Brian Mansfield is a writer for USA Today and was diagnosed with colon cancer at age 48. Brian chronicles his life with cancer in a series of articles called, “My Semicolon Life.”
Brian’s advice to caregivers:
Ask the question, “How are you doing today?” The last word makes all the difference by differentiating the question from the common, “How are you doing?” or the dreaded “How are you?” It acknowledges that the person asking understands that cancer is a day-by-day journey with unexpected turns and twists. For example, today I’m a few weeks past surgery and feel like I’m recovering nicely. But it’s possible there’s another tumor inside me that I don’t know about yet, and my mind-set could be very different once I get my next set of test results. But today, I’m doing great!
In fact, the question, “How are you doing today?” is an appropriate question to ask anyone who is suffering whether they are suffering from an illness, broken relationship or unemployment. You are checking in with them today realizing that the next time you ask, their answer may be different.
So ask, “How are you doing today?”