Finding out your family member or friend has breast cancer is a shock. It’s sad and scary, and will most likely leave you wondering, “What can I do to help?” The answer: There’s a lot you can do. From making a meal to just being someone to talk to, you can make a difference in the life of someone battling (opens in a new tab). Keep reading to discover some of the best ways you can help.
Be a Listening Ear
Simply listen. Your loved one or friend probably has a million things running though her mind. Being there to just listen is one of the most important things you can do. Schedule a quiet time without any distractions to either meet up with your family member/friend or jump on the phone. Let her direct the conversation. If she doesn’t want to talk about her diagnosis, respect that, and bring up a new topic. It’s amazing how good someone can feel after a long talk with a person she cares about.
Bring a Meal
A cancer diagnosis often comes with many doctors’ appointments, medications, and various treatments that can be very draining. And if your family member/friend has kids, a job, or other responsibilities, things like making a (opens in a new tab) can easily be pushed out the window. Find out a few of her favorite meals and offer to bring her a meal once or twice a week. Or, if she’s the type that doesn’t accept help easily, just show up with food. Keep in mind that she might not always be hungry thanks to medications and medical treatments. That’s why meals that can be premade and frozen, like lasagna, are a great option. This gives the person flexibility to heat and eat food as needed.
Offer Yourself as a Chauffeur
Battling cancer is an exhausting process. Also, treatments such as chemo can leave a person feeling sick and drained, which makes her unable to drive. Offer to pick your friend/family member up from doctors’ appointments, offer to take her to and from the grocery or bank, or let her stay at home while you pick the kids up from school. Driving when she is tired and doesn’t feel well is not only unpleasant, but it’s dangerous. Give your family member/friend a hand by becoming her chauffeur.
Plan a Night Out
Sometimes it’s nice to get out and enjoy a fun activity. If your friend/family member is feeling good, offer to take her out for a while to do something fun. Here are a few fun ideas:
- See a movie.
- Go to brunch.
- Paint pottery.
- Take a walk in the park.
- Splurge on a mini shopping spree.
- Bake a delicious treat together.
It doesn’t have to be crazy. Just take a few hours to enjoy each other’s company and have some fun!
It’s always special to get a card in the mail. All it takes is a simple note to make someone feel warm and fuzzy and loved. Make a homemade card or get one from the store, and write a handwritten note. Tell a joke, share a funny (opens in a new tab), or write words of encouragement. Better yet, send a series of cards doing all of these things. If you live near your family member/friend, drop off notes throughout the week. Leave them on the door step or tape them to a car. Get creative! Better yet, rally a bunch of friends in the area to leave notes/cards to show your loved one/friend that she is loved and thought of.