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    No.415: 20 Cancer Get Well Messages for Friends & Family

    20 Cancer Get Well Messages for Friends & Family

    Knowing what to say to a friend or family member who has or had cancer is challenging. Saying the wrong thing or nothing at all can put relationships under unneeded strain. The most important thing to remember is that a little goes a long way and that it is always best to reach out and say something versus saying nothing at all. 

    What do you say to someone battling cancer? 

    Having cancer is hard. There are no days off, and your friend or family member will need all the support and love they can get. Often, this comes in the form of your words. So the most important thing is that you're saying something. 

    Can you say get well soon to a cancer patient?

    Yes, you can! Saying something along the lines of "get well soon" is not utilizing toxic positivity, for example, 'you will get through this.' And, it's the truth — of course, we hope that the loved one in our lives starts to feel better. In addition to saying things like “get well soon”, check out some of the messages you can utilize below! However, when supporting those you love with terminal or metastatic breast cancer, we recommend words of encouragement and support to show that you are always there for them. 

    Honest 'Get Well' Messages

    Sometimes the best thing you can do is be honest with your friend or family member who has cancer. Silence is hurtful and can alienate your friend or loved one. Instead, be honest and show you intend to help and support them.

    • I'm here if you feel like talking, and here if you don’t. I can’t imagine what you’re going through, and know that I am always thinking of you. 
    • This sucks, and I'm here for you, whatever that looks like. 
    • I don't know what to say, but I'm here for you.  
    • I may not have the right words to say, but I will always be here for you. 

    Hopeful and Encouraging 'Get Well' Messages

    If your friend or family member is in need of some encouragement, try out one of these messages brimming with hope.

    • Hardships prepare people for an extraordinary destiny.
    • You have told me in the past never to give up. Now, I am returning those words of wisdom to you.
    • The only thing stronger than fear is hope.
    • Courage does not always roar. Sometimes it's the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow.
    • It's time you focus on yourself right now. You've always been so fantastic at taking care of others — now we need to concentrate on getting you well.

    'Get Well' Messages For Someone Who Loses Their Hair

    Losing your hair can be particularly devastating. Don't comment on how "lucky" that person is not to have to do their hair or ever mention if/when you're having a bad hair day. Be sensitive to how they might be feeling.

    • You are bald, badass, and beautiful, and you look terrific (compliment your friend's wigs, scarves, or another garment they may be newly utilizing should they choose to wear them).
    • Now is the perfect time to try out that new persona you've been dreaming of— hello, Sia wig (or try out another wig of their favorite celebrity who has unique hair, like Dolly Parton, for example)!?
    • It’s time to go wig shopping so that you can live your best alter-ego life — Sia today, maybe Dolly Parton tomorrow (feel free to get creative and pick celebrities they like)?! 

    'Get Well' Messages for Someone Having Surgery/Going Through Treatment

    • Now is the time for you to do you, and remember I am here if you need anything at all. 
    • Instead of asking if they need help, offer what is available to you. Instead of saying, "What can I help with?" SAY: I know you'll be resting, I can order you dinner every night. OR. How about I go grocery shopping for you, what time is good for drop off? OR. I sent $100 to your Venmo account, I hope this helps you order in lunch the rest of the week. 

    What Not To Say To Someone With Cancer

    Knowing whatnot to say to someone with cancer is almost just as important as knowing what to say. It's vital never to reduce how someone is feeling, generalize a person's case, or, most importantly, say nothing. 

    • Everything happens for a reason
    • Referencing someone else who had cancer and passed away
    • You can beat this; you're strong, or you'll be fine.
    • Nothing

    To find out more tips on what not to say to someone who has cancer, read this  article.

    Lastly, be sure to check in with your friend or family member when the treatment ends. Cancer has no timeline, and often, patients have to continue to get check-ins and screenings for many years after. Some would argue that this is just as traumatizing as having cancer treatment. So continue to check in on them and refrain from saying things like, "congrats, it's over," or, "at least you're done now." 

    Shop Gifts

    Do you want even more tips on how to navigate the cancer diagnosis of a friend or family member? Then, be sure to check out these articles below aimed at helping you navigate the cancer diagnosis of a friend or loved one.

    Dana Donofree

    Dana Donofree

    Founder and CEO of AnaOno. After a diagnosis of breast cancer in her late 20’s, Dana took her own lived experience and fashion design background and (re)designed intimates for those that have undergone breast surgery. Dana’s story has been published around the world in outlets like New York Times, BBC, Huffington Post, The Today Show, and more.