When someone in your life tells you that they have been diagnosed with breast cancer, it's difficult to know how to respond or the best way to help. Glamour and Bright Pink, a nonprofit support group for women with breast and ovarian cancer, offered these helpful tips on how to make the conversation easier:
- Don't try to guess what she wants — ask how can you help. Some women may want a special girls' night in, while others may need a friend to go with her to doctor's appointments.
- Don't burden her with your sadness. She's carrying the weight of her own fear and grief, try not to give her yours as well — she needs all the strength you can offer.
There are more tips, so keep reading.
- Never say, "I know how you feel" unless you've been there yourself. Cancer is a standalone issue, don't try to relate a bad experience you've had in another situation. It's OK to say you have no idea what your friend is feeling.
- Know what gifts not to give. Food and flowers are big no-nos for cancer patients because of their sensitivity to taste and smells. Instead, give gifts that pamper and might make hospital stays easier, like soft blankets, magazines, or comfy pajamas.
- Join the fight. Volunteer for a breast cancer organization, take part in a charity run or walk, or anything else that shows you care about the cause.
I think these are some great tips to get the conversation going. Can any of you add to this list from your own experiences?