Saturday, 18 March 2017

Weekly Discussion Summary ~ What to Tell a Friend Who Has Been Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

Summary of our weekly group discussion ~ 18th March 2017

WHAT TO TELL A FRIEND WHO HAS JUST BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER?

With around 1 in 8 women being diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime in the UK, at some point we will find ourselves in a position where we hear about a close friend or acquaintance who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. But, what should we say? How should we respond?

We instinctively want to reach out and help our friend, we find ourselves thinking back on our own experiences and we wonder what it is that might have helped us, what we might have wanted to know. For instance, would it have helped to know about the effects of surgery and the possible complications? What might have helped us to cope with chemotherapy, or radiotherapy? What would have helped us practically and emotionally so that we might have been better equipped to deal with the challenges that lay ahead?

We all felt that our shared and common experience provided us with a unique perspective from which we could offer generic and helpful advice to bring comfort and support to those affected, like us. Our discussion, which included the experiences of women with primary and secondary breast cancer reflected both the practical and the emotional, beginning with our recognition that our ability to take in advice, support and information changes - in those first days, we just wish for someone who can sit next to us, and give us space talk, to cry, to be scared, horrified and hopeful all at once. Then, once we have a treatment plan, we might find that we begin to galvanize and prepare ourselves for the demands of treatment.

We have found impossible to convey the extraordinary richness and depth of our discussion in a summary. As a result, we plan to try and capture the nuance and detail in the form of a longer blog post which encompasses both the emotional, and the practical, the insights, and our changing needs. Watch this space!

If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and would like to join our private group please send us a message on our public page:
https://www.facebook.com/resilienceinbreastcancer/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

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