When you find that a family member or acquaintance has breast cancer, your first instinct is to rush over to them and provide your support, even if you don’t know what to do. Unfortunately, there are occasions when your well-intended desire to assist and encourage may do more damage than good. So, before you contact or ask a cancer-stricken patient for facts and information about cancer, it could be a good idea to discover how you can efficiently give assistance. Here are eight methods to help a breast cancer sufferer emotionally:
Conduct your research
Let’s face it: not everyone is familiar with or understands breast cancer. When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, even physicians are at a loss on what to do. So, for a genuine approach to provide encouragement, look to real breast cancer support and counseling websites. Such organizations provide information on how to provide emotional support to a patient suffering from the condition.
Be present before to, during, and after treatment.
Another way you can provide emotional support is by being there throughout the whole process. There are many unknowns when it comes to cancer. Despite an abundance of research on breast cancer treatment choices and survival, there are no guarantees regarding what the future holds for the patient.
As a result, the emotional support you can provide them is your constancy and readiness to assist them throughout the trip. It’s important to remember that life following breast cancer treatment may be frightening and difficult, so don’t forget to be there for your friend or loved one during this difficult time.
Listen With Your Heart
When a close friend or family member confides in you about their breast cancer diagnosis, you are likely to be taken aback. But keep in mind that this isn’t about you or your emotions. At this moment, the greatest thing you can do is share your loved one’s emotional weight.
Try to listen with your heart, not just your ears, to what the cancer patient is feeling. Allow the individual to express their emotions, anxieties, and concerns. At this point of their cancer experience, all they need is to know that you care and that you’re there to support and comfort them.
Understand What Not To Say
Cancer patients’ friends and family members often desire to be problem solvers, cheerleaders, or pep talkers. However, they are not always the items that a patient need. Some breast cancer patients have expressed a desire to avoid hearing phrases such as “you’re strong,” “you’ve got this,” and “you inspire us.” These may be your feelings, but they might make patients even more angry and dejected.
So, rather of attempting to encourage a person living with breast cancer to become a warrior and battle the illness, tell them you’re thinking of them and praying for them.
Inform them that you are available at all times.
Many cancer sufferers prefer not to disturb others. They try not to inconvenience even their spouse if they want assistance. Assuring them that they may contact you at any moment is one way you can provide emotional or even practical assistance.
Aside from the physical discomforts caused by the illness or treatment, cancer patients often experience depression and emotional overload. If you’re sincere and willing to help, you may advise them to contact you even if they’re feeling bad or sad, even if it’s in the middle of the night.
Try things that have previously worked.
If you are a long-term friend, partner, or family member, the breast cancer diagnosis may not be the first challenge you and the patient will encounter. So, think back on how the two of you handled with challenging situations in the past.
Perhaps a vacation to the beach helped you deal with sorrow, or singing your heart out at a karaoke bar before a test helped you relax. During these difficult times, you might try to perform things that have previously helped to solve difficulties.
Maintain A Semblance Of Normalcy
Coworkers, distant relatives, and long-lost acquaintances often shower cancer patients with well wishes and words of support. Although the overwhelming show of support is a welcome relief, talking about cancer nonstop can be exhausting, too.
Thus, you may wish to chat about mundane topics to assist your loved one deal emotionally with the circumstance. If you have a game night every Tuesday, try to keep it going so your cancer patient may forget about their condition and feel normal again, even if just for a time.