My friend Haralee Weintraub knows all about this, as she has been there. In fact, her breast cancer journey inspired her to start a business making sleepwear aimed at women who have had breast cancer. More on that below. I asked her to share some of her experience and thoughts about her cancer experience. And here they are:
Some Do’s and Don’ts in Talking with Someone with Breast Cancer
by Haralee Weintraub
Cancer is a journey. I hated that term at first until I was on the other side of this experience. Here are some tips to help so you can be a loving friend or family member to someone with cancer.
Tip #1 Try not to say anything stupid like:
“You look great!”
“You look so slim!”
“Don’t you loose weight with cancer?”
“Does cancer run in your family?”
“Do you smoke?”
The subtext that comes across here is trying to blame the patient with false information.
Tip#2: Don’t be put off if the cancer patient reels at a comment.
Between chemotherapy or radiation or surgeries, coping skills may be diminished!
Energy may be stretched for the patient. There are good days and bad days.
Tip #3: Let the Patient dictate your involvement
Cancer affects the whole family. Some family members unfortunately just don’t rise to the occasion while others exceed expectations. Friends can be a welcomed source of help or not. Take your cue from the patient herself, but ask too.
Here are 5 things you can say to someone with cancer:
1. Cancer sucks!
2. What tastes good to you today? Let’s go!
3. I am dropping a dinner to your house today!
4. Is today a good day? Want to check out ??
5. Feel like company today? OK or I will call you tomorrow!
Treatments can go on for 6-12 months. Be the friend or loved one who is in for the long haul along side of the patient.
After I finished my cancer treatments I realized my journey had profoundly changed my life. I looked closely at my career path. I wanted to make a difference. Never in a million years did I think when I was diagnosed with breast cancer that it would lead to becoming an entrepreneur!
I started my own business, www.haralee.com, helping women get a better night’s sleep with our sleepwear collection. My company donates a percentage of every sale to breast cancer. We use models that are also breast cancer survivors or their daughters or sisters, and we are made in the USA. Our styles are designed for the breast cancer patient so no buttons or lace or doo-dads that could irritate sensitive skin from surgeries or radiation. We make ‘Cool Garments for Hot Women’.