Girls, you know we looove supporting one another (it’s just what we do!) So, let's talk about supporting someone with breast cancer.
Whether you’ve been directly impacted by breast cancer or know someone who has, knowing how to support someone with the disease can be a huge challenge.
We know it’s hard, and as much as we want to help and do our best for that person, sometimes it can be tricky knowing what to do or say. There are no set rules for supporting someone with breast cancer. After all, everyone is different and we all process these things differently.
To help out, we’ve put together a few ideas on how you can do your best to support someone with breast cancer, whether it's your Breastie or someone in your wider Female Family. Remember, it’s often the smaller things that can make a whole world of difference, especially to your Breasties.
Take Time to Prepare Yourself
Finding out that a friend or close relative has breast cancer or any kind of cancer for that matter, can be heart-wrenching. Whether you’re supporting a friend with cancer or a family member, this news can often trigger negative thoughts which can cause you to say something that might make that person feel worse. Remember to process your feelings beforehand, learn about their diagnosis and think about what it might be like from that person’s perspective. How would you want to be treated? What would you want to talk about?
Make Plans for the Future
Don’t be scared to make plans for the future. Part of supporting someone with cancer involves doing things to make them feel better, both emotionally and physically. Whether it’s a trip to the beach, a dinner date or a movie night, this will give that person something to look forward to as cancer treatment can be very tiring and mentally exhausting. Remember, a positive mindset can achieve so much more than you think (and your Breasties will appreciate it).
Offer Practical Help
Although there is a lot of breast cancer support out there, offering practical help can really make a difference to your Breastie. Remember, a person’s needs may change throughout their treatment so it’s important to be flexible. Offering help with daily tasks and chores can help relieve pressure from that person but it’s important that you let them know that you are not expecting them to return the favour. After all, we never give to receive.
Make an effort to:
Do the food shop or pick up prescriptions
Help with chores around the house
Drive them to appointments
Offer to pick up the children from school if they’re unable to do so
Cook dinner and drop it off
Treat Them the Same
Cancer can dramatically change a person, from their appearance to their daily habits and lifestyle choices. We’re firm believers that every woman is beautiful in her own right, but it’s important that when supporting someone with cancer, you don’t treat them any different. After all, they are still the same person you know and love, cancer will never change that!
Provide Emotional Support
Emotional support is crucial when supporting someone with cancer. Research has shown that emotional support can make a big difference to someone with cancer. Some ways you can show support include:
Respecting their need for privacy
Checking in on them regularly
Sending cards or flowers
Have a laugh or joke as you would normally
Offer support throughout their cancer journey
Let them know you are there for them, whatever they may need
Things you should try to avoid doing are:
Saying you know how they feel. Cancer is different for everybody, not one case is the same
Telling them to be strong or stay positive. This can force the person to behave or act in a certain way
Comparing their situation to someone else’s
Offering advice they haven’t necessarily asked for
Listen to What they Have to Say
Being a good listener is different than just being a human earpiece. Be aware of that person’s thoughts and feelings and really listen to what they have to say. You might find that some subjects are a bit uncomfortable to talk about and that’s perfectly fine, but it’s important to really tune in and support them. Keep the setting private, let them do the talking and be in the moment.
Remember, dealing with a cancer diagnosis is one of the hardest things a person might have to go through in their lifetime, so it’s important you know how to support someone with breast cancer, and all types of cancer for that matter.
You may not get it right every time and that’s okay. Just the fact you are doing your best will mean the woooorld to your Breastie.
We love you, Loungers.