When ‘i’ is replaced by ‘we’ even illness becomes wellness
Breast cancer affects 1 out of 8 women. Chances are that you know someone that has been diagnosed with this disease. It is hard to know what to say or how to help someone close to you. Of course every patient has different needs, which can change daily, but support systems are always necessary.
Here are some tips on how to support someone dealing with breast cancer.
- Give a gift to the person not the cancer victim: From the moment a woman is diagnosed, cancer takes over her life, so a gift that addresses who she was before the diagnosis as well as what she’s going through is always appreciated.
- Allow her to have her dark days: Trying to cheer a friend up may not always be the best way to go. Sometimes you should allow them the space to process things at their own speed.
- Be her chauffeur: Cancer treatment can be exhausting; sometimes it is difficult for a patient to get out of bed and get ready, much less drive themselves to treatment. While giving her a ride, may not seem like a big deal, just driving a friend to and from their cancer treatment can be a huge relief.
- Help with her family: Helping with daily tasks and family obligations provides a comfort and support during the treatment and healing process.
- Understand her physical changes: Cancer treatments can greatly affect a patients body and appearance. Understanding and embracing these changes, and the physical and emotional impacts, is very important. Be proactive and supportive!
- Behave normally: Treat her the way you did before the diagnosis.
- Stick Around: Check in often, letting her know that you care, and you are around if she needs anything.
- Take her away from it all: Take her out and give her a break from everything! Whether its a spa day, a relaxing evening out, a weekend away, or just a cup of coffee.
- Celebrate recovery milestones: Recovery milestones are important to cancer patients because it helps them remain hopeful and optimistic. Send a friend flowers or a card celebrating a recovery milestone.