When someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, his or her family and friends become co-survivors. While the person with breast cancer has to cope with treatment, those who love that person are also affected and often struggle to figure out what kind of support they should be giving to the cancer patient.
There are many ways for co-survivors to help their loved one through a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, co-survivors can offer three types of support: informational support, emotional support and practical support.
When providing informational support, loved ones can help the patient understand what is being said at doctor appointments, learn about treatment options, learn the breast cancer terms, and make a list of questions to ask doctors and other medical professionals.
To provide emotional support, listen to your loved one as he or she talks about what he or she is going through, and how he or she is feeling. Just being there to comfort the patient can help. When providing practical support, a co-survivor can offer assistance with day-to-day activities. Cleaning the house, cooking dinner, providing rides to and from appointments and taking care of the kids can provide a lot of help.