Don’t avoid them, be there! It instills hope. Be the friend, the loved one you have always been, especially now when it is most important.

Touch them. A simple squeeze of the hand or a hug can let them know that you still care.

Cry when they cry, Laugh when they laugh. Don’t be afraid to share these intimate experiences. They can enrich you both.

Don’t be reluctant to ask about their illness. They may need to talk about their condition. Find out by asking, “Do you feel like talking about it”?

Bring a positive attitude. It’s catching.

Don’t feel that you both always have to talk. It’s okay to sit together silently reading, listening to music, watching television or holding hands. Much can be expressed without words.

Help them to feel good about their looks if possible. Tell them they look good, but only if it is realistic to do so. If their appearance has changed, don’t ignore it. Acknowledge the fact; but do so gently, and remember… never lie.

Be prepared for them to get angry with you for “no obvious reason”, although you have been there and done everything you could. Permit them this and don’t take it personally.

Don’t confuse their acceptance of their illness with defeat. This acceptance may give them a sense of their own power.