Finding out someone you love has breast cancer can leave you feeling helpless, not knowing how best to comfort them in their times of need. And there are many times: finding out, surgeries, follow up surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, healing...
However, no matter how lost you may feel for words, that's no reason to pass up an opportunity to show them your support and love.
Recently a relative of mine found out that she too is joining the ranks: she has breast cancer. Fortunately, my favorite author, Barbara Delinsky, wrote a fabulous book for breast cancer survivors called: UPLIFT - Secrets from the Sisterhood of Breast Cancer Survivors.
From the back cover:
"UPLIFT is a handbook of practical tips and upbeat anecdotes for those with breast cancer. It contains useful woman-to-woman hints—things the doctor doesn't say—practical advice on topics ranging from what deodorant to use during radiation, to what minimizes nausea during chemo, to how to feel feminine and upbeat. This advice comes first-hand, in the words of 350+ breast cancer survivors, their sisters, children, parents, lovers, and friends."
Barbara put this fantastic book together "...because, as a survivor, [she] saw the need for a book that treated breast cancer as a do-able experience." That's exactly why I purchased a copy for my family member. It is an invaluable positive tool for cancer survivors, especially those new to the game. It can provide hope, humor and support during times where little may be available.
You can write a word or two in the front cover or leave it blank. Either way, your love and support will be felt and, even if you don't get a cookie, is very appreciated.
And, as always, if your near by, bring something easy to heat up for dinner after surgeries or while your loved one is having chemo or radiation. Or help out around the house. She needs to focus her energies on healing, not cooking dinner or keeping the house and laundry clean. And IF your help meets resistance (hint hint to my MIL) tell her that yes, she can do it all herself. That she's not an invalid...but does that mean that she should do it? Help out anyway you can. Be an ear to hear, a shoulder to cry on, or a mop in hand. It's all good.