How to Support Someone Going Through Breast Cancer
Breast cancer patients need a community and a support system to go through treatment. No matter the stage, no matter the diagnosis, being told you have cancer takes an emotional and physical toll. There are also challenges to being a supporter. One of which is not knowing what to say or fearing that you’ll say the wrong thing. We hope these tips and ideas for how to support someone going through breast cancer serve as a helpful guide!
Give Specific Support
Instead of asking, “What can I do for you?” plan a specific act of support. It’s hard to know as a breast cancer patient what exactly you need. It’s a sigh of relief to not have to respond and instead, open your door to a thoughtful gift, meal, or surprise. Take the pressure off the cancer patient to guide in what they need.
It’s OK If You Don’t Know What to Say
It’s more than OK to simply say, “I don’t know what to say.” Cancer is hard and scary and isn’t easy to talk about. Don’t let the fear of saying the wrong thing stop you from reaching out. Silence is harder to accept than a slip up in a sentiment.
Remember The Family and Co-Survivors
Women and men with breast cancer may have a husband, wife, or children to care about while also going through treatment. Life doesn’t stop because of cancer- meals still need to be made, jobs still need to get done and children still need to be cared for. Offering support for the patients’ family is a gift for everyone!
Acts of Service Mean A Lot
Though physical gifts and cards are important and meaningful, acts of service are also very helpful. Offers to do laundry, clean the house, run errands, sit in the chemo infusion room, or walk the dog go a long way in helping someone focus on their healing and recovery instead of worrying about chores around the house.
Remember, It’s Their Cancer Journey
Every diagnosis, every choice in the treatment process is personal. Some decisions are literally life or death. Some decisions have permanent effects and will forever change the patient’s life. Tread carefully when it comes to dispensing advice or recommendations, unless specifically asked. While advice is offered with good intentions, it can be an added stress to have to justify treatment and medical decisions.