Gift ideas and other ways to help someone going through breast cancer
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One out of every eight women is diagnosed with breast cancer, making it an incredibly personal disease.
But no matter if someone close to you is going through breast cancer or a distant acquaintance, there are a multitude of thoughtful ways to show your support. From care package ideas to organizing a meal train, here are some ways to help out.
Organize a meal train
Eating may be the last thing on a cancer patient's mind, but making sure dinner is ready on the table and their children's lunches are packed for school are frequently one of their priorities. Organizing a meal train, where the community comes together to plan meals for a patient and his or her family, can take a huge burden off the patient's shoulders.
Make a care package
Whereas flowers may be the first thing that comes to mind for someone who is sick, it's actually dissuaded by physicians because of the harm it may have on someone with an already compromised immune system.
Instead, care packages are an easy and thoughtful way to support a cancer patient, as they can be personalized depending on the patient's needs and interests. Always welcomed essentials include a hypoallergenic throw, a sleep mask, a mastectomy pillow and the gift of an unlimited Kindle subscription.
Another gift to show support for breast cancer patients is the AnaOno bra, created for breast cancer patients by a then 27-year-old woman who underwent a bilateral mastectomy after being diagnosed.
Pitch in with daily tasks
Cooking and dinnertime may be solved with a meal train, but what about all the other household chores that may be weighing on a patient's mind? Alleviating stress from errands and chores are an easy way to help one who is sick and undergoing treatment. Whether it's cleaning the house, picking up the kids from school, running errands in between doctors appointments or even walking the dog, there are a lot of ways to show support by taking on daily tasks.
Support during treatment
Some people may like privacy during their doctor's visits and infusions, whereas others rely on the support of family and friends to not only transport them to appointments, but to sit with them as well. Sometimes a patient lacks a close support system; other times, their spouse's employer may not be as accommodating and a patient is left by his or herself to make it to certain appointments alone.
Whether you're there to hold their hand through infusions or distract them through procedures, these acts of support are invaluable to most patients.
Send a card or even a monetary donation
Sending a card, text or email to tell your loved one that you're thinking of them can mean a world of reassurance. And since treatment does not come cheap -- cancer patients are twice as likely to declare bankruptcy -- monetary support, even the smallest amount, can go a long way.