When a friend or loved one is going through chemotherapy, it’s often hard to know exactly how to help. Here are five specific and useful things you can do that will make a difference.

  • Drive the patient to treatments or doctor visits. People undergoing chemotherapy may forget things. You can help by serving as a backup set of “ears” for your friend.
  • Go grocery shopping. Look for healthy foods that are ready to eat or easy to prepare: yogurt, soups, canned fruits, instant oatmeal. Chemo patients may lose their appetite, so having five or six small meals a day, rather than three big ones, may be easier to handle.
  • Take care of the pet while your friend is receiving treatment.
  • Bring a funny movie or two and share a good laugh. A few hours of good belly laughing can lift the spirits. Some studies show that laughter aids the healing process. Plus, it makes you feel good.
  • Be a good listener. Your friend is going through a frightening or uncomfortable time, and talking about the experience can offer some relief.