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A Pacifist’s Guide to being a good friend to someone who has cancer

2. Understand that the person who is ill is going to react in unexpected ways. Be supportive and understand, please, that sometimes, your support might be thrown in your face. Don’t be put off by different and varying reactions. Know that the person sometimes feels irrational and totally mad.

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A Pacifist’s Guide to being a good friend to someone who has cancer

3. Cards with lots of writing and stories and things relating to you are lovely to receive and mean a lot. Cards with just a few words and a generic greeting are weird.

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A Pacifist’s Guide to being a good friend to someone who has cancer

4. Post-surgery food: ask the person what they want to eat before you come. When I’m well I can eat all the chocolate in the world but after surgery all I wanted was melon. So just ask.

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A Pacifist’s Guide to being a good friend to someone who has cancer

5. I personally like to go to all my appointments alone, it’s just easier for me, but it’s always nice to have the offer of a companion and to feel like you have that option if you want it. But you should never be forced to take people along. Friends keeping track of appointments means a lot to the person who is ill and a text in the morning to say good luck, or a phone call later on to see how it went, is always appreciated.

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A Pacifist’s Guide to being a good friend to someone who has cancer

6. People on chemo often feel very sick. When visiting please don’t douse yourself in perfume. Or bring smelly food or candles, unless on request. It could be the most delicious fragrance in the world to you but strong smells of nearly any kind turned my stomach.

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A Pacifist’s Guide to being a good friend to someone who has cancer

7. Please just stay present and there. Don’t disappear. Don’t be scared of saying the wrong thing. It’s so much better to be a friend and be accidentally insensitive than just to not be there at all.

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Baskerville // reviews

★★★★★
"A proper Christmas-time family show"
Liverpool ECHO

★★★★
“A howling success”
Merseysider Magazine

★★★★
"Hugely funny"
The Stage

★★★★½
“Slick and creative”
The Reviews Hub

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