How to Support a Loved One with Breast Cancer
When a woman is diagnosed with Breast Cancer, she is likely scared, stressed, sad and confused. You may find yourself asking, “What can I do to help?”. While it may seem like you can’t do anything, there are plenty of ways you can be supportive and helpful throughout their journey.
An important way to support your friend or family member is to communicate and listen carefully. When someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, they’ll be experiencing both positive and negative emotions. They will need someone to listen, no matter what they have to say. Be that trusted source and let them know they can confide in you.
A cancer diagnosis can be a very isolating experience. One of the best ways to show you care is by spending time with them. It lets them know you are thinking about them and they aren’t battling cancer alone. However, it’s important to always check-in before showing up, as they might not be feeling well.
Stay in Touch
If you’re unable to visit in person, a text, phone call, email or card can go a long way. Regular check-ins can improve their mental health and increase their well-being. Also, try your best to respond quickly whenever they reach out to you and listen intently to any requests or questions they may have.
Help with Housework
Lending a hand and taking care of household chores is a great way to help. Make sure to inquire first, but if they accept your offer, find out exactly what needs done. Taking out the trash, doing laundry, cooking dinner and grocery shopping are all small things that can make a huge difference and help them feel less overwhelmed.
Be an Advocate
If your loved one is okay with it, accompany them to their doctor appointments and treatment sessions. Sometimes they may feel too tired or stressed to ask questions or retain the information the doctor is giving them. Being there to take notes, ask questions and advocate for them can relieve some of the pressure they’re feeling and make their appointments less stressful.
Make Life Normal for their Kids
When mothers are diagnosed with breast cancer, one of their biggest concerns is usually how it will affect their children. They often worry their kids’ lives will be turned upside down, especially if the kids are young. Whether you’re dropping kids off at dance, cheering on the sidelines at a soccer game or inviting the kids over for movie night, helping your loved ones kids lead a normal life will take stress and worry off their mind. Getting the kids out of the house can also give moms some time to relax and take care of themselves.
How Southwoods Offers Support
Southwoods offers patients a Nurse Navigator program to help guide them through the emotional and physical journey of breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Recognizing each patient has a unique set of circumstances, our compassionate Nurse Navigators focus on personalized care and emphasize relentless attention to detail. At Southwoods, it’s not just about the treatment, but how you’re treated – and that is especially apparent through our Nurse Navigators at the Southwoods Center for Breast Health.
There may not be a one size fits all way to support a loved one with breast cancer, but even the smallest acts of kindness can make a big difference. The most important thing you can do is just be there and listen whenever your loved one may need to talk. Support comes in many different shapes and sizes, and finding out what your loved one needs can help make their journey a little less tough.