty. Whether you are battling cancer, are at risk of having it in the future, or know someone, we are all affected by it.

How do you Motivate a Cancer Patient?

It’s difficult to know how to motivate a cancer patient when someone close to us is diagnosed with the illness. Is it better to send a card, a text, or an email? Do we donate money or cook dinner for them? Knowing what to say and what not to say to a cancer patient is critical, and sometimes doing something nice is just as important.

Their mood may shift from one moment to the next. It is a common reaction to a cancer diagnosis. Understanding these emotions can help you in providing support.

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Isolation
  • Grief

Saying Words of Encouragement

Although you may be hesitant about what to say or do at first, most individuals require openness and sensitivity to their feelings. Knowing you’re there for them during their cancer journey will be beneficial. 

Every cancer patient has a unique experience, so don’t make assumptions about how they’re feeling. They may be joyful one day and depressed the next. Try to pay attention to how they’re feeling. 

Remember that they may not always want to talk or think about their cancer. It’s sometimes nice to talk about everyday stuff, say encouraging words, or even share a joke.

“Let me help you”

The patient will endure side effects during cancer treatment, decreased mental and physical health, and difficulties eating. They desperately need relatives and friends to console them during this time. The phrase “Let me help you” communicates affection while reassuring the patient that you are there for them.

“I am here”

Receiving the diagnosis of the sickness is, in fact, a shock to the patient. At first, they may feel alone. Loved ones must understand that they are not fighting this war alone and support their entire family.

“You are lovely”

Chemotherapy patients may have hair loss as a side effect of the medication. It can come as a shock, but it can also give people confidence in their appearance. So, whatever symptoms your loved one is experiencing, you should offer support as well as an opportunity to express compassion by affirming that they are still lovely and powerful. 

“I pray for you”

Hearing that your well-being is on someone’s mind can be incredibly reassuring, and praying itself can be very relaxing. Even if your loved one isn’t religious, it’s comforting to know that someone regularly thinks about you.

Forming Support Teams

According to studies, emotional support from family and friends can significantly motivate a cancer patient’s quality of life. 

People are generally wary of saying something hurtful to a cancer patient. You may be a great support if you are open, honest, and express your concern. Putting together a support group for a cancer-stricken loved one is a fantastic approach to assist them. Some online communities provide tools for friends and caregivers to collaborate on duties.

Offer to help with Daily Tasks

Aside from emotional support, you can also provide practical support. How? Check in with your friend or loved one and see if they require assistance with anything special. 

Some people refuse to accept help or find it challenging to get it. They may wish to maintain as much independence as possible. Try not to take anything too seriously. Respect their decision, but let them know you’ll be there if they change their minds. 

If your friend finds getting practical assistance challenging, kindly tell them that you are not expecting them to repay the favor and that you are doing it because you care. Try to offer particular chores without being aggressive.

Here are some ideas:

  • Buy groceries and fill their prescriptions. 
  • Make a date night with takeout food and a movie. 
  • Help with household tasks. 
  • Take your friend to a doctor’s appointment or a support group meeting in your car. Offer to keep him company while he is undergoing therapy.
  • Consider the simple things that your friend appreciates and that makes their life “normal.” Offer to assist in making these tasks manageable.
  • Take any dogs for a walk or to the veterinarian.
  • Offer to drive the kids to and from school.

Gift Ideas

Look for simple, practical, and inspirational items that your friend might require or appreciate. Consider how they spend their typical day and what you could do to make it a little easier. Laughter is the best medicine, so think of ways to make your friend laugh and smile.

Here are some gift ideas:

  • Care Packages

Care packages are a gift that gives and gives—a box of treats to show your affection and thoughtfulness. Consider what your loved one would like to receive. Is there a favorite snack, coffee, or movie that they enjoy? or magazines, books, and nutritious snacks that they love? You can make their day with such a gesture.

  • Beauty Services

Although many cancer treatments induce hair loss, relaxation is still essential for cancer patients. Make a massage, manicure, pedicure, or facial an offer to pay for. Send them away for an entire day at the spa! 

  • Letters

Encourage your loved one with a letter, whether it’s in the form of a handwritten card or an email. Let your friends know you’re thinking of them and praying for them on their road to cancer-free living. Encouragement inspires us to keep fighting, especially on days when sickness, tiredness, and sadness are all too much to bear.

  • Gift Cards

Purchase gift cards to their local food shop so that the family may stock up on supplies. Cancer is costly, in case you hadn’t heard. Help lessen financial stress by removing the need to choose between paying for groceries and paying for medical costs.


The most important thing to remember while speaking with someone who has cancer is to listen. Pay attention to what your friends are saying and try to understand. Don’t make fun of, judge, or try to change how someone feels or behaves. Let them know that you’re available to talk whenever they want. It’s also okay if they don’t feel like chatting at that particular moment. 

But make sure that you can offer to listen whenever they need you.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do you cheer up a cancer patient?

Cancer is no laughing matter, but it’s always lovely to hear one that makes them chuckle and gets their mind off what they’re going through, even if it is only for a few moments! Those minutes are always priceless to them.

How do you support someone with cancer from afar?

Cancer is no laughing matter, but it’s always lovely to hear one that makes them chuckle and gets their mind off what they’re going through, even if it is only for a few moments! Those minutes are always priceless to them.

What not to say to someone with cancer?

Hearing someone talk about cancer makes us fearful because we immediately think of ourselves. Try to ignore your own emotions and concentrate on the patient. You don’t have to say something insignificant; just being there is enough.

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