Cancer is a tough and tricky disease that has significantly impacted many members of my family, including myself. We know first hand what it’s like to support loved ones with cancer and what it is like to be the loved one with cancer. I was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer in 2017 and endured months of treatments, radiation, and chemotherapy. I recently completed breast reconstruction surgery this past April. My name is Carrie and I’m a cancer thriver here to help you support your loved ones battling the ugly C.
My Favorite Do’s and Don’ts of Supporting a Cancer Fighter:
Do Celebrate Milestones: Upon completion of my chemotherapy treatments, I didn’t get to ring a bell with staff or my loved ones. I was really wanted to be recognized for all of my courage, strength, and hard work. Bell ringing’s don’t always happen, so it’s important to celebrate milestones with your loved ones that are fighting cancer. A few suggestions for celebrating accomplishments: sending cards and notes, making phone calls, sending or bringing by little gifts, like the Love Heals Journal or the Big Hug Lap Blanket.
Do Offer Communication: Now that I am almost done with my breast cancer journey, I have had family and friends tell me that at the beginning of my diagnosis with breast cancer they did not know if they should call or not, because they did not want to bother me or weren’t sure if I wanted to talk about what I was going through. I really wanted to be acknowledged and not talked about behind my back with whisper. My advice:If you’re not sure when to call, simply send them a note or an uplifting card. Let them know that you are thinking of them and that when they are ready to talk that you are there to listen to them.
A few don’ts: Please avoid giving advice or comparing your loved one’s cancer to anybody else’s. Everyone’s cancer journey is unique, especially in how it may affect them personally and emotionally.
My last snippet of advice for you is this: Don’t hesitate. Don’t wait to make people feel loved, appreciated and needed.
Best of health to all of you,
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