How to Help

18 May

When a friend is diagnosed with breast cancer, it seems that everyone wants to help, but no one knows what to do. When I first found out I had cancer, people kept asking me – What can I do for you? And I would just shrug my shoulders. Because unless they could make the whole nightmare go away, I had no idea what they could possibly do to help.

I am so grateful for the friends who came up with a variety of kind ways to make life more bearable for me. Their thoughtfulness gave a huge boost to my emotional health and helped me heal.

Here are a few ideas on how to help a friend who is dealing with breast cancer:


  • Supply lots of hugs. Gently, please, as the chest, arm, and back area can become tender from treatment.


  • Respect her privacy. She may not be comfortable having the news of her diagnosis broadcast throughout the social network. On the other hand, she may need your help letting a few people know what she’s facing.


  • Deliver flowers. Whether they’re from your garden or your favorite florist, fresh flowers provide something pleasant in an otherwise unpleasant situation.


  • Bring meals. Think comfort foods – creamy potato soup, chicken & rice casserole, vanilla pudding — which are easy on the stomach.


  • Send care packages. Consider a pretty mug & a supply of healthy green tea (good for fighting breast cancer); mild soaps, lip balm & lotions; or magazines, a book of sudoku puzzles & a light-hearted novel.


  • If she has young children, offer to care for them for an afternoon or two. Take them to play at the park, to see a movie, or out for ice cream cones.


I believe that friends are precious gifts from a loving Heavenly Father who anticipates and understands our needs better than we ever could. Friends can touch our lives in such incredible ways, can’t they? And let’s face it, sometimes we all need a little help from our friends.


3 Responses to “How to Help”

  1. Michelle May 26, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Our friend Gracie is suffering with stage four breast cancer. She is our best friend and we struggle with the pain of her illness and hiw best to helpnher. We continue to support her and have fun outings and laugh a lot. We created a breast cancer jewelry line in her honor and a website. Our story is here. This is our way of supporting our friend and coping with her illness. We proudly wear our bracelets that contain a picture charm of her.

    • jillnogales May 27, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

      Thank you for sharing, Michelle. Your jewelry is absolutely beautiful, and your friend Gracie is truly an inspiration. How very blessed she is to have such wonderful friends. I wish you all the best.

  2. writergirldreams June 7, 2011 at 12:10 am #

    Hello Jill, Hello Sister. Sorry I’ve been a bit absent, I’ve been like a soldier, home from the war, adjusting to civilian life! I just wanted to remind you of something you forgot on your list to help a friend with breast cancer, it was what you gave to me. It was all the times you reminded me that I was in the palm of God’s hands, that he counted every tear, and was a worried Father, standing watch over me during those rough rough days and nights. That there was a plan for me, a pearl would be made from this grit. I can’t tell you how many times you arrived right on time for me, a little whisper in my ear when my faith was hanging on by a thread, reminding me how much He loves me and that He is always near. Jill, I consider you an Angel First Class in my life, sent, special delivery, through cyber space, by Him. Thank you Sister, for walking with me, for praying with me and for me, and for Idaho snowflakes tumbling onto my California carpet. Thank you Sister.

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