With a strong support system, breast cancer becomes much easier to deal with.
A single twig is easy to break. But, when you put more and more sticks together in a bundle, they’re much stronger. You can’t crack them in half like you could before. This may sound random, but trust me, there’s a lesson coming.
Hearing the news that you are diagnosed with breast cancer is incredibly hard; it’s a life-changer moment. When you’re going through something that difficult, the last thing you need is to be going through it by yourself.
1 in 8 American women will develop invasive breast cancer in her life. That means, chances are, you will know someone who will be afflicted with breast cancer. Dependent on stage of detection, survival rates are getting higher, but that doesn’t mean the process isn't one of the toughest things a woman with breast cancer might go through in her life.
So, if you have a friend or family member that is diagnosed with breast cancer, what can you do?
The most important thing you can do is support her. If you’re comfortable with it, when your friend or family member goes though chemo, shave your head. She will essentially be sitting in a room for a few hours with poison being injected into her blood stream. Sure, you might miss your hair, but think about what your friend or family member is going through. Sympathy and support is key.
There are cancer support groups all across the country. As much as you love and care about your friend or family member, you can’t fully understand what she is going through unless you have gone through it yourself. So, in addition to frequent hospital and/or home visits to spend quality time with your friend or family member, try offering to take them to a support group full of other people who are or have been afflicted with cancer.
Surprise Her with the Little Things
The little things can also really make a difference. Your friend or family member with breast cancer is going to feel sad and depressed sometimes. Cancer is scary. Help her forget about it for a little while by bringing over her favorite movie to watch with her or maybe help her with some catharsis by bringing over some romantic comedies. Even invite some other friends over, make it a little party. Don’t forget though, that fighting cancer is exhausting and taking it easy is probably a good idea.
Immerse yourself in your friend or family member’s support system and encourage other people to join it to. Together, like the sticks, you will be harder to break and stronger in a group.