It’s hard to know how to support a friend who has just been told their world has stopped and they will forever talk about life in terms of before cancer and after cancer.
When my friend was told she had breast cancer I didn’t know what to do. I’m awkward at best when it comes to knowing the right thing to say. I didn’t want to say the wrong thing, I didn’t want to be too up in her business, I didn’t want to not be enough up in her business.
And to be honest, all of those silly thoughts were about me and not her. And she was the one suffering.
There is no right or wrong way to support a friend who has breast cancer.
Send the texts, send the groceries, set up a gofundme, call, drop off dinner, make the blankets, do it all. Just do it.
And there may be times when your friend isn’t able to respond to your messages or your calls or doesn’t send a thank you for all the things. And that’s okay! Because you are showing up, and whether your friend is mentally, physically, or emotionally able to receive you showing up, she will know that you did!
If you want to know how to support a friend who has breast cancer, simply show up. In the big ways and the small ways. In all the ways.
Because cancer is not a one-stop-shop. Most likely your friend will be going through multiple rounds of chemo, radiation, doctor’s appointments, and so on. There will be months and months and sometimes years of this.
Meal-trains will end, the surge of help will subside, everyone else will be “getting back to their regularly scheduled life” but for your friend. For your friend who will now only refer to their life in before and after terms – this is reality.
Let them know you’re thinking about them. Bring them a coffee. Send them a card. Don’t let yourself get in the way of showing up for a friend. You will never know how much a simple text can matter to someone.
It can be hard to know how to support a friend who has breast cancer. But the most important thing is that you try.