The Christmas holiday champions the message of giving. It’s a time of fun, reflection, and love for families and friends. At the same time, it could be difficult for someone with breast cancer. If you’re thinking of ways to show support for a friend with breast cancer during this holiday period, we are sharing some tips on how you can do just that.
1. Help them with acts of service
The holidays are a season of joy for most people. However, for those battling with illnesses like cancer, the Christmas season can feel anything but joyful. This is where you, as a friend, come in. By reminding your friend of the beauty of the season and its many glad tidings, you can put a smile on their face and in their heart.
Acts of service such as helping them make their bed, doing their laundry, and folding their clothes. To make things more fun, you can offer to do these things with them. Put on some great music, do the washing and let your friend do the folding. Or you could arrange their drug cabinet and get rid of the used medication to decrease the clutter in their living space.
You could also cook them a meal weekly or daily. Just make sure you ask them what they want first because they may have a specific diet.
The little things make all the difference. Your driving principle behind doing these acts of service should be to ease their life in meaningful ways.
2. Give them emotional support
Living with cancer is one of the most wrecking things that can happen to a person. It not only affects your body but your mind. Research has shown that most cancer patients tend to suffer from severe depression. And when a person is depressed, having a good emotional support system can make a significant difference. So, open your heart and be a safe space they can vent in.
Be a person they can talk to without fear of judgment or emotional abuse. Offer them space to be vulnerable and feel their feelings as much as they can/want to. Sometimes, your friend may not want to talk or do anything. Respect that and offer your silence if they would have it. Sit with them in the quiet without pushing for a conversation. Let your friend know that you respect and value their emotions even when they feel overwhelmed or too tired to keep up appearances.
3. Offer a listening ear
It’s easy to feel lonely when you’re going through something difficult. You feel no one gets your pain. And you're partly right. Nobody understands how you feel like you do, but having someone who genuinely listens to you can take away some pain.
Offer your attention and sincere listening ear to your friend. Even if you don't really understand, just listen. Do not try to cut them off with trite sayings or cliches. If you must interject when they're unburdening their feelings to you, make a joke; a kind, silly joke or an inside joke you both get. Remember, the conversation is less about you and more about your friend. Empathy and kindness should be your watchwords, apply them generously.
4. Give them gifts
The key to selecting a gift for your friend suffering from cancer is in the memories you both share. A lovely Christmas gift can be a photo collection of the best times you've shared together. You could make a scrapbook of all the things you love about your friend. Dig around in your memory and mind to find the most genuine sincere thoughts and memories you have about your friend, then put them together in a physical form.
Another way to select a gift for your friend is to get them something that can ease their physical pain or provide comfort. It could be a soft cushy pillow, a comfy blanket, a t-shirt in their favorite color, socks or a comfy sweater. You can also attach a funny card to the gift to cheer them up.
Whatever gift you decide to present to your friend, make sure it's thoughtful and what you're at least 80% sure they would enjoy or be able to use. Also, ensure it's clean and disinfected.
5. Look after yourself too
There's a popular saying that you cannot pour from an empty cup. As you give our kindness, don't forget to be kind to yourself as well.
It can be emotionally draining knowing your friend is dealing with something as heavy as breast cancer. You might feel helpless, hopeless, and despondent. It could even send you into a depressive bout.
To avoid this, you need to look after yourself as well. Find the things that give you joy and lose yourself in them. It could be anything from binge watching your favorite shows to baking your favorite snacks, gardening, painting, or even watching Tik Tok videos. It's okay to take a break and focus on yourself. It doesn't make you a bad person but rather makes you even more energized to share kindness.
Breast cancer is a difficult disease to deal with as a patient and as a family member or caring friend of a patient. The most we can do is to be supportive, kind, and perceptive.
Being perceptive will let you know when to pull close to your friend and when to let them have space, especially during such an emotional season like Christmas. Spread joy, spread love, and stay safe.
T-shirts that Show Your Support
If you’ll love to be your friend’s favorite optimistic cheerleader and show that you’re backing them up in their fight against cancer, one sweet way to show it is to wear your support.
You could get some t-shirts for as low as $19.99 with amazing prints on ultra-comfy shirts that says to your friend, “I’ve got your back, we’re in this together, and we will win.”
If you’re a group of friends and want to all appear in uniform solidarity, there’s an amazing offer that cuts the costs for you. Buy one, get a second one at half the price. Free shipping to anywhere in the U.S.
Hope Breast Cancer Tee
Fight Cancer Tee
Love Faith Hope Tee
Fight 2 Cure Breast Cancer Tee