One writer reveals what it's really like to live with the disease day-to-day — and honors the woman who helped her through the darkest moments.
Last October, REDBOOK asked readers to send in their stories of how breast cancer had touched their lives — whether they themselves had the disease or had witnessed a loved one facing it down. The entries we received were poignant and powerful, making it difficult to select the grand-prize winner. Its author, Lauren Reece Flaum, 48, was diagnosed...
Write your questions down so you don’t forget them. If okay with your loved one, feel free to ask the doctor these question at an appointment. You may want to share your questions with your loved ones before you go.
Be prepared for changes in your loved one's behavior and mood. Medications, discomforts, and stress may cause your loved one to become depressed, angry, or fatigued.
Encourage your loved one to be active and independent, as much as possible, to help her regain a sense of self-reliance and control.
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. They will appreciate the opportunity to help.
Family members and friends of a person coping with breast cancer may also find themselves under a great deal of stress. To reduce your stress:
Keep a positive attitude.
Accept that there are events you cannot control.
Be assertive instead of aggressive. "Assert" your feelings, opinions, or beliefs instead of becoming angry, combative, or passive.