Relationships With Friends And Family
It’s not always easy to talk about cancer, either for you or your family and friends. You may sense that some people feel awkward around you or avoid you.
Being open about how you feel and what your family and friends can do to help may put them at ease. However, do not be afraid to tell them that you need some time to yourself if that’s what you need.
Want to know more?
Encouraging Messages For Someone With Breast Cancer
About 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in 2020, according to the American Cancer Society. But there are lots of reasons to have hope there are currently more than 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States alone.;
Jump ahead to these sections:
If you have a loved one with breast cancer, there is no shortage of inspirational words you can say. Here are some encouraging quotes and messages for breast cancer patients.
How To Write To Someone Who Has Been Diagnosed With Cancer
This article was co-authored by Klare Heston, LCSW. Klare Heston is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker based in Cleveland, Ohio. With experience in academic counseling and clinical supervision, Klare received her Master of Social Work from the Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983. She also holds a 2-Year Post-Graduate Certificate from the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland, as well as certification in Family Therapy, Supervision, Mediation, and Trauma Recovery and Treatment . This article has been viewed 537,695 times.
If someone you know has been diagnosed with cancer, it can very hard to know what to say or how to express yourself. You will want to show concern, as well as expressing your support and encouragement. Writing a letter can be a good way to approach this, as you will have time to carefully choose your words. The tone of the letter will depend on your relationship but aim for a letter that expresses how you feel directly and clearly.
Read Also: How Treatable Is Breast Cancer
When Someone You Know Has Cancer
Finding out that someone you know has cancer can be difficult. If youre very close to the person, this can be a frightening and stressful time for you, too. If you are not comfortable talking about cancer, you might not be the best person for your friend to talk with at this time. You may need some time to work through your own feelings. You can even explain to your friend that you are having trouble talking about cancer. You might be able to help them find someone who is more comfortable talking about it by helping them look for support groups or connecting with a community or religious leader.
But if you feel you want to be there to help the person in your life with cancer, here are some suggestions for listening to, talking with, and being around this person. Communication and flexibility are the keys to success.
Things That Wont Help:
Its normal to not know what to say to a friend who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. While just being you and giving her your time can be greatly beneficial, there are some things that probably wont help:
- Dont tell her about the latest cure or treatment youve heard about.
- Dont burden her with your fears or worries.
- Dont tell her horror stories about other people with cancer.
- Dont give up on her or stop ringing or visiting.
- Dont tell her how she should be changing her lifestyle or diet. It may be hard enough for her to get out of bed in the morning.
- Dont tell her to be positive. That may make it hard for her to talk to you about how she really feels.
You May Like: Does Pain In Your Breast Mean Cancer
Whatever You Say Say Something
Sometimes the pressure to say the right thing can be overwhelming. What if your loved one starts to cry? What if they ask you something you dont know the answer to? What if they get mad at you? What if you make them feel worse?
The temptation may be to avoid the situation altogether. After all, they know that you care about them, dont they? The truth is, cancer is the elephant in the room. To not acknowledge it is almost more hurtful than anything you could ever say.
I Feel Awkward Talking About The Good Parts Of My Life How Can I Write To Someone With Cancer Without Seeming Boastful
Dont feel guilty that youre having fun, Alison and Brian encourage. Write about films youve seen, concerts youve been to, and books youve read. Your reader wants to hear about your normal life, and it wouldnt make sense to edit out the good parts. For your letter to be as genuine and friendly as possible, it has to be honest!
That said, its important to strike a balance. Avoid excessive bragging or droning on about your every success
Ultimately, you should strive to write from the heart. You dont have to be a prize-winning author or wordsmith to bring a smile to someones face. If youre writing authentically, thats all that matters.
Recommended Reading: Why Is Left Breast Cancer More Common
Being A Good Listener
A good listener tries to be aware of someones thoughts and feelings as much as they can. You dont need to have all the answers. Just listening to a persons concerns or worries can be hugely helpful.
A good listener tries to really tune in and listen to a person in the moment. Listening is an important part of providing emotional support.;
Here are some tips on how to listen well.
- Try to keep the setting private, relaxed and with few distractions.
- Maintain eye contact but dont stare.
- Let the person with cancer lead the conversation and try not to interrupt.
- Give your full attention to what they are saying.
- If youre finding it difficult or upsetting dont change the subject say how you feel, this can prevent any awkwardness.
- If they cry, dont try to cheer them up. Reassure them that its OK to be sad and that its a normal response to whats happening to them.
- A friendly touch of the hand can help but if they pull away give them space.
- Try not to give advice unless they have asked for it.
- Dont use humour unless they have used it themselves.
- Silences are OK, dont feel like you have to fill them with words.
This video has top tips from people affected by cancer on how to listen to someone with cancer. It is 54 seconds long.
How to listen to someone with cancer – Top tips from patients
Did You See The Latest Episode
This isnt a specific sayingits a reminder to talk about;something else;other than cancer. Cancer patients spend plenty of time discussing treatment, symptoms and prognosis. Your loved one will appreciate those who can find something brighter to talk about. Whatever the topic, getting their mind off their illness will be refreshing.
Don’t Miss: What Blood Test Can Detect Breast Cancer
What Are Some Encouraging Words That I Can Write To A Friend With Cancer
After youre past the first line, dive straight into the main part of your letter. Alison and Brian recommend that you begin by choosing a topic to write about, as this will make your letter-writing feel less intimidating.
It may be office gossip for a work colleague, stories from the school gates, or family updates, write Alison and Brian. No matter the subject, anecdotes of everyday life connect the reader back with the real world and this can be a pleasant change for people who are spending lots of time at home in bed, or travelling to and from the hospital.
Once youve chosen a topic, get writing! Feel free to provide lots of detail, and bring your reader along with you! Its fun to read about the little details of others lives; even for a few brief minutes.
If youre stuck for topics, you could write about nature , childhood recollections, or shared stories that your reader will appreciate. Even small observations can really help to draw your reader out of their day-to-day routine and give them pause to think and reflect.
A Cancer Survivor’s Husband On Just Being There
Knowing what to say in stressful situations is always difficult, especially when the situation is a life-threatening diagnosis. The most important things are to think before you speak, allow the person to talk without interruption, and to make them the focus of the conversation.
Pay attention to cues about how much or how little they wish to talk about their diagnosis. Expressing care and compassion in the things you say can go a long way on your loved one’s cancer journey.
Read Also: Who Is At High Risk For Breast Cancer
Support Caregivers And Other Family Members Too
People are so focused on the patients and how theyre doing that they forget to ask caregivers how theyre doing, Blackler says. Caregivers are stressed out. Theyre trying to juggle their existing roles and take over new responsibilities that the person whos sick used to do.
You can offer to help by babysitting the kids for a night or driving them to soccer practice. Or perhaps helping out just means sitting in the hospital room while the caregiver steps out for a cup of coffee.
Encouraging Words For Breast Cancer: When She Might Have To Have Her Breast Removed
I know that nothing can really soothe the pain and uncertainty that youre surely feeling.;My dear, I want you to know that all of your friends will be here in the hall during the procedure.;We will be praying for you while waiting for you to come out of surgery so that we can hug you and be with you as soon as its over.Marcia, I just want to say that I think youre very brave to undergo this procedure; I admire how youre fighting when many others might give up.;Its inspiring that youve chosen to go through this; Even though there will likely be some permanent side effects on the body, you are making the right choice.;All of us here wish you the best and a quick recovery.
You may also like
25 Best Encouraging Words for Family of Sick Person
Dearest Marie, as you head into surgery, I just wanted you to know that millions of women in the United States go through this procedure every year, and they go on to live full lives, pursuing their interests, and being with their families.;You will be one of these women, and I hope that hearing this can make you feel better.Ellis, I know you must be feeling over a thousand emotions right now, especially regarding the surgery.;I If one of them is doubt, I want you to consider this fact: a mastectomy has over a 95% chance of averting breast cancer entirely, according to experts and the latest studies.;Youre doing the right thing, Ellis. I want to wish you good luck.
Recommended Reading: How Do Doctors Treat Breast Cancer
Dont Say Anything Just Listen
From the minute a doctor gives their patient diagnosis, they face feelings of fear and anxiety. Its an entirely different way of living, a different field of health care, and its incredibly stressful. When you find out a loved one has breast cancer, and as they enter the process of diagnosis and treatment, do your best to listen and be there.
Let them express their worries, their fears, and their pain.
The Emotions They Might Feel
You might find that their mood changes from one moment to the next. This is a normal response to a diagnosis of cancer. There are a whole range of emotions that they might experience including:
Having an understanding of these emotions can help you to support them.
We have a section all about cancer and emotions, which you may want to look at.
Don’t Miss: When Can Breast Cancer Occur
Need Someone To Talk To Necesita Hablar
Feeling overwhelmed?;Call our Breast Care Helpline;and talk with one of our;trained and caring staff members. The helpline can help you find more information, talk you through your questions or just help you get through a rough spot. Call the breast care helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN , Monday through Friday, 9am to 10pm ET or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Se habla Español.
How Should I End My Card
When youre drawing to the end of your letter, its also best to avoid being too emotional or overly sympathetic or empathetic. Keep the tone the same as the rest of the letter, writes Alison. A simple I will keep thinking of you, or I wish you much love and strength or Im sending you a big hug is a perfect way to end your note.;
Lastly, Alison and Brian urge you: dont over-promise! You may choose to write again but know that the reader is grateful for this one letter. Its better to avoid setting expectations; endeavour to write again, but dont risk disappointing your reader or yourself with a rigid writing schedule.;
Things To Say To Someone With Cancer
When a friend or loved one receives a cancer diagnosis, it’s important to be there and show you care. But finding the right words can be hard.What can you say that won’t scare or upset your friend or loved one? What can you say that will give them the hope and strength they need to confront cancer?We recently asked the cancer patients, survivors and caregivers in our to share the best things to say to someone with cancer.Here’s what they recommend.
Encouraging Words For Breast Cancer: When Someone Has Just Been Diagnosed
Darling, this is very unfortunate. Whatever youre feeling right now, I want you to know that I am here for you.;You will not be alone for even one moment because were going to get through this together.;You can imagine my hand holding yours for the whole way, regardless of the hurdles that this will bring.Joanie, I am so sorry about your news. Please dont be too sad or consider yourself unfortunate.;In many ways, you are the lucky one because your illness has been diagnosed, and you can be treated quickly and effectively.;Some women get a late diagnosis, and its too late for them to even say goodbye. Now, you know, and you can beat this.This has happened, and its unfortunate. However, we shouldnt dwell on it for too long.;Going forward, this situation is going to require a lot of sacrifices and decision-making on your part, and I believe that you can get through the worst of this.;Youve always had a silent strength that inspired me, and I am sure it will get you through this.Rosie, I just want you to know that everything will be fine, regardless of this devastating news.;Whatever your worries, you should know that this diagnosis doesnt automatically mean that your world is ending; it does not mean that you will lose your career or your family.;I just know that everything will be fine in the end.
Join The Fight Against Cancer
Service is a healing activity. Joining the cause can give you and your loved one a chance to connect and work with other people facing the same challenges you are. Every October is International Breast Cancer Awareness Month, where caregivers, survivors, patients, friends and family members band together to raise awareness and raise funds for breast cancer programs.
In the United States, The National Breast Cancer Foundation encourages people to donate to the cause. They also encourage people to run fundraisers and other events in the name of Breast Cancer Awareness.
In England, Breast Cancer Now hosts Wear It Pink day which is one of the biggest fundraising events in the UK. Just like it sounds, they encourage participants to wear pink to raise awareness and host fundraisers to support research and care for breast cancer. They also provide these helpful tips for breast cancer support for family members.
This year, Wear It Pink Day will be Friday, October 23.
Facing The Final Stages Of Life
When;someone’s cancer is no longer responding to treatment, it can also be a scary time for those close to them. No matter how hard it might be, it’s still important to try to be there to give support. Try to follow the cues and stay in the background but be available when they need you.
Some people worry about what to say when a person with cancer talks or asks about dying. Listen to them and be open and honest. Dont try to answer questions that you dont know the answers to. Offer to help them reach out to their health care team. There are no magic words for a person who is dying, but often your presence and support goes a long way.
What To Say And Not To Say To A Cancer Patient
What to say to someone with breast cancer:
What not to say to someone with breast cancer: