Sisterhood Thrive Wellness

SUPPORT A FRIEND WITH BREAST CANCER, HERE’S HOW

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Unfortunately, this disease is all too prevalent in our modern world. About one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. The good news is that it’s highly treatable and has a very low mortality rate. Most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer will have some type of surgery to remove the the tumor. Some will have to undergo additional treatment such as chemo, radiation or hormone therapy.

Whatever the case, the treatment isn’t fun for the patient. If one of your friends is going through these tough times, there are several things you can do to help support her. Our friends at BasilHealth surveyed several breast cancer survivors and found that the following were the best ways to offer help.

OFFER YOUR SERVICES AS A DRIVER

Particularly after surgery, your friend will need someone to get her home. But she’ll appreciate the company on the way there as well. Surgery is a scary undertaking for many people, so having a friendly face nearby is always welcome. If your friend has to undergo additional treatments, offer to drive her to and from the appointments.

SEND OR DELIVER A MEAL

Food can be a challenging one for someone going through cancer treatments. Your friend could be on a special diet, or she may only be able to stomach certain things. Check with her before making or ordering anything, but it’s still a wonderful (and appreciated) gesture. Make healthful and easily-reheatable items to drop off, offer to order delivery from her favorite restaurant, or give a gift certificate to a popular delivery service like Grubhub or Caviar.

OFFER TO TAKE CARE OF KIDS OR PETS

Cancer treatment often leaves the patient feeling exhausted and nauseous, which makes it difficult to care for other living things. If your friend has small children, offer up your services as babysitter. If she has pets, you can offer to take them off her hands for a few days, or let her know you’re available to walk the dog anytime.

DO HER ERRANDS WHEN DOING YOUR OWN

Anytime you’re out running errands, send your friend a text offering to pick up anything she needs. This could be while you’re grocery shopping, headed to the pharmacy or drugstore, or stopping by the bank. Similarly, you can offer to help with chores around the house, such as laundry or gardening.

BE PROACTIVE ABOUT REACHING OUT

For many people, asking for help doesn’t come naturally – particularly for those who are used to being independent. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t want (or need) help. You can help ease the discomfort by proactively offering your help. Also, when you reach out, offer specifics. Your friend may be feeling overwhelmed or be suffering from “chemo brain” – so offer to help in specific ways.

MAKE HER LAUGH

Finally, we couldn’t resist this tip from Sue Murrian (via Health.com), who received a care package from her sister-in-law.

In it were these little press-on tattoos. They came with a note that said, “Put these on your breast and surprise your radiation technicians!”

(Featured image by Faith of Friends Inc.)

Jasmine France is the Editor in Chief for BasilHealth, which offers a health platform designed to help people manage everything health, from medical data to lab results, fitness goals, daily nutrition, lifestyle information and more. Jasmine has a passion for all things health-related, from regular exercise to the daily glass of red wine. Her work has been featured in publications such as CNET, The Wall Street Journal, Inc., Entrepreneur and more.

4 comments on “SUPPORT A FRIEND WITH BREAST CANCER, HERE’S HOW

  1. What a great article. I love ALL of these suggestions. There is so much we can do in addition to just gofundme options. Thanks for article.

    Like

  2. So true that many of us won’t ask for help, either from fear of burdening someone else or our desire to maintain our independence. I love these suggestions! I’d also suggest, especially if you’re geographically separated by your friend, an actual phone call, or regular ongoing calls, is a great way to provide long distance support – conversation and connection can go a long way.

    Like

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