How to Support a Friend with Breast Cancer
There are many ways you can support women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Your support can be provided in a range of options such as breast cancer education, mammograms, and other health services. Although you may feel generous and positive about donating to women across the world, it feels completely different when a close loved one is the one who needs your support.
In honor of breast cancer awareness month, today we are sharing 10 ways on how to support a friend who has breast cancer:
- Listen: It’s important to listen to your friend. Instead of saying things such as, “You’re a fighter,” or “My Aunt had breast cancer and now she is fine!” learn to hear what they have to say and listen.
- Keep it Reasonable: Gifts are great, but at times like this it’s important not to go overboard. Instead do something a little more thoughtful. The whole point is to make them feel loved and supported.
- Ask Before Bringing Food: Bringing over a dish is everyone’s go to. Not that there is anything wrong with a home cooked meal, but many might go to waste because of the abundance. A better way to be more thoughtful is to ask your friend if they need any help around the house or offer to buy them groceries instead.
- Don’t Expect a Ray of Sunshine: If you’ve never gone through chemo than you don’t know how much it can take out of a person. Many will be tired, cranky, or even sick after their treatments. Your friend might not be themselves the following days after chemo and it’s important to give them a break. If you’ve sent a gift or gone out of your way to do something for them just know they appreciate it even if they don’t say thank you. This time is not about you, it is about being a friend.
- Never Tell Her to Look at the Bright Side: Never tell her how she should feel about her breast cancer. Instead ask how she is feeling.
- Don’t Bombard: Give them their space. It’s significant they feel normal and believe their lives are still intact. Ask when they would like to have company and let them know you’re there whenever they want to just hang out. Also, don’t bombard them with a million questions about their treatments, medications, symptoms, or the cost. Let her decide what she wants to tell you.
- Be There: If you’re going to be there in the beginning, be there until the end. Show that you care and that you are a true friend who loves and supports them. It’s important she knows she has good people surrounding her.
- Take Her Out: Get her out of the house! When she is feeling up to it take her out for a girl’s day. Go shopping and go to one of your favorite lunch spots!
- Remember the Caregiver: Remember while your friend may be going through a tough period so is her partner. They need someone to talk to just as much as your friend so be sure to be supportive towards their caregiver as well.
- Walk. Run.: Do what you can to support on a bigger level. It’s great to share precious moments with a close friend when it’s supporting a cause they know very much about.