30 More Things That a Cancer Patient Would Like to Read in a Card

by Jane Ashley

Cancer patients never tire of receiving cards and hand-written notes. That personal touch goes a long way. Emails and texts don’t provide the comfort that a card provides – we can pull out the cards that we receive when we are feeling down or lonely and those tangible cards renew our spirits.

Thinking Of You

Cards don’t require a patient to answer. Cards are a visible symbol that we made a special effort to let you know that we are care. It doesn’t matter when you send a card, there is no wrong time to let someone with cancer know that you are thinking of them.

But how can someone know what we’d like to hear. Sometimes, cancer treatment lasts for a couple of months, but for others, our treatments may last for a year or more. So please don’t forget about us after our diagnosis.

There are some “milestone” events in our cancer journey when we would appreciate a card with a handwritten note. Here are some of those milestone events and some things to write in a card to send your friend, coworker or family member.


When we are newly diagnosed , we are in shock and are frightened about what the future holds. We also don’t always know all of the details about the extent of our disease until after surgery or more scans. It’s best not to be too specific … encourage us and let us know that you will be there for us.

• I’m sorry that you are having to face this.
• I’m praying for the best possible outcome.
• You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
• I’m here for you.
• What can I do to help you? Meals, picking up your children from school … I want to help.
• I’m sure that you’ve overwhelmed by this news. I want to do anything that will help you.

Hand Written Note In A Card


Many cancer treatments are complex and scary for us as patients. Chemo leaves us too tired to do the simplest household chores. We’re exhausted from all of the trips back and forth to treatment. We need encouragement, and we need help with chores. But we’re don’t want to be a bother. We don’t like to ask for help.

• May I set up some meal deliveries to help you during chemo?
• I can stop by and pick up your little girl and take her to school.
• Every day, you’re one step closer. Don’t give up.
• You are an inspiration to all of us.
• Maybe we could have coffee together on a day that’s good for you.
• Your strength inspires me.

Major Surgery

If we are facing a major surgery, we try not to worry as we prepare for going to the hospital and for coming home for recovery. Words of hope and comfort are perfect anyone facing cancer surgery.

• I’ll be praying for you on the day of your surgery.
• Best wishes for a successful outcome.
• I hope that you’ll recover quickly.
• I’m going to arrange a Meal Train for you so you don’t have to worry about meals when you get home.
• You are stronger than you believe — I know you ’re going to come through this with flying colors.

Remission/Declared NED/End of Treatment

The end of treatment is a time to be joyful. But many patients still feel somewhat overwhelmed by their experience. When you see us, give us some time to express our feelings to you.

• I’m doing the “Happy Dance” for you.
• You were so strong and so brave. I’m so proud of you.
• You are my hero.
• Congratulations! You will be a shining star for others facing cancer.
• I am so happy for you. Let’s have coffee or lunch sometime soon.
• Best news ever! I knew that you could do this.
• You worked so hard to reach this moment. I’m proud of you.

An Offer Of Food

Recurrence/End of Life

Sometimes, cancer recurs or our treatments stop working. Patients don’t want to be forgotten or ignored by family and friends. Patients still need support and need to feel loved. A card with a few kind words goes a long way.

• I hope that you’ll find peace of mind and comfort.
• There are no words to describe how sorry I am that you are facing this.
• I saw butterflies today, and they reminded me of you.
• You are one of my favorite people.
• Even though we are miles apart, you are always in my heart.
• Best friends always – through good times and bad. I love you.

Im Here For You Hand Written

The Bottom Line …

Receiving a card in the mail is such a delight for anyone, but especially for someone who is in treatment for cancer. We need all of the positive encouragement and kind words that we can get. But there are few things that we don’t want to hear.

What things do you enjoy hearing from your friends and relatives while you're in treatments? Please comment below.

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