How to support a friend with cancer

How to support a friend with cancer. I wanted to share some of things things that helped Justin when he was going through his cancer treatment. It helps to have a good friend during hard times.

how to support a friend with cancer

If you want to make a chemo care package to take to your friend I listed some of the items that really helped Justin during his treatments.

Support a friend with cancer

Thank you for taking the time to read this to support your friend during their cancer journey. I hope these ideas can help brighten up your friends day.

Remember, every person’s experience with cancer is unique and your friend may need different forms of support at different times. Be flexible, patient, and open-minded, and always ask how you can help.

Go hang with them during their chemo treatment

This is one of the best ways to support a friend with cancer. Go hang out with them during their chemo treatment. It helps when a good friend is there to keep their mind off of things. As a spouse I couldn’t be with Justin all the time. I appreciated when friends would stop by. I just never wanted Justin to be alone.

Offer to drive them to chemo or doctor appointments

Those chemo treatments can be brutal and it can make the patient so tired. Helping to drive them to a doctor appointment or chemo treatment is so helpful.

Make them a Chemo Care Package

A chemo care package is a thoughtful collection of items aimed at providing comfort and support to someone undergoing chemotherapy. It usually includes cozy essentials like blankets and socks, along with practical items like lip balm and ginger candies for nausea relief. You can purchase an already made care package or make one yourself. I have ideas for both depending on what you want to do.

Purchase a care package

If you would rather buy an already made care package to send to a friend, I found some great ones you can send. I listed some on my care package ideas to send to a friend in need blog post where I share some great chemo care packages you can purchase and it will be delivered.

Make your own care package

If you need some ideas for a chemo care package, I’ve got your back. Justin and I became pro’s at hospital visits. There were a couple times we had to pack up last minute and head to the hospital for emergencies. We got good at knowing what to bring for his hospital stays. Nothing can take away the discomfort of chemo, but if I could bring something to help a little, I was going to do it. See my blog post below to get more ideas if you want to make your own chemo care package.

Bring them some chemo friendly snacks

You could drop off some chemo friendly snacks. There were foods that Justin could never eat again after chemo.  Make sure whatever food you bring is plain and simple. When Justin was getting chemo he was always hooked up to iv fluids. There is sodium in the fluid so try to avoid foods with too much salt. You can see some snack ideas on my chemo care package blog post HERE.

Scent free Chemo gift basket

You can put together a chemo care package gift basket. Make sure that all items are scent free. Nauseous is very common with chemo patients and any smells associated with chemo can trigger patients. Just make everything scent free. We did love essential oils and used them a lot in the room. Lavender helped a lot with nausea.

If they have children offer to babysit during a round of chemo

Justin and I never had kids when he was doing chemo treatments, but I can’t image how hard it would have been. Helping a cancer patient and their partner by watching their kids so they could go to chemo treatment together. Maybe one partner is working and the other partner needs to go to a doctors appointment. Helping with child-care as needed.

Set up a food schedule for friends and family to drop off food

Another great way to support a friend with cancer is to set up a meal schedule for friends and family to drop off food during the weeks they do their treatment. This is an awesome website that allows you to set up food schedules and add in diet restrictions.

Don’t talk about cancer

Something we loved when friends came over was just not talking about cancer. Cancer was our whole life and sometimes we need a couple hours with our friends to forget about cancer.

Take them out for a fun night

Take your friend out for a movie or a fun night. Give them something to look forward to.


You can pay for someone to come clean their house one month or go over and help them out. I know that this can be very personal depending on the person. Make sure to ask if this would be helpful.


Let your friend talk about their feelings, fears, and concerns. Offer a non-judgmental ear to listen and provide emotional support.

Keep in touch

Regularly check in on your friend, send them messages of encouragement, or simply call them to see how they’re doing

Send them a “thinking of you” care package

Send them a fun care package to distract them from chemo or cancer. You could even send a “thinking of you” care package with some goodies to brighten their day.


  1. Found your articles looking for snacks for my 4 year old son who currently has a tumor. My son’s diagnosis is remarkably similar to your late husbands and I wondered if you could provide some details on what he had originally. My son has a yolk sac tumor in his left ribcage and is on his last round of BEP chemotherapy. Doctors say he will probably have to have a surgery to remove the rest of the tumor later this month. I just wondered if your experience was the same cancer. Thanks in advance for any response.

    1. Oh no i’m so so sorry. I really don’t remember much of his cancer because it was so rare. They didn’t even have a name for it. It did start out as a germ cell tumor and he took the same chemo drugs as someone with testicular cancer. He also had to have his first tumor surgically removed. So so sorry

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