When someone you care about is diagnosed with breast or other cancers, you want to help, but you may not know exactly what to do.
Here are 5 things the Doctors at the The Surgery Group of Los Angeles suggest:
1. Take the Lead.
Your loved one is dealing with surgery, doctors’ appointments, chemo and radiation treatments. That’s a lot. So you need to deal with all the stuff they’re not dealing with. That includes childcare, vet appointments, errands. Pick up the slack.
2. Set up a Squad
Someone needs to figure out shopping for food, preparing the meals, and cleaning up. Don’t forget the dry cleaning and keeping the gas tank full. When one person is out of commission, round up a squad and take care of everything. You’ve got this.
3. Conduct Research
Do not Google random statistics and then get all morose. Do not suggest that your loved one should abandon accepted standards of oncologic care and rush to try the that new hyped up method for curing cancer that includes nothing but nonsense. So to be clear, avoid the clinics in the rainforest that offer pickled Iguana intestines as a cure for cancer! Be discerning when conducting online research. Stick to reputable websites that typically end in .org.
4. Be a Friend.
Be emotionally and physically available to your loved one. Remember they are facing their mortality. The very least you can do for them is figure out what their emotional needs are. Some days the patient will need you to hang out with them to create that sense of normalcy they once had with and other days they will want to be alone. Let your loved one take the lead with the level of emotional support they want from you.
5. Show them how to be Present while Connected
There is so much for a cancer patient to deal with and staying in touch with current trends in culture may not be high on their priority list. But on the other hand they might be thinking about reconnecting with children and grandchildren. One of the best ways to remain relevant is to be tuned in. Help your loved one become the next new Instagram wonder by documenting their journey triumphant journey! That’s right, show them just how cool watching the latest greatest Netflix series is.
Letting someone know you are with them through every step of their journey is the best comfort you can provide.