Breast Cancer Awareness Month is as good a time as any to remember that in a world where one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their life, it's safe to say you'll know one of these ladies one day. Maybe you do already. Now what are you doing to help her?
Yes, you. It doesn't just take a village to raise a child. It takes one to help an entire family get through a battle with breast cancer. Or at least, it takes some really good friends to help her get to the other side. So don't just sit there, here's an action plan that will really make a difference for the breast cancer patient in your life:
1. Make Them Laugh. That corny old saying is true, laughter really is an incredible medicine. It can take one sad lady and turn her into a spirit hell bound to kick this cancer in the hiney.
2. Take Them to the Doctor. A cancer diagnosis doesn't just hit the person dealing with the disease but an entire family -- emotionally and physically. One of the best ways to keep a family going is to give them a break once in awhile. A friend to drive a breast cancer patient to and from the frequent chemotherapy or radiation treatments allows family members time to decompress -- and just as importantly, it can help the family financially. Since the patient may well be taking time out of work to pursue treatment, family members often can't afford time away from their own jobs.
3. Make Them Dinner. There are those among us who are up for cooking anytime anywhere. And then there are those who are undergoing intensive treatment for breast cancer. But we all have to eat -- if not the patient, then their families. So get cooking and freezing. Lasagnas. Meatloaves. Get her freezer stocked, and you'll take a major load off!
4. Listen. We tend to treat cancer patients with platitudes. Everything will be fine. There's a reason for everything. You can do this. That's all well and good, but haven't you ever been so frustrated you just wanted to let it all out? All it takes is an ear.
Do you know someone battling breast cancer right now? What are you doing to help?
Image via SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget/Flickr