Finding yourself in Cancer World happens very suddenly. The doctor — or someone close to you — tells you it’s cancer, and all of a sudden everything changes. How are you supposed to know, instantly, how to be supportive to a woman going through something this terrifying?
I thought the best way to offer help to the husbands, other family members, partners, and friends who suddenly find themselves thrust into this role was to ask the cancer patients themselves what was most — and least — helpful. Here are seven things women with breast cancer and their partners have discovered about what worked best when it came to supporting them through this ordeal.
Support whatever she decides.
Breast cancer involves endless decisions: lumpectomy and radiation or mastectomy? Some women elect to have a bilateral mastectomy (both breasts removed), so they feel safer. These decisions can be really scary for a woman to talk to her partner and friends about. It may sound like she’s asking for advice, and you may feel underqualified to give it.