My loved one has cancer – how do I cope with it?

Have you (or someone close to you) just gotten news that a loved one has cancer?  I’ve been there. The words that come to mind are devastating, overwhelm, fear and loss.  Does any of this sound familiar?

If you are like most people, you associate cancer with suffering that leads to death.  It’s no wonder that you might have a cocktail of hard-to-manage emotions when someone close to you gets the news that they have cancer.

This emotional cocktail can get in your way of truly being there for your loved one.  You can find yourself drowning in your emotional cocktail. Yet there are things that you can do to shift your mindset so you can be there for the person you love.

Imagine, instead of being distracted by your emotional reaction to cancer when you are with your ailing loved one, you are present with them, savoring every moment together and focused on helping them on their healing journey.

I share with you my 7 anchor coping tips of how you can deal with your loved one’s cancer diagnosis:


  1. After your initial shock and sadness, remember it’s not about you. It’s about how you can be there for your loved one. Prevent your own emotions to stand in your way of supporting your loved one. It is about them now and being there for them.
  2. Learn as much as you can about your loved one’s cancer. Every person is unique and every cancer is unique. But don’t become the expert who knows best. Allow your loved one to make their own decisions and choices and support what they decide. They are scared and overwhelmed and are getting many suggestions and advice. In the end, it’s your loved one and their medical team’s decision. Support that.
  3. Make time when possible to go with them to their treatments or appointments to show your support. It’s scary for them so be the strong one. You might be pleasantly surprised to experience how their courage and strength carry you.
  4. Know your loved ones needs and wants and be caring. Take healthy homemade meals they can freeze. Find out what they can eat and drink and offer to make or buy some of it for the times they have no energy to get to a shop or prepare a meal.
  5. Be in regular contact without being too controlling or in the way. Let them know you are thinking of them. Know when their next treatment is and show your interest. Follow up after the treatment and check in how they are doing. Use your mobile phone and send short text messages they can read when they have time.
  6. If they have young children, help with the kids. Help the kids to understand what is wrong with their loved one in a gentle way. Kids have the right to know and keeping information away from them makes it even scarier.
  7. Keep faith, hope and show your love to your loved one. Love is powerful medicine.

Visit Ilze Bellavida in Johannesburg – contact +27 060 743 4143 / OR
Visit Ilze at Malachite Centre in Cape Town / +27 21 205 0590

Master Coaching & Psychology

Ilze facilitates your growth, well-being, and enrichment in all areas of life. She believes it’s your birth right to experience joy, fulfillment, purpose, and meaning. She has more than 30 years’ experience as a qualified psychologist. She is also a Master Demartini Facilitator ™, combining two of the most powerful skillsets to assist her clients to build the life and wealth of their dreams.

Book a session or package with Ilze to gain insight into and experience shifts in life in the following areas:
  • Personal leadership – develop the art of leading from the inside out.
  • Health – unlock healing potential by using the power of your mind plus medical intervention. Manage chronic disease, health challenges, depression, and anxiety.
  • Wealth – make money that matters. Develop the mindset and behaviour that attract and nurture personal and financial wealth in all areas of life for generational               impact.
  • Family – build your powerful family with meaningful, inspired, purposeful and fulfilled family members.
  • Legacy – cultivate family wealth for generations to come. Pass the torch and preserve family wealth beyond the third generation.