How to Help a Cancer Patient, Part 2

How to Help a Cancer Patient

Today we’re continuing to look at some practical ways to help a cancer patient. Last time we talked about three practical ideas:

  1. Send a card
  2. Pray for them (and let them know it)
  3. Take a meal.

Continuing on with another practical way to help.

Clean Their House 

Ah, the joy of having a clean, orderly house. And, ugh, the dread of a messy house. You know the feeling of both, right? It’s no fun wanting a clean house but being unable to do the work to make it shine.

After surgeries or during chemotherapy, no one feels like getting down on their hands and knees to clean the bathroom, dust the baseboards, or push the vacuum around the house. But, it’s more than not feeling like it. There’s just not the energy for it.

One week when my mom came down to visit during chemo, one of my sisters-in-law accompanied her and thoroughly cleaned the house. How refreshing!

One Thursday evening (which would have put me at two days after a treatment), a friend stopped by with a meal. She had gone through chemo herself and instead of sitting down to visit, she observed the need in the kitchen and put herself to work.

Would I have called someone and asked for help that night? No, because I knew that eventually the kitchen would have gotten cleaned up and figured I could be patient until that time. But the Lord graciously sent someone over who assessed the situation and selflessly decided to do something about it.

Not everyone would be comfortable with you showing up at their doorstep with all your cleaning supplies, ready to tackle their house. But someone who knows you well will probably get away with it. Of course, if the spouse is home, make sure it’s not going to be an intrusion on their privacy.

There’s an organization called Cleaning for a Reason that partners with cleaning services around the USA and Canada to assist women undergoing treatment. Thousands have been helped through this service.

Although Cleaning for a Reason is a wonderful service, most of us have been cleaning bathrooms, doing dishes, vacuuming, and dusting for many years, and those practical skills could go a long way in making a cancer patient’s life a bit easier!

If you’re not up to cleaning someone’s house, you could...

  • Watch someone else’s children so that person could do the cleaning.
  • Hire someone to do it--maybe a college student in the church or even a professional.
  • Look for ways to help them out when you drop by.

I’m reminded of single friends who’ve gone through their own battles with cancer. They may or may not have had to deal with the messes kids make, but still they had to deal with the daily and weekly chores involved in keeping a house tidy. I sure hope they had someone to help them out.

Do you have a friend who’s gone through treatment, and you were able to help them with their house cleaning? I’d love to hear about it!

The Apostle Paul advises believers to “help the weak” (I Thessalonians 5:14). This would seem to involve a tangible “help.” Even if cleaning isn’t your forté, there are other ways you can help the weak.

I hope you will find someone weak this week to help. No doubt you will receive the greater blessing!