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9 Tips To Help You Support A Friend Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

November 18th, 2020

It started with a casual Google search “mammography services near me” … A mammogram was done and the diagnosis showed breast cancer. It’s an emotionally traumatizing news.

Your friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer!

Of course, they’ll have to do what the doctor suggests. But depending on the stage of cancer, the course of treatment might not be easy. They would go through a lot – both physically and mentally. As a friend, you could do a lot to help them; to ease their worries, and support their battle.

Here are a few tips to Help You Support a Friend Diagnosed with Breast Cancer:

1. Be there for them emotionally

This is especially true in the early days after they have been diagnosed. Your friend would be in shock; they would be scared and uncertain. Be there for them emotionally. Without being intrusive, visit them; call and text them. Be by their side.

2. Ensure they are getting the recommended treatment

try to understand the treatment they are on (or would be on). And ensure they are following the regimen properly. If there’s a problem with the treatment course, become their advocate. Seek clarity from their doctor and medical team.

3. Act normal but do understand that things are different

It’s important that you make them realize that things are still just the same. So, do act normal. But at the same time, understand that they are dealing with the disease; their needs, preference, and comfort may change.

4. Don’t ask, help them

Don’t ask them to call or text you when they need help. Because they won’t! Instead, actively help them. When you go out to buy groceries, buy theirs too. If their garden is unkempt, take some time out at the weekend and do the cleaning and caring of their garden. Don’t wait, just help out.

5. Listen to them

Yes, it’s going to be okay. But they have likely heard this a million times. Don’t add to that. Instead of talking and trying to reassure them, let them do the talking. Let them steer the conversation. If they want to talk about a movie, listen to that. If they want to vent out their frustration, listen to that. Be their ears!

6. Shoulder their responsibilities

This is continuing with point #4. If they have office-related work, do that work on their behalf if possible. If they need to have their kids picked from school, do that without them asking for it. They have a lot of responsibilities that they might not be able to attend now. Shoulder those responsibilities to the best of your abilities.

7. Ensure they’re doing what they love to do

A cancer diagnosis can result in several social and emotional changes. They might lose interest in things that they once enjoyed. But still, try to keep them busy and distracted with those things. If they loved cloud-watching, encourage them to go outdoors (upon doctor’s advice). If they like watching movies, watch movies with them. If they loved writing, make sure they are writing something every day.

See also  Breast Cancer, Mental Health, And You

8. Get tough when needed

They might get too negative about their diagnosis that could hurt their mental health. They may not keep up with treatment or follow the doctor’s advice. In such instances, you should show tough love to ensure they are on the right track. For instance, if they are reluctant to do the needed tests, Google “medical labs near me”, find a good name, and take them with you.

9. Stick through

Many people would care about the person with breast cancer in the early days after diagnosis, and then they would leave. Some will leave as soon as the person starts recovering. Don’t be one of them! Stick through with your friend from the start till the end and beyond; through their surgeries, good days, bad days, recovery. This what real friendship Is about.

These are 9 Tips to Help You Support a Friend Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

As a ‘friend’, a lot comes down to you. If you’re proactive, you can help the person in significant ways, ensuring their proper treatment, smooth recovery, and overall good mental health.

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