How do I help my friend

My friend has recently being diagnosed with stage 2 Breast Cancer. She has to have Chemo then a mastectomy followed by more Chemo. I don’t won’t to keep asking her how she is as I know others will be doing the same but I don’t want her to think I’m not concerned about her. For those girls who are going through the same treatment what way did you want your freinds to deal with you.

My fiends have been/are being my absolute life line.
I find different friends are able to help in different ways. I was very reluctant to accept help at first, having been so independent, but now I am opening up, they are practically saving me.

Simply receiving a text message is comforting, particularly when they remember it is my treatment day.

Friends have come with little hampers of food, nice things; drinks, chocolates, posh soups, unusual musili bar snacky type things…
Some friends have come for the day, and just stayed in the flat with me, while I slept and recovered in bed. It was so restful knowing there was someone else there to take care of the stuff I would normally do (I am a single parent)
Friends have run me nice baths and then changed my bed sheets whilst I was in the bath…
Cleaned my kitchen, cooked me meals and put them in the freezer…
Sent me books and dvds, and flowers…helped me to meditate.
I am blessed with good friends, and I never even knew before cancer how much they cared about me…
I do now.
Good luck with everything. xx

Just being there for you friend, let her know she can call or txt you whenever she needs you. Offers of lifts to appointments are always appreciated. It’s certainly times like this that true friends stick close by. A friend from work visits me every week to fill me in on all the goss - essential!
Look after your friend , hope everything goes ok x

It’s brilliant that you want to help your friend. In my experience - sadly I now have secondaries - contact is the key. It doesn’t have to be much - a text, call or card. Continual support is the key. Often, at the beginning, loads of people are around and as time moves on some of these folk disappear. Practical help is always appreciated. I found the kindest things were often very small. One of my friends came over this summer and re-potted and organised my little roof terrace. Another plans nice days out. My sister takes me to my hospital appointments. Sometimes we find it hard to ask for help so just ‘doing’ things is always good. You sound like a caring friend, so just go with your instincts. Being ‘normal’ with your friend is also important. Yes, sometimes we want to talk about what is happening but none of us lose interest in others, nor our sense of humour - that’s often what keeps us going through the tough times. Just be there for her, she will never forget, nor take for granted your kindness.

Alison xx

totally agree with all Alison said i couldnt have got through without my girlie nights in or out and feeling i was doing normal things Retail therapy is always good and just popping in seeing if i wanted anything or a cuppa and a chat and she,d bring a cake,listened to me if I wanted to talk and distracted me if i didnt they have all been amazing but just be there for her and loads of Hugs and compliments as we often dont feel very attractive when you have no hair ,eyelashes ,brows boob etc etc etc. im sure you are going to be a great friend xxx Julie

I agree with the above comments, practical help is always appreciated. When I was first diagnosed, three years ago, one of my friends rang and offered to take my son, then 15, to college, and another offered to do any shopping I needed. I received some lovely cards wishing me well, and another friend sent me some flowers, which really touched me. I never minded people asking me how I was, it proved that they cared, and others, even if they didn’t ask how I was, they showed their concern in other ways. While I was having my radiotherapy, and didn’t feel like going out much, visits from friends, to keep me up to date with what was going on, were really appreciated. I commented to one friend 'What if I’m not here in five years?, when talking about my son, and she replied ‘Don’t be so bloody daft, of course you will be, we’ve got to keep the little sods in order, haven’t we?’ It was lighthearted comments like that that kept me going, and lifted my spirits. Your friend is very lucky to have you, I wish her all the best xxx

My friends have helped me most by making sure their is life during treatment especially as I’m a single parent with no family close by.
They have organised a get together on the Friday of week 3 each time and so I have something to look forward to. I also get texts, cards, postcards, emails and phonecalls on such a regular basis that I have asked if there is a rota up in the office. Also have found little gifts left for me, last one was a huge bar of chocolate.

I was the complete opposite of many posters here.

Apart from my closest friends and family I didn’t want to see anyone - I really hunkered down. I hated all the paraphenalia of being sick. I couldn’t stand having Get Well Soon cards everywhere. And it really peed me off when people I never usually had much contact with suddenly wanted to be my closest chum.
It meant a great deal to get the odd brief email or text though saying that someone was thinking of me and that they loved me - but not too much fuss and bother. I liked things to be normal - well, as normal as they can be under the circumstances.

There is not a one-size-fits-all with this - maybe you should have a chat with your friend to find out what she wants and be responsive to her needs rather than proactive.
I wish her well with her tx - and you too - it is tough being on the outside looking in.

Hi Alicat

That is so helpful. We have planned treats for the week prior to her treatment so that is good to know you appreciated that and it gave you something to look forward to. I like the bit about the little presents,that is something I will discuss with my girlfriends.

Thank you so much and I wish you well

Just to say I have so appreciated the support from my friends even though I am also lucky to have a wonderful husband & my mum & sister nearby too. But I STILL need my friends too as I suppose I almost expect my family to be there for me but with friends they do have a choice - to be involved or not and when people choose to help you through this hard thing it somehow means more. As suggested just ask openly & freely “what can I do to help you” - & you may need to push further if the response is not forthcoming. we all find it hard to ASK for help but just the offer can be enough. as someone else said just getting regular texts & emails is lovely but as someone else said I didn’t want cards all around the place as it seemed too depressing.
The other point I’d like to make is that this process is a very long haul. I am at the start so have had loads of contact with people but I do wonder in the back of my mind how many will still be there by my 4th or 5th chemo sess. so reassurance that you will be there throughout is also a very important point to make to your friend.

I hope that helps - the fact that you have come on here & asked shows what a wonderful friend you obviously are already!!! - & of course get her to join this site - its fantastic and so helpful with tips advice & support from others who are going through what she is.

yes i agree with the little presents thing ( it doesnt have to be much ) but if id been out and someone had called i would find a chocolate flake and a card , or a bottle of wine,or little bunch of flowers in the porch.It was really nice to think how much people cared x

I love the way my friends still send me all the stupid emails that they sent me before, the way they text me daft jokes, and the way they keep me up to date with all the gossip… instead of treating me like the latest freak show attraction.

I must admit that I find emails and text msgs much more welcome than phone calls - even at this very early stage, as it means I don’t have to talk/respond immediately if I don’t want to, but I know that they all still care.

Sophie xxx

(You’re already a wonderful friend to care enough to find this site and ask for advice - I’m certain your support is going to be a huge help to your friend.)