The diagnosis of breast cancer can be taken many different ways. Almost all women (and men) who get the news are hit with a range of emotions almost immediately, from surprise to dismay to despair. From there, the range of reactions and emotions vary. If you would like to support a friend or family member going through this with a gift, here are 5 tips for choosing the right gift.
The news of a woman’s diagnosis of breast cancer can be taken in many different ways. Almost all women who get the news are hit with a range of emotions almost immediately, from surprise to dismay to despair.
After the initial shock has passed, some women muster up a quiet resolve to fight it, while others go into the fight with all guns blazing. All may have times when they are afraid. Ultimately, there is no single right way to react to the news of a breast cancer diagnosis – and exactly how one reacts will always be totally unique to each woman.
The Challenge of Breast Cancer Treatment
While having breast cancer itself is hard enough, the treatments that a woman must undergo can also be quite challenging to both mind and body. Whether a woman faces surgical treatments (such as a mastectomy or a lumpectomy), chemotherapy, drugs, or another type of treatment, treatments can be very hard on the body.
The reason treatment is so difficult to undergo is two-fold: the physical pain and discomfort that they may cause and the psychological stress that the experience can create for the woman.
How You Can Help a Friend Who is Going Through This?
If a friend, family member or colleague is going through breast cancer treatment, your first inclination will be to want to help her. But how? After all, you are not an oncologist or other type of medical doctor. You cannot prescribe medication or tell her how her treatments are going. What can you do? The simplest answer is: be supportive.
Now, for some people, the phrase “be supportive” raises a whole new set of questions. This is mainly because it can be awkward to know just exactly what to say or do around the person. For example, if you ask how they are feeling, you may think that this sounds like a stupid question. Okay, fair enough. But, you know what? No matter what you say or do to show your support, as long as you are being sincere and your heart is in the right place, it will be well-received.
So, give your friend or family member struggling with breast cancer treatments a call, send a letter, or pay her a visit. And, there is always the option of giving her a real, physical gift of some sort. But, what to buy?
Choosing the Right Breast Cancer Treatment Gift: 5 Tips
Here are 5 tips to make your job in choosing the right gift easier:
1. Be thoughtful: This one sounds obvious, but remember that her lifestyle may change after her treatments. For example, buying her certain types of clothing may not be appropriate since her breasts may be somewhat or very differently-shaped after the surgery. Just think ahead about what she may or may not be able to actually use.
2. Think compassion: While you may want to use humor in your gift as a way to offset any awkwardness you might feel about talking about her treatments, resist the temptation to use humor. Her cancer is one of the more serious things that has happened to her and should be treated delicately.
3. Focus on her interests: Remember, this gift is for her, not you. Think hard about what makes her tick – what her interests are – and then get her something that reflects that. It’s not how much money you spend, it is the thought you put into it that matters.
4. Focus on friends and family: Get her something that brings to mind friends and family, such as a family photo album, a family-centered board game, or a family-oriented movie on DVD.
5. Your gift should express positivity and hope: It is okay to wear your heart on your sleeve a bit with your gift. It should express the hope you feel that she will pull through this with flying colors. You don’t need to say as much in words, but your gift should express it.
Follow these 5 tips when choosing the right breast cancer treatment gift.