What do you wish someone told your friends and family?

natalyenatalye Community Member
My little cousin who is basically my sister just got diagnosed 2 days ago with leukemia (AML and maybe a little ALL). She is starting chemo tomorrow morning. She is an incredibly strong and positive 17 year old. She is also an incredibly, talented professional dancer and this is the last thing any of us ever expected.

We are all still in shock and trying to process all of this. I would really like any advice from those of you who have gone through this. What do you wish someone told your family and friends while you were going through this life-changing time? What can we bring her that is useful and that will help put a smile on her face or make her day the littlest bit brighter?

Once she is ready I would really love to put her in touch with other young adults (especially close to her age) who are going through this, I know the support from those who understand will be the most helpful for her.

I truly appreciate any help and support.


  • 2 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • Hello. I can tell you what I would like to see in all my friends and family. I love seeing their faces full of joy and happiness whenever we are together and having a good time. Your cousin will start to see and feel the world in a different way, she will feel thousands of miles away from you and most people, it's your job to make her feel that you're there no matter what, but also give her the space she needs and let her do what pleases her. Never show your fears and your sadness, she doesn't need that. She needs you strong and positive. Don't talk behind her back about her, at least don't let her understand that. Don't treat her as if she would break all the time. Love her and try to keep her life as normal as possible, that, I believe, is the way for her to get through everything :) Hope I helped somehow!
  • Wishing her all the best! I agree with visits/messages to cheer her up and let her know people care yet just be aware sometimes she may get tired or overwhelmed... but keep checking in at least briefly so when she is ready to chat or visit again you are still there. Normal and cheery as possible is great, as a cancer patient I worry about making my family and friends unhappy. Biggest thing I think is just be ready to listen whether she wants to chat about random stuff or more serious stuff about her illness - listen with a open mind no pressure to be one way or another and take her lead.