October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and we wanted to do our part to spread awareness and offer simple ways to help those in your life that may be affected by this disease. Receiving a cancer diagnosis changes everything in life. Vacations need to be postponed, schedules adjusted, big plans paused.
How do you take such news? It’s expected that after diagnosis, spirits can be low and emotions will be high. That’s when friends matter most. Here are four ways to support a loved one that’s been diagnosed with cancer.
• Be patient. There are numerous thoughts and emotions that your friend will be going through. How did I get cancer? Why? What will happen? There will be many things that will want to be answered, but can’t. Sometimes, a friend just needs an ear. Be patient with them as they adjust to a new normal.
• Remember the little things. Several studies have suggested that a cancer patient having a positive outlook can influence their treatment. Help your friend stay positive. By talking about the little things in life that make it such a wonderful journey, you inspiring their positive outlook may be exactly what the doctor ordered.
• Keep their mind busy. It’s natural for a cancer patient to have endless throughs running through their mind. Keep those thoughts positive by being there to support or entertain them to keep their mind busy to avoid focusing on naturally-inclined negative thoughts. Be a companion that they can converse with. Take them shopping to get out of the house. Welcome them over for dinner. Keep them busy and feeling normal.
• Bear in mind to take care of yourself. Some admirable people dedicate their life towards helping their friend or family member with cancer. While you forge a noble path, remember that you can only be as helpful to someone else as you are to yourself first. To help someone else be happy and healthy, you, too, must be happy and healthy. For you to be an emotionally positive outlet for your friend, you, too, have to be energetic and emotionally positive. Take care of yourself, too, so you can best take care of your loved one.