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What To Say To Someone Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Most Encouraging Words For Someone With Cancer

Support a Loved One with Cancer: What to Say

A diagnosis of cancer can make a person feel removed from everyday life. It can be a time of awful, overwhelming loneliness paired with feeling out of control. Sometimes the most moving words the sufferer will hear are the most basic: “I’m here for you. Let me know what you need.” Saying that and meaning it may be the most incredibly important act of kindness you’ll ever do for your loved one. Discover a number of sayings that can comfort and inspire someone who has cancer.

What If The Person Refuses Or Stops Cancer Treatment

At some point during a person’s cancer journey, they might refuse or decide to stop cancer treatment. You might feel like they’re giving up, and that can be upsetting or frustrating. You might not agree with their decision, but it is important to support them and give them the space to decide what they feel is best for their health, well-being, and quality of life.

Even after a person refuses cancer treatment or decides to stop their treatment, it’s important to make sure they fully understand their options. You might want to suggest the person to talk with their cancer care team about their decision. Some will and others won’t. After talking to their cancer care team, don’t be surprised if your loved one still decides to stop or refuse treatment. Continue to offer your support.

Palliative care can help anyone with cancer, even those who are sure that they don’t want treatment for the cancer itself. Palliative care is focused on treating or improving symptoms like pain or nausea, and not the cancer itself.;It helps the person feel as good as possible for as long as possible.

The person who refuses or stops cancer care may be open to;hospice. Hospice care treats a person’s symptoms so their last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice care is also family-centered it includes the patient and the family in making decisions.

Tips For Starting The Conversation:

  • How did the last test go?
  • How did the last treatment go?
  • How are things going today?

Sometimes people will be tired of talking about their diagnosis. Take the cues from them. If they change the subject, be comfortable talking about normal life. Sometimes thats exactly what they need.

And remember, its okay to cry.

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My Mother/aunt/neighbor/friends Cousin Died From Breast Cancer

Not helpful, say those with MBC. Everyone knows someone who has died of cancer, so why share discouraging news. Plus, everyones cancer is different.

Let’s face it; just hearing the words breast cancer scares people, says Mayer. It reminds us all of our fragility, that we will not live forever, that tragedy strikes, and that none of us know the number of our days.

Say this instead: I can see how hard this is for you, suggests Mayer. Key word being you, not your aunt or neighbor.

What To Say And Not To Say To A Cancer Patient

How To Support A Loved One With Breast Cancer Diagnosis?

What to say to someone with breast cancer:

  • I am here to support you no matter what.
  • I dont know what to say.
  • What not to say to someone with breast cancer:

  • If I was in your situation then I would. But you are not in my situation so dont try to second guess what you would do.
  • ;My aunt/friend/neighbour had breast cancer and then she died. Seriously, people do come up with these stories. I heard at least three says Sara!
  • ;You will be back to normal soon. No I wont. There is NO return to normalcy.
  • ;If you had done X, Y and Z/ not done A, B and C then maybe you would not have got cancer. No, it doesnt work that way.
  • ;Eating A, B, C can cure cancer. NO. IT. CANT.
  • ;Its only hair. Yep, you can say that because you havent had to go and shave all your hair off.
  • But breast cancer is a good one to get. No it isnt. No cancer is a good one to get. All cancers are life threatening and have horrible treatment. And it is not a who-has-got-the-worst-cancer-competition.
  • You look well. Dont say this. I am not well. I am covered in makeup and probably a wig and trying my very best to look normal, but underneath it all I look like a red faced, chubby, hairless zombie.
  • Sorry Ive been rubbish and not been in touch or, Sorry I havent been here for you, but I have had going on in my life and just been so busy. Have you been dealing with something as serious a life threatening illness and all the emotional and physical crap that a diagnosis and treatment brings? No?
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    Things You Can Say To Someone Newly Diagnosed With Cancer

    Speaking to someone that is newly diagnosed with cancer can leave you speechless. As a cancer patient, cancer survivor, caregiver, you may have an advantage because you have been directly affected by cancer. You could have an opportunity to make a difference through your words. Even so, you may feel it is difficult to find the right words.;

    Here are five things you can say to someone newly diagnosed with cancer. They key is to speak from your heart.

    If You Cant Say Something Positive Dont Say Anything At All

    Of course, theres always going to be the well-meaning people who, for some reason, feel the need to share negative stories.; I never could understand why someone just had to tell me how their great Aunt Edna died of the same thing I had. Or how their third cousin on their moms side got a terrible infection from the same surgery I was about to have.; Geez people, stop and think about what youre saying and who youre saying it to.; My friend,;Chris finally got to the point where she would stop someone mid-sentence and ask, What part of this story is supposed to make me feel better?; When youre going through cancer youve got more important things to worry about than hurting someones feelings.; If you know someone who had a bad experience with a treatment, keep it to yourself.; No doom and gloom stories please!

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    Be My Note Taker And Advocate

    A year after having a stroke, New Jersey homemaker Florence Tweel, 55, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her first concern was her children, who were 12 and 15. “I needed all of my strength to focus on how I was going to get through this and tell my children,” Tweel says. “I was lucky to have a friend, Linda, who went with me to every appointment. She wouldnt let me out of her sight. It wasn’t my job to understand anything that was being told to me medically because she took notes on it and we’d go back to her husband, who is a doctor, to get advice.” Linda’s support gave Tweel the energy to be at her best with her family and get the treatment she needed. “She was a Godsend,” she says.

    What To Say To A Person Who Has Cancer

    What to Say When Someone Is Diagnosed with Cancer

    Your friend, colleague, aunt or sister was just diagnosed with cancer. What do you say to her?

    Sometimes you mean to say something kind and sensitive, but it comes out all wrong. It would be great if someone would give you some idea of what is the right thing to say, that will convey how you really feel

    This week, CNN.com posted an article, Finding the right words to comfort cancer patients. The article was part of the promotion of a new book by Dr. Bernadine Healy, identified in the article as a brain cancer survivor. She has written a book on what she calls cancer etiquette. Dr. Healys intentions are good; however, her suggestions on what to say are based on her personal experience alone. Here are some thoughts and ideas about things you can say, and they come from the experience of hundreds of women who have survived breast cancer, and who are in every stage of treatment, from diagnosis to several years post-chemo.

    There are some things you can say that we will love hearing. Sincerity is good, and we can tell. If you offer to help, for example, be sure you mean it. We do appreciate genuine offers of help. If your friend or loved one tells you, I have cancer, and you dont know what to say, its usually better to say something honest. Here are some ideas of the kinds of things we dont mind hearing.

    That sucks. Im sorry you have to go through this.

    Cancer does suck, and this and its more polite variations acknowledge our feelings .

    I care about you.

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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.

    Good Things To Say To Someone With Cancer

    CaringBridge Staff | 02.20.19

    When a friend or family member is diagnosed with cancer, its hard to know what to say or do. Sadly, this sometimes translates into saying nothing at all.

    Every relationship is different, so there are no set requirements for how to talk to someone with cancer. But, there are steps you can take to allow conversations to go smoothly while showing your love and support.

    Also Check: What Are The Side Effects Of Radiation After Breast Cancer

    Are You Really Sick You Dont Look Sick

    The look on the outside can be very deceiving, especially when it doesnt involve hair-loss from chemotherapy, says Terlisa Sheppard, a patient advocate living with MBC for 19 years, with metastases to her bones, lungs, liver, spine, abdomen and brain. There were times when I was too weak to take care of myself, but right now, I dont feel sick on most days. Yet, she adds, I do have some joint or bone pains that can completely stop me in an instant.

    Say this instead: I understand you face some challenges. Tell me about them. And then, truly listen, without offering unsolicited advice.

    Im Here For You Im Listening

    What to Say (and What Not to Say) to someone who has # ...

    Its common to feel pressure to find the right words to say, but sometimes the best thing is to let your friend do the talking.

    Everyone wants to feel heard and know there is someone on the other line who can be there to support them, Muradian says. Thats all you have to do sometimes, lend that ear, and it helps to purge out all these feelings Its so powerful.

    Also Check: What Are The Odds Of Breast Cancer Returning

    What To Say To Someone With Breast Cancer

    The worst reaction I got when sharing news of my breast cancer diagnosis and impending double mastectomy last year was from a neighbor, who texted me this awkward but well-meaning flub: Well, at least youll look even skinnier now!

    Its since become just an amusing anecdote faint background noise through which the many supportive, loving reactions that I prefer to focus on are filtered.

    Some of the best: The friend who called or texted me every day to check in, even if it was with just a heart emoji; the one who said, that sucks and makes me so angry; the one who left homemade hummus with warm bread on my doorstep the day I returned home from surgery, ravenous; the one who promptly organized an online meal train, without ever being asked, and the many who signed up and delivered to our family such thoughtful, delicious dinners that the memory of them still makes me tear up with gratitude.

    And then there was the friend who lived a few states away and who, just a couple years out of her own double mastectomy, came to town without being asked and spent the day with our then-9-year-old daughter to distract her, to spoil her and to care for her while I went to my first, very nerve-wracking, post-surgery appointment.

    So how did everyone know what to do? Sometimes it came naturally; sometimes the knowledge was hard-won. Other times, its because they asked, What can I do? and I somehow figured out what to tell them.

    Which brings us to our No. 1 bit of advice

    What To Say To Someone With Cancer Who Is Working With Cancer

    One of the most challenging side effects that people deal with when they have cancer is fatigue, making working extremely difficult. In addition, they are likely going through emotional changes, with intense feelings of anger and sadness. A cancer diagnosis changes many things, including someone’s ability to work. If you know someone working with cancer, be sure to write in a card that you know what they’re going through is hard and that you support them in any way they deem necessary.;

    “Supportive words were the most encouraging during this time, so I didn’t feel so alone,” Britton said.

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    Dont Let Talk About The Cancer Dominate Every Conversation

    Remember that your coworker probably wants to give the;cancer talk;a rest, at least now and then; so be sure to focus on work topics, too. Saying something as simple as;Wasnt that a productive work meeting?;can go a long way to helping your coworker feel like things are getting back to normal. It can also make them feel as though theyre still an important team member at work.

    Once their treatment is finished, realize that your coworker may want to talk about the experience less and less. So allow them to start discussions about it if they want. Many people with cancer go back to work hoping for this kind of support and camaraderie; and a return to normal.

    There Are So Many Things To Love About You

    What to say to someone diagnosed with terminal disease

    Cancer has a way of feeling all-encompassing. Those affected may feel like their identity revolves around being a cancer patient. That is simply not true.

    Your loved one is so much more than someone who has cancer. They could be a dog-lover, artist, parent Help them focus on all their amazing traits that have nothing to do with their illness.

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    Dont Say At Least Youll Get A Great Boob Job

    Other despised variations: Oooh free boob job! Well, at least youll have awesome new boobs! Youll be able to go topless on the beach with your new breasts!

    As one friend told me, Although I laughed over some boobs jokes and made a few myself to take off some of the pressure, a mastectomy is not a boob job. She stressed that its a way more painful process with very different end results, such as a major loss of sensation. Moreover, she said, its not something I chose to do, as with people who elect to undergo plastic surgery.

    Noted another woman, Id gladly keep my saggy breasts that fed my children and helped in other ways than to get a boob job. I never wanted one. I was happy with my breasts.

    Others resent questions like, What size will your new ones be? which come with the assumption that they will be getting reconstruction, when many women, in fact, opt to go flat. And when they do, theres a whole new set of unwelcome comments that can follow, like, Dont they make fake ones? or But how does your husband feel about it? or Of course you want reconstruction youre not old and you can still feel like a woman! As that woman replied to her breast surgeon Im 58, and I still do feel like a woman.

    What To Say And What Not To Say To Someone Newly Diagnosed With Cancer

    by Ben Ratkey | Sep 16, 2019 | Friend & Family Resources |

    A friend or family member was newly;diagnosed with cancer.; What do you do?; What do you say?; This is probably a time when youre at a real loss for words. Theres always the standard, Youll be OK, I know it!; But do you?; This persons whole life has just gone down the drain, or so it seems.; Unless you yourself have heard the words you have cancer, you have absolutely no clue what theyre feeling.; They want more than anything for things to be OK, but no matter how many times you say it, they probably wont believe it anyway.; So what DO you say?

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    Give Advice Only When You Are Asked

    Friends and loved ones often take on the task of researching the diagnosis, treatment options and alternative therapies. Be cautious about giving advice or offering unsolicited assistance in making treatment decisions.

    Many people facing a diagnosis are;overwhelmed;with well-intentioned suggestions for treatments. Rather than jumping right in to tell someone about a treatment you heard about, ask them are you overwhelmed with advice on treatments? or say I have a friend who did this. I can find out more information if that would be helpful.

    And let it go if they dont seem interested.

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