Let Friends and Family Help
Rule number one: friends and family want to help. But they may not know how, so you will need to let them know. Not everyone is comfortable with illness and some may find it hard to extend a hand. But let those who want to help, help. There are many ways people can help you while you are going through breast cancer treatment. It may be something as simple as sending you a card or note with heartfelt concern and thoughts of you. Others may want to help with child care, meal preparation, or providing rides for you or your family. Friends and family want to feel useful and it brings them comfort to be able to help in any way they can. The gift of love and friendship can bring people together to support and surround you during your illness. Afford them this opportunity and it will be a win-win situation.
In His Own Words
I think that shining the light of humor on a difficult situation always helps. Obviously cancer is about as serious as things get, and there are some pretty heavy moments. But treating it as the “c” word and forgetting how to laugh doesn't help. We have a great picture of me, my mom, and my dad all in full “cue-ball” mode and all laughing. I had shaved my head for swimming, my dad was naturally glossy, and Mom was in the middle of chemo, but the picture and the situation it captured were both comical. I think everybody feels better if someone can lighten the mood and try and focus on what's going on in life, not just in illness.
— Casey, son of Ellen, 12-year survivor
It is important to recognize that not all friends and family who want to help you may be of support to you. They may be well-intentioned but can be self-centered and often you will find yourself having to be a support for them rather than the other way around. Choose carefully who you let into your circle of support. Allow the ones you can count on to bring you comfort and help lighten your burden. It will make all the difference in the world to you and to your circle of support.