5 Things Women With Breast Cancer Want Their Friends to Know

Within the past decade, breast cancer has increased so much that unfortunately, there’s always a friend or a friend of a friend we know to be fighting that battle. It’s already a burden to deal with and a struggle on its own. That’s why it’s important for friends and family to not only be supportive, but also be prepared to deal with the situation at hand in the best possible way.

Here are a few tips every breast cancer fighter would want their friends to know:

Be Positive

It’s difficult to be put in a life and death situation and having to fight that battle isn’t an easy task. That’s why friends need to be positive. If you don’t know what to say or how to deal with the situation at hand, you can just be supportive. For some people, just being around and knowing that you’re there for better or worse can be all the support they need. For others, you can show your support with little things that demonstrate they’re on your mind. Sometimes a gift can go a long way, no matter how small it is. If you don’t know what to get them, this list of inspirational gifts can help you understand the thoughtful gifts that would be appreciated. And remember, it’s the thought that counts.

Be Prepared

It’s important to understand that when fighting cancer, the general appearance of a patient will change. Due to the effect of chemotherapy, hair loss is part of the process along with weakness and a whole lot of weight loss. Don’t be shocked when you see them and remember that they need your support, not the other way round. Try to make them feel at ease with their new look and always bring out the positives.

Offer Useful Help

Being supportive doesn’t just mean tagging along to appointments or checking in. Sometimes, the best kind of support is offering to do the things that will make a difference. This can include helping around the house and tidying up, or making healthy food that actually tastes good for a change. While they won’t ask for your support, things like following the same diet they can eat to encourage them, or getting a haircut so they don’t feel alone in their ordeal can touch their heart beyond belief. It’s the little things that matter and your help being offered without them having to ask is something they will always appreciate.

Look out for the Cues they Offer

Every person is different and what they’re going through or what they need doesn’t have to match what you’re expecting. While some people may want to avoid the entire subject of cancer, others will want to share their frustration and whine about it to the people they care about most. Look out for the signs and act according to what your friend needs, and not what you think they need. If you really don’t know how to react or what is expected of you, don’t be afraid to ask and show your concern for their situation. Knowing that you’re ready to be there for whatever they need, will help them be more comfortable around you and know that they have a support system they can depend on.

Ask before You Visit

There are good days and there are bad days. There are days when they are willing to see people and there are days when they’d rather be left alone. Do not force yourself upon them just to show how supportive you are, but understand that sometimes they do not want anyone to see them in a certain state and other times they could be just too tired to even have a conversation. Don’t take it personally and make sure that you always ask whether the person is ready for your company or not. Be understanding enough to make them not feel guilty and force themselves to put up with your company when they weren’t in the mood for it. Remember, you’re only there to help them and don’t want to be a burden.

The key is to be supportive and let your friend feel that life goes on and that they’re still a part of your life. Always share important events with them and make them understand that their diagnosis hasn’t changed the way you feel about them or their importance in your life. Cancer is not who they are or how they’re identified and you must make them feel that way, showing support every step of the way.

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