No matter what the diagnosis, stage or treatment, most cancer patients have one thing in common. Loved ones or friends, who want to know how to help.
Dr. Bernadine Healy, author of "Living Time" says,"one thing is you have to be tender, I mean this is a tender time, and it can just be, hey, you know, you're great, you know, I care about you, I love you, I'm here for you."
In her book "Living Time," Dr. Bernadine Healy, herself a cancer survivor, writes about what she calls proper cancer etiquette.
Healy says, "It's not bad to say wait a minute, pause for a minute, imagine I'm the patient, what would I want someone to say to me?"
She explains don't assume the illness is terminal. "Often there's a feeling that people are going to write them off."
Rather, she recommends offering plenty of encouragement, either face to face or written in a letter. "I know you can do this. You know, having cancer isn't fun, you're gonna face some difficult times, but I know you can do this, you're strong."
Her words, are strong words, offered at a difficult time.