Perhaps the only thing scarier than learning you have
breast cancer is discovering that a loved one does. Unfortunately, breast cancer is
the most common cancer found in women, making it a disease that has touched
the lives of almost every American, in some way.
A loved one’s breast cancer diagnosis can make you feel powerless.
While you may not have the power to make her diagnosis go away, there
is still plenty you can do to help in her fight.
- Sit with her during her chemo treatments.
- Get informed about breast cancer.
- Support her treatment decisions.
- Be an honest and sincere listener.
- Remember that not every conversation has to be about breast cancer.
- Hire a cleaning lady to help her around the house.
- Offer to babysit her children for the night.
- Offer to take care of her pet if she’ll be staying in the hospital.
- Surprise her with small gifts, especially ones that help pass the time,
like puzzles, audio books, magazines, and scrapbooks.
- Give her honest and sincere compliments.
- Ask her what she’s in the mood to eat before bringing food over.
- Send cards, emails, or letters if you can’t be there to support her
- Don’t tell her how to feel about her diagnosis or treatment.
- Join her in her fight by raising money and awareness of breast cancer.
- Understand that she may not always want or be able to have visitors.
- Extend your support to other members of her family — a breast cancer
diagnosis is tough on them, too.
- Support your friend long after the diagnosis. She’s going to need
love and care during her treatment and recovery period, as well.
- If a friend at work was recently diagnosed, ask about donating unused leave
time to her.
- Ask questions when you don’t know something, but don’t press
for answers if she doesn’t want to talk right then.
- End your calls or notes with something reassuring, such as “I’ll
be in touch soon.”
- Don’t offer your medical opinion unless you are qualified to have
one and she has directly asked for it.
- Always follow through with any offers of help or support.
- Send her text messages to let her know that you’re thinking about her.
- Raise money for her care on crowdfunding sites.
- Drive her children to and from their school activities.
- Do little things to boost her mood, like painting her nails.
- Feeling brave? Shave your head in solidarity with your loved one.
- Drive her to and from her medical appointments.
- Save up your quarters and gift them to her. During a long day of appointments,
snack breaks help pass the time.
- Buy your friend a compact, warm blanket she can use while having treatment.
- Be positive. As they say, attitudes are contagious!
Another way you can show support? Scheduled your annual mammogram! To schedule
a mammogram at
Cortland Regional Medical Center, please talk to your primary care provider who will refer you to our imaging