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My girlfriend was diagnosed with breast cancer yesterday. The appointment with the surgeon is next week to get specific answers. I want to do anything and everything I can to help her through this. Any advice is very much needed and appreciated!

Rachael Leslie Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Family Member or Loved One almost 8 years
 
  • Sharon Danielson Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2007
    Rachael, How wonderful your dear friend has you standing by her side. She is probably going through the depths of the most terrifying hell right now. I agree with what Anne Marie has said. When I was diagnosed, my friends left me.... which was a horrendous shock. What she will need is your support. Go with her to her appointments.... the diagnostic ones will be particularly important. She will need someone to --take notes-- as she will never be able to remember most of what is being said. This is a step by step process. Try to keep her from going to the really dark side. There are a ton of positive stories and outcomes to this lousy diagnosis. We, here, are living proof. Some of the journey's have been very tough but these strong women are here to share their struggles and outcomes. You are a dear friend to want to help her through this battle. Please stay in touch with us, we are here to help you and her along her path. Take care, Sharon
    almost 8 years Flag
    • Evelyn Heilbrunn Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2012

      Rachel, I agree with Sharon 110%. I've had breast cancer twice, and a good friend, P, was just diagnosed late last week. I would add to Sharon's comment by suggesting you also take cues from your friend. My first inclination was to go hold P's...

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      Rachel, I agree with Sharon 110%. I've had breast cancer twice, and a good friend, P, was just diagnosed late last week. I would add to Sharon's comment by suggesting you also take cues from your friend. My first inclination was to go hold P's hand 24/7 and to take care of her every need. However, she has shown me non-verbally that she and her husband want to do this together and, for the most part, by themselves. So I have offered myself up for anything she needs. If her husband is out of town, for example, I'll drive or go with her to appointments; if she needs to talk, I'll be there for her night and day; if she has questions I'll answer them as best I can. But most of all, BE HER FRIEND. Be a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold. Try to stick with the "take it one step at a time" theory, because getting ahead of yourself can be terrifying. One test may lead to another, and that sort of thing, but all tests will lead to a conclusion with regard to treatment. Be there for her as much as she needs you. I can say from experience that being able to lean on your friends is one of the most important things throughout this horrible journey.
      Best of luck to your friend.

      almost 8 years Flag
  • Anne Marie jacintho Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2003
    My heart goes out to you and your girlfriend cancer affects not only the patient but the loved ones also. The best thing you can do for your girlfriend is to be at her side offer to go to all her doctor appts with her be her second set of ears ask those questions that she forgot to ask because when you are with the doctor we patients go blank I don't know how many times I was going to ask this that or the other thing and get into the office and I go blank my husband would just chime in for me Be patient with your girlfriend she will be on a whirlwind of emotions. Hold her tell her it's okay to talk about it all with you let her know your feelings also. My husband and I held each other up luckily one was always stronger then the other on those bad days. I have a link on my profile to my story of my personal experience with breast cancer in 2003. I take you from the initial diagnosis the biopsy surgery and recovery with a reflection a year later. Even though my type of breast cancer or choice of treatment may be different I hope by sharing my experience it will help other women and there family. http://home.roadrunner.com/~amj/
    almost 8 years Comment Flag
  • Ali S Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    So sorry...this is tough for everyone to go through. Some things that might help you that she might not tell you...Let her have emotions and bad days--while I was generally positive, I had my bad moments/days and just needed someone to listen. Don't give advice unless she asks for it and don't try to compare it to anything else. Don't bring up other people who have/had cancer because so many people will mention something like and it actually doesn't help at all. When she's having a bad moment/day, just listen and then say "that sounds...(frustrating, unfair, crappy, etc..fill in whatever feeling) and then just be a comfort. Hang out, make dinner, just be there, but you don't need to offer any suggestions (unless she asks of course).
    almost 8 years Comment Flag
  • Ali S Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2011
    Oops, i wasn't ready to send...I guess "enter" means send! I was going to also mention that I didn't realize that I was angry for a while--it's a feeling that we're not supposed to have, so it's hard to channel it. It usually comes out as sadness, but really, sometimes I just wanted to yell and scream! At the appt. take notes so she doesn't have to. Ask questions you have and any she's afraid to go ask but still wants to the answers. Be sure she likes the team of doctors. If they're not compassionate, find someone else. When she needs someone, be there. Hang out, make dinner, listen, and know that you will not fully understand what she's going through (unless of course, you've been through it)--so if she takes anything out on your or other loved ones, it's not personal...it's just frustration and anger that she doesn't know how else to channel. Don't forget to laugh!! Have fun and do things when she's well enough. funny movies, funny stories, jokes, books, etc. all of it helps! stay away from too many cancer movies/books right now, unless their informational. I made the mistake of reading a book about 4 women and two end up dying, which is not what I wanted to read about at the time. However, I did like The Middle Place, but I probably should have waited to read it--just a little sad, but also uplifting. I related to a lot of feelings the author had when she was diagnosed. Also, remember, at times some things might sound irrational from her, but let her say what she wants. she needs to express it. I know this all seems like emotional help, but that is what I felt like I needed the most. I just powered through my treatments and didn't take the time to realize what feelings I was having until January (I started chemo june 2011) when my radiation ended. Then I was like, "now what?" and all the emotions caught up with me. You might investigate some support groups or things like walks for survivors/patients--there is so much out there and she might not have time or energy to look into it right now. She also might not be ready to do any of it, but it can't hurt to have the info and keep track of things. If I think of anything else, I'll post more later. Best wishes to you both.
    almost 8 years Comment Flag
  • shen cruces Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 3A Patient
    my heart goes out to you and your friend. My friends have really come together and are helping me through what I am going through. I am only 35 so it was quite a shock to everyone in my social group. My best friend set up a dinner delivery system where friends signed up to make me dinner and just drop it off at my house after my surgery. This was amazing! I cannot tell you how helpful it was to have people bring food. Most people want to help but don't know how. This gave everyone an organized way to help. She also included a little note explaining that I would probably be hopped up on pain meds so to not make it too much of a social visit but to plan and visit with me after two weeks. Setting up parameters helps. Best of luck to your friend. Keep telling her to fight like a girl and she can beat this.
    almost 8 years Comment Flag

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