Being diagnosed with breast cancer is a fear that most women have. In fact, waiting for a mammogram and the ensuing results can be very frightening. If a woman is told that she has breast cancer, you can bet a hundred thoughts consume her brain within seconds.
The immediate thoughts are a fear of death, the loss of breasts through mastectomy, and cancer treatments, and if they can even afford to have cancer.
The first thought for many women isn’t even about themselves — it’s about their children and loved ones. How will they cope?
There are many ways to help a friend who has breast cancer. Here are a few.
1) Take Care of Her Children
A mother fears for her children's well-being as soon as she gets her diagnosis.
How will I tell them? Who will take care of them when I’m in surgery or treatment? What if I die?
If Mom has a husband or partner, he or she will likely be working to support the family and will also be helping her with cancer “stuff.” This is where you, the friend, can jump in and help. Join with some friends and set up a babysitting plan.
Have the kids for a sleepover. Bring them dinner — check first to see if they want any food, and if so, what kind they’d like. Help them with homework. Take them bowling, swimming, to the movies, and to any activity that will help get their minds off their mom’s health.
It’s frightening and confusing for a child when their mother is ill and doesn’t get well after a few days. Their world changes entirely. Any mother with breast cancer who has a friend who will take care of her children when needed has a real friend indeed. This will relieve her of stress and guilt and help her focus on getting better.
The same goes for the woman who has pets. Walk them, feed them, love them, even take them in for a while. Pets are like family for most people, so caring for them when she can’t will give her enormous relief.
2) Take Care of Her Home
There are several reasons to take care of her home. She certainly took care of it, or rather did, before getting sick.