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What If I Become Unable to Make Decisions About My Health Care?

You may want to consider advance directives, such as living wills and durable power of attorney.

Your living provides clear instructions regarding whether you want treatment that artificially prolongs your life. This document is prepared while you have the capacity to make medical decisions. It's implemented only if you become unable to make your own medical decisions later. 

Your durable power of attorney for health care lets you appoint another person to speak for you if you can't express what type of medical care you want. 

Should I Write a Will?

No one likes to think about his or her own mortality, but everyone should have a will to ensure that those who survive you will know how to carry out your wishes. This document should be prepared with your attorney.

What Should a Breast Cancer Patient's Family and Friends Keep In Mind?

The diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer is a time of stress and may be difficult for family and friends. Here are some tips for family and friends of someone diagnosed with breast cancer:

  • Feel free to ask the doctor questions if you accompany your loved one to her appointments.
  • Be prepared for changes in your loved one's behavior and mood. Medications, discomforts, and stress can cause her to become depressed, angry, or fatigued.
  • Encourage your loved one to be as active and independent, as possible, to help him or her regain a sense of self-reliance and confidence.
  • Be realistic about your own needs. Be sure you are sleeping enough, eating properly, and taking some time off for yourself. It is hard to offer much help when you are exhausted. If you take care of your needs, it may be easier to meet the needs of your loved one.
  • Don't hesitate to ask other family members and friends for help.