Breast Cancer Support | Online Exclusives, April 2012

Care and Concern

Support a loved one with breast cancer

Breast Cancer HandbookBreast cancer affects friends and family in different ways, causing fear in some and fight in others, says Pink Ribbon Connection Executive Director Dori Sparks-Unsworth.

“Paralysis from the fear can occur, while others spring into action and become strong advocates for the patient and set about finding resources that will make a difference for the patient,” she says.

If you’re looking for ways to support a newly diagnosed friend or family member but don’t know where to begin, Pink Ribbon Connection suggests practical and emotional ways to make a difference.

•Listen closely and offer support during this tough time.

•Make a meal.

•Take laundry and return clean and folded.

•Buy groceries.

•Clean the house.

•Tend to the garden or mow the lawn.

•Pick kids up one night per week and have a slumber party.

•Accompany the patient to chemo or doctor appointments.

•Make a special lap blanket for the chill that can occur during chemo.

•Take the patient shopping for wigs and mastectomy garments.

•Say repeatedly there is no time that is off limits to reach out to you. You will be there no matter when they need to talk or scream or cry.

As a caregiver, remember to ask for help from others and take time to care for yourself too.

Pink Ribbon Connection offers a peer counseling helpline that connects breast cancer survivors with newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. Pink Ribbon’s office also has a peaceful living room for women to sit alone and reflect or to read through study materials with a loved one. Learn more at or by calling (317) 255-7465.

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