One of the worst things you can ever hear in your life is that you have breast cancer. The second worst thing you can ever hear is that someone you love has breast cancer. Immediately, you ask yourself, what can I do to support them while they are going through this? How can I help?
Here are my TOP 5 survivor-tested things to do for someone you care about while they are battling breast cancer.
Everyone is busy. Life is hectic. Even more so when you get a cancer diagnosis. Sharing your time with someone battling breast cancer is a huge gift. One of my best friends since childhood took the day off work in the middle of the week to spend all day at home with me watching romantic comedies and eating junk food while I recovered. My husband’s job amazingly let him work from home for the 6 weeks I was recovering from all my surgeries. It was such a blessing. That’s the kind of thing someone recovering will remember forever.
Help Around the House
While researching resources when I found out I had breast cancer, I found this great company, Cleaning for a Reason, that will clean your house while you are going through treatment. The signup process was easy and they cleaned our home twice. It was glorious because cleaning was the last thing I wanted to do. This is a great idea because people automatically think of food, which is amazing too, but housekeeping is something a person in recovery really needs.
Food trains have to be the greatest invention ever. Whether you cook or order in, these things are a savior to families going through breast cancer (or any family ordeal, really). When you’re sick, there’s no headspace to worry about what you’re going to make for yourself or your family, and oftentimes, you’re too tired to do it anyway. Here are two that we have used and recommend:
Tee shirts might be one of my love languages. I love buying the perfect one to match people’s personalities. While going through my breast cancer journey, I worked with a company as an influencer, and they offered to create a tee for me. We received a portion of the sales, and I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing it was to see my friends wearing “my” shirt. I still get pictures to this day of our friends and family sporting the tee.
Support in General
You would be amazed at how many other people can’t handle that you’re sick. People will stop talking to you because they don’t know what to say. (I always tell them to say the same things to me that you said before!) You will lose people just because they are scared. People will be intimidated and worried for their own health (surely, they know it’s not contagious!). Providing support in general to your person will go so far with them. Here are a few ideas:
- Host a fundraiser for them. My friends rallied together and hosted several fundraisers for our family, and it was such a great help.
- Let people know that you are here to listen.
- Check in with them every day.
- If they’re up for it, schedule a visit.
- Take their kids out for dinner or a play date.
- Answer the phone when they call.
As a survivor, battling breast cancer was one of the hardest emotional and physical journeys I have ever been on, especially working full time and with two young children. This support really helped us in our time of need, and I hope they will help someone else!