Newly Diagnosed – Friends & Family

Has one of your loved ones been recently diagnosed?

If you’re not sure how to help, but don’t want to burden them by asking, then you’ve come to the right place!

The Breast Cancer Action community is one of both survivors & the loved ones of those who have faced a breast cancer diagnosis. The families & friends of breast cancer patients are an invaluable source of support and encouragement during the treatment and post-treatment journey, but we understand that it is not always easy to know how best to show your love at this time. If you want to ask “How can I help?” but are worried about the burden that this question puts on a patient, then you are not alone.

We have asked our extensive community to consider the things that they have done, or have had done for them, that have had an impact on someone facing a breast cancer diagnosis. If you are looking for a way to lend your help and support, then this list is a great place to start!

Things that can help our loved ones get through treatment

“Victoria’s Quilt – check that out. Very cool.” -Katie

“Recently I had some girlfriends put together a care package for me. It included the beautiful basket that it all came in, a gas card, a restaurant gift card, a scarf, an iTunes card, a Chapters gift card, a blanket, movie passes, candy, healthy snacks, and magazines for when I had down time. How great is that?” -Katie

“Maybe offer to help with paper work. When you get cancer there is a ton of paper work, insurance, income tax, work disability papers, etc. It is overwhelming and I could use the help.” -Katie

Things that can help ease everyday stress

“The whole casserole thing seems dated but I still appreciate it. It means a meal I don’t have to make for myself.” -Katie

“My friends got together, knew I wasn’t working, and threw a benefit for me to help us pay our rent, pay for parking at the hospital, etc. It was quite clear that we could spend the money on whatever we wanted – my girlfriend who put it all together said ‘You can buy a puppy with this money if you want.’ So it was a no pressure situation but the money went to prescriptions, parking, groceries, a weekend getaway, rent, car payments, etc. It was so wonderfully generous.” -Katie

“I really appreciate offers to make phone calls or do research. There is so much information out there and there is a lot of crap to have to syphon through, so if I have a question, I would like a go-to person that I can send the question to and they can respond with fact, not opinion or garbage found online.” -Katie

“Get some friends together and organize some meals so that they don’t have to think about it…or just pick up some groceries for them!” -Anonymous

“Do some house chores, or yard work to help out.” -Anonymous

“Offer to host a play date, or organize activities for kids to give them a break and let them rest.” -Anonymous

Kind words & thoughtful gestures

“I was just recently sent a USB stick in the mail with one of my cousin’s favourite shows on it. She knew that I was home a lot and resting quite a bit so she sent me this to help pass the time. Loved this idea. ” – Katie

“The constant sending of cards or something in the mail is really nice! People tend to send stuff in the beginning but then all of a sudden it plateaus and it sometimes feels like no one is thinking of you (even though you know they are). If everyone sent three cards over the span of my treatment, that would have been so supportive.” -Katie

The importance of care for the caregivers & loved ones

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