In my experience many women desire different levels of friendship during their cancer journey. Here are a few tips of what I needed most, during my breast cancer journey. 1. JUST BE THERE! We’ve never been a cancer patient before so we don’t know what to ask of you or exactly what we need, usually not until the very second we need it. We need you! This is the scariest time of our life. A reliable friend is a great asset during our cancer journey. 2. Just do it! Dont ask, offer instead. Don’t ask the patient if they want you to clean up or do the dishes. Of course the person is probably just gonna say no. Nobody wants to feel as if they can’t care for themselves. Also, offer to assist with kids or transportation because we usually don’t feel like or aren't supposed to be driving after treatment. Nausea, hot flashes and side effects are enough, no need to add road rage. 3. Don’t feel obligated to buy us a ton of pink ribbon stuff, regular non - breast cancer gifts work just fine. 😉 Some women feel as if the influx of pink ribbons are reminders of a time that they wish to forget. 4. Take care of your own breast health! Schedule your mammogram. Use your friends’ journey as a personal reminder to stay on top of your breast health. The last thing your survivor friend wants is for you to experience the same fate, if you don’t have to. 5. Nap dates are a real thing! Many of us develop insomnia during treatment and can not sleep throughout the night, so we will sneak a nap whenever time and our body allows. So.. don’t get offended if your friend falls asleep on you. Who knows, you may need a nap too! 6. Help keep us organized! Paper, appointment notices, bills, mail, prescriptions and the notes we have to write, thanks to chemo brain, can easily become overwhelming.
A special keepsake box is a great gift idea to help with the paper clutter. 7. Wash our hair! Offer to wash your friends hair or bald head. Be gentle and give her scalp a little massage. It absolutely feels amazing! It is also a calm and relaxing environment for girl talk. Designate this as a special time to discuss fears, love and life.
I haven’t listed these tips as a journalism viewpoint, I am listing from my personal experience as a 2 time breast cancer survivor & single patent. I was diagnosed with breast cancer at ages 26 & 36 and the support of my friends and family were instrumental in caring for myself and my daughter.
Be sure to follow Shay Sharpe’s Pink Wishes on Instagram & Facebook and check out our website www.ShaySharpesPinkWishes.org for more survivor tips, my personal journey with breast cancer and ways in which you can help make a wish come true!! ~ Shay Sharpe