How to Really Help Someone Who Has Breast Cancerby Émilie Carignan
published October 04, 2010
7 comforting ideas
When one of our friends discovers she has breast cancer, we feel as if it is a call to action. Helping a friend, a colleague a sister… is an action that comes from within. However, the illness can be intimidating and often, it’s hard to know exactly which gestures are useful, beyond simply offering to be there if needed. Here are seven concrete ideas that are sure to help you help her.
Being actively present
Don’t underestimate the source of comfort your simple presence can provide to a friend or family member with cancer. Go with her to a chemo treatment, give her a call or pop by for an afternoon movie marathon; the key is being there. So instead of saying the usual “I’m there for you if you need me”, which usually ends up an unsolicited offer, do something concrete.
A home-cooked meal
A great initiative on your part is to cook up a warm meal, divide it into portions and deliver them, ready-to-eat! It’s a sweet gesture, especially on days where cooking isn’t possible.
Cancer treatments can be taxing on a person’s energy levels, so why not offer yourself up as your friend’s personal taxi service? Take her to the hospital, grocery store, the mall… or anywhere else she may need to go.
We’re talking about tomes that discuss the various realities of breast cancer. There are also informative books, such as cancer-fighting recipe books. Note: this tip should be followed only after a breast cancer diagnosis. Towards the end of treatment, the topic has become so omnipresent that she may be looking to get her mind off of it.
Since the illness brings along with it a whole lot of stress, downtime is also important. Offer your friend all sorts of entertainment you can think of: books, movies and CDs, or anything else you think she might like.
A little bit of beauty
This is an idea that puts femininity first. Since treatments (such as chemotherapy) can affect one’s physical appearance, don’t estimate the power of a new piece of jewelry or article of clothing. It’ll definitely be a mood-booster!
Some warmth and comfort
Want to offer your friend some R&R? For those days she’s stuck at home, offer her a comfortable robe, a cute set of pyjamas, warm slippers, and other accessories that promote a feeling of well-being. The softer the materials, the better!
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