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Breast cancer needed

(5 Posts)
Resilience16 Fri 15-Jul-16 06:46:27

Hi a good colleague at work had a shock breast cancer diagnosis this week. At this stage that is all I know.
Anyone out there who has been in the same situation, what did you really wish you had known, or is there anything that really helped you?What do you wish friends and family had said or done (or not said) .
I want to offer her practical support but unsure what to say or do for the best.
Thanks in advance.

mumto2andnomore Fri 15-Jul-16 07:01:10

Sorry about your colleague. That was me 3 years ago and it is a huge shock. Everyone is different but I really appreciated texts to say hi. Let her talk if she wants to. It was important to me to feel like a the old person I was so talk about normal things as well and not just the cancer

Mysillydog Fri 15-Jul-16 08:38:57

Being normal is great advice. Some friends love to discuss the anti-cancer properties of kale, turmeric, lemons etc. Only bring up alternative therapies and diet if your friend does. It's not helpful when you are feeling rotten from cytotoxic drugs for someone to pipe up that chemo is conspiracy by the pharmaceutical industry to maximise profit and that all you need to do is eat more kale.

Avoid telling your friend that she is brave, strong etc, and most of all avoid the fight and battle metaphors. People with cancer are not brave, they are ordinary people who are often feeling scared and just trying to count their way through each treatment. The language around battles is not helpful because it implies that if treatment is not successful the person did not fight hard enough. In fact all that happened was that the cancer did not respond to the treatment given. Also avoid mentioning the importance of having a positive mental attitude. There will be days when your friend is feeling down and feeling guilty about not being positive is not helpful.

I'm sure you wouldn't say any of these things but these are examples of unhelpful things said by well meaning people.

Mysillydog Fri 15-Jul-16 08:46:45

If you read this it describes the effect of cancer on people and their families.

Resilience16 Fri 15-Jul-16 20:51:58

Many thanks both, your responses have been very helpful.

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