The Best Thing to Say to Someone Who is Sick


In one month, I will have been sick for four years.

I never thought something like this would happen to me and it comes with many challenges. I’ve found that in the midst of all the struggles– the IV treatment and the side effects, the pain, the constant doctors appointments and tests, the fatigue, missing out on life events, the thoughts of what my life could have been if I had never gotten sick– the hardest part of being sick is being alone. The real struggle is in the day to day living (if you can call it that).

After my last treatment, I had a bad reaction and was sick and miserable in bed for two weeks. The hardest part is watching the hours pass by from your bed and not speaking to another soul. The feeling of suffering alone.

I have a couple of people in my life whose friendships I would describe as tireless. They text me every day that I have treatment just to see how I’m doing. They know that the answers are always the same. Every. Time. But, just the little reminder that someone is thinking of you helps.

So one of these tireless friends asked me yesterday, “What can I do for you?”

I think, so far in the past four years, that is the best thing anyone has ever said to me.

My answer was tough. I honestly don’t know how to answer that question. But, I was able to reaffirm that just the simple check-ins mean so much to me. I hold them close and remember I’m not alone in this fight. I was also able to just tell my friend how much her friendship with me has meant. I was able to convey that I know it is tough to be my friend right now. That nothing ever changes and my answers to her questions are always the same. I was able to tell her that I know that would be frustrating and that I feel so blessed she has stayed by my side.

So thats my advice for you if you are struggling with what to say to a family member or friend who is sick. Ask them, “What can I do for you?” It will mean more than you know.

3 Comments on “The Best Thing to Say to Someone Who is Sick

  1. hugs and big love. I’ve been ruminating on these thoughts over the past several weeks as I inch closer to a diagnosis. Jan 2008 was when I first started experiencing symptoms and while it has been quite some time, I think I often grieve the loss of friendships and the company of others (even as an introvert) just as much, if not more than the loss of what I am able to do. I am glad you have these tireless friends. They are oftentimes the glue.

  2. thank you so much for sharing. It helps so much. I have been trying to get a diagnosis since 2008. Just helps so much to know others understand. Thank you.

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