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The Sound of Ideas

Helping a Friend with Cancer

Posted Friday, October 16, 2009

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Helping a Friend with Cancer When a friend faces a serious illness, we usually want to offer support but are at a loss for words. Often, we respond with "let me know how I can help." Turns out that suggestion isn't always helpful. On the Sound of Ideas®, Regina Brett and guests talk about how loved ones, family, friends or colleagues can comfort someone battling cancer. We'll hear from a cancer therapist, a baffled family member and recovering cancer patients about what really helped, things said that seemed downright idiotic, and hear some funny moments, all the result of well-meaning people. Tips for supporting people with cancer -- what helps and what doesn't, Friday at 9 on 90.3.

Photo Gallery

A seven year old girl's definition of cancer is depicted in this drawing. A nine year old girl who was at her father's side as he died, sees a golden spirit rise up from his body. A 14 year old girl doesn't like people to see her cry.  She cries in the shower or the rain. An eight year old boy thinks cancer is scary but friends and family can help. A 12 year old girl draws what life was like before and after her mother's cancer.


Health, Other, Parenting/Child Care


Susan Marinac, Clinical Therapist, The Gathering Place
Marc Silver, author, Breast Cancer Husband: How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond

Additional Information

Husbands: How to help a wife through cancer treatment, by Marc Silver, The Los Angeles Times

Leave a Comment

Please follow our community discussion rules when composing your comments.

Rage 8:52 AM 10/16/09

A couple from my hometown, both in their 60’s, have both been diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time...I guess this gives a whole new meaning to “breast cancer husband.”

Maryann 9:27 AM 10/16/09

I had a colleague about 10 years ago that lost her battle with ovarian cancer. We as friends would take turns bringing meals for her and her girls. But what I wanted to mention was her selflessness. I remember that one of the last times I visited her she said to me “Take care of yourself, Maryann”. These words have echoed within me ever since.

Katy Scherer 9:37 AM 10/16/09

My husband died of pancreatic cancer in May.  Our dear friend, Christine, couldn’t find appropriate cards to send to us during his difficult illness.  She is an artist and so she designed three Crisis Cards.  The goal was to provide beautiful cards with supportive sentiments and send all the proceeds to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.  Our web site is  We hope that this information may be helpful to those who wish to send a card to someone they care about who is struggling with cancer or another crisis in their life. Katy Scherer


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Every weekday at 9:00 AM (EST), The Sound of Ideas reports the news, explains the news, and sometimes makes news. The Cleveland Press Club awarded it “Best Radio Show” in Ohio and thousands daily find it to be an indispensable source of information about what’s most important to Northeast Ohioans.

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