Cancer Etiquette

At a Gilda's Club Sheril was part of a panel discussion where she met Rosanne Kalick. Aside from enduring and surviving cancer twice Rosanne is the author a book called - Cancer Etiquette: What to Say, What to Do When Someone You Know or Love Has Cancer".

The topic and Rosanne's book interested Sheril. Since so many cancer patients, their sisters, mothers, daughters, husbands, and friends visit the Girl On The Go! website here are some quick tips:

  1. Don't ask if she/he is wearing a wig. Don't touch their hair; don't even consider saying you like their wig. Just say they look great. After all, isn't that what you are trying to communicate.
  2. Just do nice everyday things for your loved one - - don't necessarily wait to be asked. Sure sending flowers or a gift basket is nice but being there and giving the gift of time feels like being loved. ie: do an errand, take the kids for the afternoon, walk the dog, clean the frig, help go through the mail, help with the laundry
  3. Don't be afraid to keep things real. Cancer patients are more than just cancer patients; they are still your wives, lovers, sisters, daughters, mothers, and friends. Don't start treating them as one-dimensional beings in your life. If you always talked to her (your cancer patient) about your boyfriend issues, your job, your kids, etc. don't stop doing so now. We need to feel as if the world is still turning in the right direction, we need to feel normal. Not talking to us about your life's drama makes us feel all there is to life is cancer.

For more on Cancer Etiquette and Roseanne's book read Sheril's Blog on the subject.