Breast Cancer Awareness and the Support that is Needed

November 7, 2022

By Christine Martin, Director of Programs for Community Life Bridge

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Hearing the phrase Breast Cancer can provoke many different emotions. When my mom was diagnosed in 2019, I had great concern but also relief that her Breast Cancer was caught early. After my mom underwent 2 surgeries, chemo and radiation, I was excited for her to be cleared and eventually considered cancer free. My own dreaded mammogram showed signs of dense places in my breast and the unknown was quite unnerving. I went through tests, waiting for each result, wondering what would be found in each until a biopsy cleared me of any signs of cancer. Some of us have lost loved ones from breast cancer and the grief is heavy when you hear the words Breast Cancer. As we reflect on Breast Cancer Awareness month this October, my question to you is how can you support someone with Breast Cancer?

             One way we can encourage a friend or loved one with breast cancer is to provide emotional support. It can be frightening to hear the word cancer and it can stir emotions of anger, fear, sadness or depression. These emotions can vary depending on the day or even moment. When someone you know is diagnosed, you can come alongside them by allowing them to talk about how they are feeling. You can allow tears or laughter or whatever emotion comes out as they process the next steps of their journey. You can listen and give gentle feedback no matter what their emotion is at the time.

             Another way to help is through practical support. When someone adds treatment, tests and doctor visits to their schedule it can be overwhelming. Just making dinner at times may seem like a big task to them. Most people going through cancer want to live their life as normal as possible. There are ways you can support them though. Provide a meal – a frozen meal might be good so they can heat it when they have those rough days and you can prep it when it is convenient for you as well. If you are close to them you can offer to help with a specific task like washing clothes or cleaning. Another way to help is to drive them to the doctor, test or treatment. They may be able to drive, but the impact of this journey might be just a little lighter if someone else is driving. You may want to send a card in the mail to brighten their day. You never know what day it may arrive and it might be the hardest day they have had so far.   

             There are lots of ways to support someone with breast cancer. If you are interested in supporting those who need help with transportation to medical appointments in our county, call Community Life Ride at 615-431-2660. If you are specifically interested in cancer related transportation, check out the Road to Recovery program with American Cancer Society that serves the Nashville area

Article from: Hendersonville Standard Newspaper October 27, 2022 edition