A friend’s breast cancer diagnosis leaves many women at a loss for how to help. Saying or doing the wrong thing could leave your friend upset or feeling worse, while doing nothing at all leaves her alone in a terrifying situation. Caring, loving support can make a big difference to a friend who is facing breast cancer. If you aren’t sure what to say or do, tell her honestly and ask for guidance so you don’t leave her feeling alone.
Visit or call your friend often to provide her with emotional support. Avoid telling her you know how she feels or about other people you’ve known with breast cancer, particularly if the other person’s outcome wasn’t positive. Talk about things beyond cancer, but don’t ignore the disease completely, especially if your friend wants to discuss it.
Serve as her communication link if she approves. Share updates with other friends or serve as the point of contact if people want to get in touch with her. This takes the pressure off her.
Organize other friends and acquaintances to provide the family with meals or to babysit her children. Gift cards to restaurants also work well. These items give the family a break during a stressful time.
Handle chores for your friend, especially when she’s feeling weak or going through treatments. This might include picking up medications from the pharmacy, cleaning, driving her to treatments, taking her kids to school or grocery shopping for her.
Put together a care package for your friend to make her feel more comfortable. Include items like slippers, robes, snacks and other pampering items.
Take your friend out if she’s feeling up to it. Ideas include pedicures, a cup of coffee or dinner.
Participate in a breast cancer event that raises money for research. This shows your support and helps raise money for valuable research.
Organize a local fundraiser to offset the cost of your friend’s treatments. Contact local business for donations for a silent auction or choose another type of fundraiser.