So your loved one’s just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Both you and your partner are likely flying through a whirlwind of emotions, unsure of where you’ll land or how you’ll get there. While breast cancer researchers are doing their damndest to tackle cure, there are things you can do right now that’ll make a world of difference.
1. Pamper, pamper, pamper
Both diagnosis and treatment is completely draining, so your spouse is liking feeling the stress both physically and emotionally. Take some time out of your day to give them a massage, cook dinner, or even just pick up around the house. Even the small things will make a difference in a big way.
2. Educate yourself.
The more you know, the easier it’ll be to act as a source of support. Talk to the doctors in charge, get the deets on course of treatment, and do a little outside research of your own. There are many decisions that have to be made in the course of care. Having a partner in the process, someone who knows the score, means that the patient doesn’t have to feel so adrift in a sea of medical jargon.
3. Provide Emotional Support
The most important thing here is listening. It’s impossible for you to fix the situation but hey, this is not about you having the solution, unless you also happen to be the oncologist in her life. Many survivors I know said that the reason they made it through without going completely bonkers was because they had a primary other who just listened with out judging. It was a great ease for the fear, sorrow, anger and angst that surface without warning.
4. Stay Positive
It’s likely that your partner is struggling with negative feelings, possibly even hopelessness. Having and maintaining a positive attitude can only help the situation, and will likely affect your partner’s mood in a positive way, as well.
5. Keep Yourself Healthy
You’re no help to anyone else if you’re also not taking care of yourself, both mentally and physically. Go on a meditation retreat with your partner or take a mini-vacation. Stick to a well-rounded diet and make sure you’re both getting enough sleep to keep your body strong.
6. Be An Appointment Pal
Doctors visits are rife with tons of overwhelming information, not to mention difficult courses of treatment. It’s essential that you or someone you trust attends to assist with caregiving.