Supporting Your Loved One with Breast Cancer
The American Cancer Society estimates that about 1 in 8 women living in the United States will develop breast cancer. With these staggering statistics, the chances of knowing someone who has or had breast cancer is high.
Finding out that your loved one has breast cancer can be a very overwhelming and emotional experience.
It not only can be difficult to find the right words to say, but it is also a challenge to know how to help. Below are different ways to support your loved one, if you live near or far, during this trying time.
Be present and do not try to interrupt or offer unsolicited advice. So often we are thinking about what we are going to say next without actually listening to the person speaking. Often people just need someone to lend a compassionate ear.
Surprise Your Loved One
Send small gifts in the mail like books, cards, flowers, candles, magazines, fuzzy socks, or pajamas. This will brighten your loved one’s day and they will appreciate that you were thinking of them.
Support The Entire Care Team
Family caregivers often get overlooked during this journey. Offer to help out other caregivers in the family with kids, pets, cleaning the house, laundry, and/or meals. If the entire care team is taken care of, your loved one dealing with breast cancer will get the best support possible.
If perhaps you are experiencing caregiver burnout, take a look at these self-care tips for caregivers!
Don’t Treat Your Loved One Different
Treat your loved one the same and talk about other topics aside from cancer. Take their mind off of their current situation by reminiscing of a funny time, telling jokes, or simply just talking about regular routine matters.
Respect Your Loved One’s Wishes and Desires
This can be a sensitive situation that some would like to keep private. Always ask permission before visiting and do not pry for information that your loved one isn’t willing to divulge.
By Chelsea Alles, LBSW, CCM
If you would like some guidance and education on how to support a loved one with Breast Cancer, a Cariloop Care Coach would love to support you.
Become a member or call 1-844-790-5667 to get started.
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