Best Friend How can I help.

Hi All,


My best friend in the whole world was diagnosed yesterday with breast cancer aged only 31.  She is having to have her baby early by c-section next week and also has a 1 and a 2 year old! She is starting chemo in 3 weeks and I am so worried for her.


I want to help in every way I possibly can but don’t even know where to begin. I started by researching all her financial options and have sorted out the best payment options for her with maternity pay versus sick pay at her place of work.


If anyone has any advice on how to be there for her, how to help her cope with chemo then I’d be so grateful. I want to be her rock as everyone else around her is struggling and I’m strapping my brave face on.


I was going to buy her a cancer cookbook and one for myself so I can take her and the family meals, but do you think this is an awful gift? I don’t want to constantly remind her!


Thanks All



Hello Daisycarty

Welcome to the forums. 

I’m sorry to hear of your friends diagnosis, the first few weeks are always difficult when coming to terms with a diagnosis and treatment.
As well as the support you and your friend will receive on the forums you might find it helpful to order the BCC resources pack. It has been specifically designed for those newly diagnosed and contains information to help understand the diagnosis, test results and the various treatments available. If you would like to order a copy just follow the link bellow:-

You and your friend may also like to talk things through with one of the helpline staff, they are there to offer emotional support as well as provide information. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and lines are open 9-5 Monday to Friday and 10-2 Saturday.

Best wishes

June, moderator

She’s so lucky to have you as a friend. There is so much support out there truly amazing I have found Breastcancer care and forum amazing and a lifeline. But there is also macmillan Maggie’s and haven. Plus locally my partner and I have found cancer drop on groups and a careers group.

Re the children could you get support from a barbanoes or similar ? All the best to you all.

Dear Leanne.


I love that you are being so practical, well done you babe.  A cookbook is a fabulous idea.  I had neo adjuvant Chemo and had a vociferous appetite (i could have eaten a donkey between two slices of bread as we say in the north) due to the steroids so was very careful to watch what i ate and did loads of walking as the Chemo really affected my legs. I have finished active treatment and just waiting for reconstruction but in February this year i went to Penny Brohn looking at holistic care and the latest research on Nutrition around preventing recurrance.  (So much i wish i’d known before i was diagnosed - hindsight is a wonderful thing).  If you don’t know Penny Brohn, they are in Bristol, you can google but they have a book called ‘Nourish’ and that gives a clear brief on what we need to aim to eat, excellent rationale behind the suggestions and a section on the Bristol approach. I have currently got a friend in hospital having treatment and send her the spicy cauliflower soup in a flask for her supper as her appetite is poor.


I have a lot of friends and was lucky to have support.  My Mother in Law and Sister in Law haven’t always been my favourite girls but to be fair they have been lovely, both delivering food on a regular basis whilst i was having treatment which was really kind.  Some people did say things like ‘you’ll be just fine’ well i don’t reckon they’ve got crystal balls…just one really close friend who was very straight when i said i was frightened that i might die replied it is a very real possibility and asked if i wanted to look at statistics on 5 10 15 year survival rates which was really helpful and positive… I am 51 and she is only 30, so wise and pragmatic for somebody so young, that was just what i needed that day but it’s not everybody who would want to look at them, you’ll know your friend and how much she’ll want to discuss.  


I know everybody is different but for me being proactive in maintaining as healthy a lifestyle as possible (swimming / pilates / Zumba) and cooking foods aimed at keeping me well has kept me sane and focused, that said i don’t have three babies to keep me busy.


The other thing about money is if she needs support with mobility / care particularly when on the Chemo she may be entitled to Disability Living Allowance (Persaonal Independance Payments in some areas).  This is a non means tested benefit that you can claim regardless of whether you are working / getting Mat Pay or ESA.  DWP website has information on eligibility.


Take Care Leanne and hope your friends treatment goes well.   Gilly x  

Hi Leanne
Your friend might be able to get
Financial assistance for a charity called mummy’s star. It is a charity for women and families who are diagnosed with cancer whilst pregnant or within a year of giving birth. They might be able to give her a grant or some help. Please look it up and consider applying

Thanks and all the best to you and your friend