If it’s a spouse or your child who’s fighting a battle with cancer, you almost instinctively know how to offer them support on the quest to get them better. What’s perhaps the most obvious form of support is naturally getting the treatment financed, but if that’s covered by a special medical aid or medical insurance programme (which would naturally be very expensive if it includes or is specific to cancer), the support doesn’t end there. As much as your supportive instincts tend to kick-in naturally, it can prove to be rather difficult to just be there for your family member since an illness such as cancer doesn’t come with a handbook.

It can even get frustrating for the both of you because while your efforts to help are genuine, at times it may seem as if they’re in vain. When a cancer patient is undergoing radiation-based treatment for instance, or indeed if they’re taking cancer medication such as chemotherapy, both your hands (and the doctor’s as well) are pretty much tied when it comes to some of the pain they experience. Nothing either of you does can take it away, which is a scenario which naturally breeds frustration – frustration which could otherwise very easily get misdirected.

The important thing is just to be there for them, in any and every way you can, no matter how energy-draining it is to you and no matter how much it tests your patience. The enemy here is neither of you, although at times it may seem like it, but the enemy is rather the cancer. So be patient and don’t put any pressure on your cancer-fighting family member in any way. What may seem like something small and trivial to you is amplified greatly by the effects of a combination of very strong and essentially poisonous medication and the body’s own biological processes, through which it’s trying to distinguish between what’s good for it and what’s bad. So if you made an appointment to play cards at a certain time, don’t feel bad if your cancer-fighting relative seems to flake out on you, they have bigger issues to physically deal with.

Besides being at their beck-and-call, there are various other ways through which to offer your support to a cancer-fighting family member, such as getting involved with cancer-specific charity initiatives, some of which are surprisingly operated by unlikely sources. Brantano for example, which is a shoe retailer that enjoys huge popularity throughout the country, is running a campaign known as “Go Green” or “Go Mad.” Your involvement should go beyond just donating money, because if you take the time and make just a little bit of effort to find out what initiatives such as these are all about, you’ll uncover a very good way of helping out a member suffering from cancer. This campaign is only the beginning of something much bigger, in the form of the retailer’s partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, a cancer care charity which takes cancer support beyond the regular structures.

Their online platform for example even has some resources for people just like you, family members seeking to offer their support to cancer sufferers. To find out more about Macmillan Cancer Support, visit macmillan.org.uk.

Brantano would also appreciate your interactive participation, so you can visit www.brantano.co.uk or share you photos with on Facebook or Twitter. Use #brantanogogreen