In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, we want to help you deal with the issues that matter most. When a friend or loved one is diagnosed with breast bancer, it’s a mind-numbing, awful experience for everyone affected. You also might be unsure how to show your love.
We’ve created a list of ways to express your support and deepest sympathies – and to do what you can to help your friend when she needs you the most.
1. Don’t be afraid to talk about the cancer.
A woman who is diagnosed with breast cancer is frightened. The worst thing you can do is turn away from her. She needs a friend more than anything.
Don’t know how to start the conversation? Keep it simple. “I don’t know what to say” or “You must be scared,” opens up the lines of communication and lets her know that you understand the gravity of the situation.
Tell her you’re there to listen- and mean it. If she doesn’t take you up on your offer right away, don’t push it, but don’t disappear. Instead, talk to her about life outside of cancer- gossip, discuss books, your kids, school, your hubbies and work. When she is ready to talk, just listen.
Also, this should go without saying, but remember to always be positive. Don’t share horror stories or frightening statistics.
2. Offer to drive the carpool.
This may seem like a simple gesture, but it’s one that will make a huge difference. It’s one less thing she has to deal with.
And this advice is not limited to just the carpool. Offer to babysit her kids for an evening or arrange playdates with her children. She will have many doctor appointments ahead of her.
Anything you can do to help her lesson her load will be greatly appreciated.
3. Bring some food.
Maybe she’s not feeling up to a big meal, but you can help out by making a dinner or casserole for her family. Not a chef? Order some takeout and bring it over to her house.
You could also pick up some groceries. A gallon of milk, some eggs and maybe some chocolate. She’ll appreciate it!
4. Keep her company.
Go on walks or bring over a cup of coffee in the morning. Go with her to treatment sessions. Chemotherapy treatments can be hours long- sit with her and chat.
Bring a magazine for you to read together. You can even pretend to be teenage girls again and take the silly Cosmo quizzes! A few laughs will be good for both of you.
5. Make her a goody basket
The basket should help her through the times when you aren’t close by. Fill it with fun activities- crossword puzzles, joke books and your favorite novel are great additions.
Other fun ideas to add to the basket are some scrapbooking items, a journal, some awesome music and some movies. Don’t be afraid to have a little fun and get creative.
The best possible thing you can do for your friend is to be there for her. Don’t make her go at it alone. Fighting cancer is a scary and uncertain time for even the strongest people. She’ll need her friends.
And don’t be too afraid to mess up. Even if you do say something wrong, as long as you don’t disappear and your heart is in the right place, your friend will appreciate your help.