Everything Will Be Ok
Though medical advances have lowered the death rates for breast cancer, the hard truth is no one knows how the disease will progress for your friend.
Its creating false hope because we dont know whats going to happen, Muradian says.
It can also make your friend feel patronized, because theyre likely well aware that things may not be okay.
Bonds Of London Sugar Free Sherbert Lemons
For sugar-free hard candy
Hard candy, such as lemon drops or mints, may help remove the unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth from chemotherapy. However, it is important to note that sugar-free candy may cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea in some people.
These sugar-free lemon sherbet candies come individually wrapped and feature a sherbert center.
They are available for around $6.99 on Amazon.
NCI states chemotherapy treatment can cause the skin to become dry, itchy, or red. It may even cause the skin to darken in appearance or peel, while the nails may also become cracked and dark.
Fragrance-free skin care that is gentle and mild can help moisturize and soothe dry and irritated skin, and lip balms and hand creams can ease chapped or cracked lips and nails.
Helping Someone You Love Through This Scary Time
In 2001 Marsha Silver was buttoning up her blouse after a repeat mammogram when the radiologist walked in and announced, “Sure looks like breast cancer to me.” Stunned, Marsha left the office and immediately called her husband Marc at work. After asking a few questions, he said, “Okay, honey. See you tonight,” and hung up the phone. Marsha later told him she thought she’d called the wrong husband.
“She thought I wasn’t going to be any help and that I would not be able to be there the way she needed me,” says Marc, remembering his early missteps as a caregiver. “That first weekend, I didn’t know what to do because she looked so stunned and sad. I had no frame of reference for how to be a caregiver and support someone with a cancer diagnosis. I thought I should cheer her up, so I took her to a big festival. She walked around like a zombie. She looked so bereft and lost. Whatever I was doing was not the right thing.”
The Tuesday after receiving that shocking news, Marc and Marsha met with a surgeon to discuss her options. During that appointment, Marc realized he couldn’t run away from the situation. He had to face it head on.
Marc is one of countless people in this country supporting a friend or family member with breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, it’s estimated that 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in women.
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What Can I Do To Help
Whether your friend or family member is newly diagnosed or in the midst of treatment, she’s unlikely to be wowed by vague offers or having to do your thinking for you. She has enough on her mind she has cancer. She may not want that tuna casserole or to hear about what treatment your Aunt Phyllis had either. So how can you help? There is no one-size-fits-all answer. That’s why we turned to survivors for our list of support dos and don’ts. Our patient-generated advice is sorted into three stages
Diagnosis, Surgery & Treatment, and Recoveryidentified by Maureen Broderick, a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with cancer patients and run cancer support groups. Here’s what you need to know.
Other Care Package Ideas To Consider
Besides purchasing a physical gift, you may consider checking on which streaming entertainment services your friend has available. Your friend may want to binge-watch some of their favorite shows while waiting for their radiation appointment or while healing at home.
More than anything else, make sure you are there for your friend emotionally. Fighting cancer is hard on the body, but your friend will experience new emotions. Be their sounding board. Let them share their thoughts and feelings with you without passing judgment.
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Hair Accessories To Bring A Smile
Going through chemotherapy often causes hair loss. I personally lost all of the hair on my head and body for the entirety of my treatments. I tried to help myself cope with the loss by accessorizing as much as I could and having fun with it to the best of my abilities. I bought scarves in colorful and vibrant prints and learned how to tie them on my head in different ways. I bought fun hats and headbands to wear as my hair started growing back. I bought a wig, which I wore to a few formal occasions to feel more confident. Any hair accessory would be a gift that could be used by someone undergoing treatment and beyond. My advice for dealing with hair loss is simple: Whatever you need to do to feel better do it. If you feel empowered and strong wearing a wig do it. If you feel confident wearing a hat or headscarf do it. If you want to rock the bald head do it. I did all of these as I navigated through my cancer journey and while there is no right way to deal with this loss, trying to find joy and making the best of it can help.
Treatment Is A Long Road
Many people with breast cancer need to take meds for 5-10 years to try to keep cancer from coming back. These drugs can have bad side effects like bone and joint pain, mood swings, and fatigue. Often doctors prescribe other pills — like antidepressants and pain meds — to fight those side effects. Know that your loved one might not be back to their âold selfâ for a while.
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Encouraging Messages For An Acquaintance Or Coworker With Breast Cancer
If you have an acquaintance or coworker dealing with breast cancer, you may not want to overstep your boundaries.
But it can be good for this person to receive encouraging messages from even casual acquaintances who know about the struggle. Here are some examples of positive messages for cancer patients that you may not be as close with.
7. I really admire your work ethic. Even when youre fighting breast cancer, you remain conscientious about work. Youre such a valuable member of our team.
Many cancer patients just want to regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. This means they might really throw themselves into their work to show that their illness wont get them off track. Let your coworker know that you see those efforts and you appreciate everything they do.
8. I know that we dont know each other well, but I just wanted to let you know that Im so impressed with you. Youre a true warrior. Im sure you have a lot of support in your life, but let me know if you want me to connect you to the other cancer patients I know.
Having cancer can be a very isolating experience. If you have a coworker or acquaintance going through cancer treatment, you can help her find a solid support system. You may even become part of it thanks to encouraging messages like these.
Even a boss needs to hear that shes doing a good job. If your supervisor is fighting breast cancer, let her know you admire her strength there and in all other aspects of her life.
Sdbing Super Soft Fleece
For fleece-lined socks
These socks are available in a range of colors and patterns. They come in shoe sizes ranging from 6 to 11.
Its sole features silicone rubber grips to prevent slipping on smooth hospital floors, while a cozy fleece lining helps keep the feet and toes warm and comfortable.
They are available for around $11.99 on Amazon.
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You Got This Encouragement Box
Perfectly hand-chosen, this sweet little gift box is a nice way to show you care. And its not too big that it will take up too much space in her hospital room, or even her purse!
Filled with yummy delights like lip balm and bath salts, it aims to please even the pickiest of patients.
The Brobe Surgery Recovery Robe
The Brobe was created specifically for women undergoing breast cancer surgery and is a great tool for women recovering from a mastectomy, lumpectomy, breast reconstructive surgery, or other breast surgery. It has pockets on the inside for post-operative fluid JP Drains, and also has a built-in bra with a front snap and Velcro closure. Check out The Brobe Surgery Recovery Robe, $98, here.
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Miena Robe Or Gownies Recovery Robe
Having cancer involves a lot of doctor’s appointments. Dr. Kotiah recommends gifting your loved one with comfortable clothes to rest in while they’re getting treatment, and which allow for any port in the chest area to be easily accessed.
Dena suggests the Miena Robe, which includes a drain management belt, or something from the Gownies recovery wear collection.
Dont Say ‘call Me If You Need Me’
Youâll probably never get the call. Itâs better to be specific about what you can do. Say âI can help you with housework on Tuesday or Thursday,â or, âI’m making some casseroles, is there something you would prefer or any ingredient I should avoid?â If they’re recovering from surgery, offer to wash their hair since reaching above their head is nearly impossible.
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Offer To Go With Them To Doctor Appointments
You dont need to spend any money at all on perhaps the most important gift you could give: your time. Offer to spend time with your loved one in any way they might need you could go with them to an appointment, organize a weekly coffee date, or just stop by for an hourlong chat . When people get cancer, sometimes friends dont know how to react and end up pulling away, which is the last thing anyone coping with a serious health diagnosis needs. Your friend needs you now more than ever, so make an effort to see them, listen to them, and make sure they know you will always be there.
And dont put the brakes on all the fun things you used to do. Keep texting those silly memes, inviting them to social events youre planning and letting them know whats happening in your life. Help them maintain a sense of normalcy, and remind them that your love for them hasnt changed.
the gift of presence knowing someone is walking alongside you in this journey is priceless! Frankie D. said.
Your love, support, and your time. My mom passed away from cancer when I was 17 and Im still sad to this day that I didnt spend more time with her when she was sick. Always make time for them because you never know how much time they have left, Alyssa J. said.
your time. And your undivided attention, Elizabeth V. said.
What Should I Say
At first you might feel unsure about what to say or do, being open and sensitive to how they are feeling is what most people need. Knowing you are there for them will really help.
Every person with cancer has a different experience so try not to assume how they might be feeling. They may feel happy one day and sad the next. Try to be mindful of their mood.
Remember that they might not want to talk or think about their cancer all of the time. Having a normal conversation about everyday things and sharing a joke can sometimes be very welcome.
Try not to take it personally if they dont want to talk about their cancer and respect their need for privacy or to have some quiet time.
This video has tips from people with cancer about talking to someone with cancer. It lasts for 54 seconds.
How to talk to someone with cancer – Top tips from patients
This must be a tough time for you.I can’t imagine how you feel.I’m sorry youre going through something like this.I don’t know what to say.I’m here for you if you want to talk.I know staying positive can be hard, how are you really?Do you want a lift to your appointment?I saw a really good film the other day you might want to watch it.I can talk abut me if you like.I can drop some dinner over tonight.
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The Gift Of Reliable Rides To The Hospital And Clinic For Appointments
Patients have to see their surgeons for at least one follow-up appointment after a single or double mastectomy, and one of the best gift ideas for her is company. She may not be able to drive, and might really appreciate the support. You might also offer to help her keep track of her doctors appointments, via a shared calendar.
Gift Card To Clothing Store
Your friends clothing size may have changed after going through cancer treatment. Purchase a gift card to the mall or their favorite clothing store to help them restock their wardrobe.
Even if their size didnt change, your friend might feel energized to try different styles after going through cancer treatment.
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Warm Embrace Willow Tree
This sweet little Willow Tree figurine will be a family heirloom for sure. Its darling with being obnoxiously sugar-sweet, and will match any décor. Whether she keeps it on her nightstand, her desk, or front and center on her kitchen table, shell love looking at this over and over again.
They Need A ‘wingman’
Itâs easy for someone with breast cancer to get overwhelmed by the decisions they have to make. They might need your help to understand it all. Offer to go along to important doctorâs appointments to take notes and ask questions. Having another set of ears in the room may ease their mind. You can offer to drive them to chemotherapy or radiation sessions, too.
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If You Have Side Effects
Nausea. If you experience nausea, your dietitian may recommend that you try to eat more foods that are cool or at room temperature because they dont have a strong odor. It may also help to eat lower-fat food since fats take longer to digest.
Dont skip meals entirely if you have nausea, since an empty stomach can make nausea worse, Taylor says. Instead, focus on small bites of food throughout the day. Avoid strong flavors. Feel free to incorporate ginger root into your recipes, as this can help settle a nauseated stomach.
Constipation. If constipation becomes an issue, your dietitian may encourage you to eat fiber-rich foods and increase your fluid intake, Taylor adds. Low-intensity walking and warm beverages also can help encourage regular bowel movements.
Fatigue. To combat fatigue, choose high-protein snacks and small frequent meals rather than large meals. People often experience more fatigue when theyre not eating well, or when theyre losing weight during treatment.
If youre experiencing any side effect that affects your ability to eat regularly, ask your care team if you can meet with a dietitian to review individualized nutrition recommendations.
Gift Ideas For Breast Cancer Patients
About the Author: I found a lump in my breast the month after my 24th birthday. As I was about to go in for my lumpectomy/biopsy that I pushed so hard for, I was once again assured that I’d feel “better” once it was gone and that they were sure it was benign since I was young, healthy, very low risk and had minimal family history… Turns out I had Stage 2 Breast Cancer – with invasion of the lymph nodes, diagnosed 10/2/2017. Terrified, but determined to fight as hard as possible, I underwent an eight-hour bi-lateral mastectomy with immediate reconstructive surgery 2 months later, six months of Chemotherapy including Cytoxan, Adriamycin and Taxol, 33 rounds of Radiation, and am taking Tamoxifen daily & having Lupron injections monthly for 5-10 years to prevent recurrence. I will be 1-year cancer-free in September.
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A Monthly Gift Subscription Of Food
Help her recover from her surgery by giving her a Fruit, Cheese and Nuts Delight Fruit Basket. Even better is a monthly subscription of a High Protein Fitness Healthy Snack Box! Many women who undergo single or double mastectomies also have to take chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. The best breast cancer gift is something she can rely on regularly, not a one-time wonder.
Another monthly subscription idea is a TheraBox Self Care Subscription Box filled with wellness products.
Id choose a monthly food gift subscription because nourishment is extremely important after breast cancer surgery. However, many women dont have an appetite or want to eat after a mastectomy. Surgery patients are often on heavy narcotics for pain management, which causes constipation and discomfort. Thats why theyre encouraged to increase fluid intake and eat high fiber foods such as prunes and bran. A great monthly gift subscription would be an assortment of high-fiber fruit and bran muffins from a local bakery, restaurant, or your own kitchen.