Ideas for friend with breast cancer?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by Juloo, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    I just found out today that a friend of mine has just had a double mastectomy for stage 3 breast cancer. She begins chemo soon, and it sounds as if it will be followed by radiation. I haven't seen her in a while, but she has always been a very calm and peaceful influence for me -- and very supportive with my health problems. I'm a bit stunned, really. She's lead a healthful life style, but was never pushy about it. I'm so glad that the cancer was caught -- she has a beautiful family and a lot to live for.

    I thought about taking flowers and a cake over (she has a big family, so I know that will go fast, especially with so many visitors -- baking is almost always my first answer to a crisis), but I'd like to take a book or some music. Something that will give her encouragement and inspiration. Also, if anyone has any ideas for something I could bake for someone who is a vegetarian, that would be welcome as well.


    Anyone have suggestions?
  2. budmickl

    budmickl New Member

    I don't know where I saw this (probably TV) but it was what cancer patients would like/need.

    They want someone to just be with them - during chemo and radiation, when they are puking, to make a dinner for the family or just call in a pizza and have it delivered.

    Go grocery shopping for them or with them, they will be weak and tire easily. Take the kids to the park. Take to dog (or cat) to the vets and groomers. Take her car to the station and gas it up and wash it.

    Hope this gives you some ideas!

  3. angelheart

    angelheart New Member

    Juloo, there is an organization on the web called ChemoAngels that you should check out. Just google it and you should find it. I was a ChemoAngel thru this website and it was the most rewarding experience. Perhaps you could find out if your friend would like to be matched with an Angel. In the meantime you can read the site and get ideas to help her! The idea of the site is you are matched with someone you don't know who is going through chemo and you "angel" them with small gifts and cards during the entire process. I was a "card angel" which meant I sent cards/notes once a week to my buddy. You can't request to be an angel to someone you know (like your friend), but I thought the site would be helpful to you. Good luck & bless you for having such a kind heart!
  4. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I did antiviral chemo and it would have been nice if someone had warned me that it was going to do a real nutrient depletion number on me. She needs to get some really great multivitamins and mineral supps and some excellent protein powder from the health food store and start loading up on nutrients and healthy food. Here are some interesting cancer protocols I've come across while searching for health:

    These are natural things you can do even while undergoing chemo treatment and they just might make all the difference. I know I'd do them. I'm already doing many of these things for my own CFS. It explains what to do about things like ph balance, what tumors need to grow, aerobic metabolism, etc. At the very least, it's interesting reading. Everyone with cancer should know these things. These are the natural treatments your doctor won't know about.

    best wishes,

  5. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    Thank you, guys, for answering my post. I'll admit that just hearing the news really rocked me back a bit. I appreciate your suggestions. My brain has been having a hard time getting around the fact of the mastectomy and cancer so that I hadn't been able to think about the next step right away.

    Budmickl -- I did wonder about how she is going to get down for chemo treatments. I'm going to ask her husband about that. I used to take my mom for radiation treatments, and I certainly don't mind that for her. I think I'll also ask if they need someone to pick up the kids from school.

    Fight4acure -- you read my mind...I had seen that banana bread recipe thread floating around, and it was making my mouth water!

    Angelheart -- I hadn't even known where to start with resources on the web, since the Internet was just a baby when my mom was sick. I've been to and bookmarked the website for ChemoAngels so that I can read more and also tell my friend about it.

    Karen -- I liked your advice about nutritional support. My friend has always been very health-oriented, and I know that she will be interested in pursuing complementary supplementation. She and I have exchanged this type of information in the past, so I think that she'll be open to it.

    Thank you again to all of you for getting my brain working. For the moment, I am contacting her by email since I am in the midst of a cold. I don't even want to risk giving it to her before she starts chemo. My mom was so vulnerable, immune-wise, when she was going through her treatments.
  6. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    What a kind and thoughtful friend you are!

    When I had breast cancer, the following are what helped me, as well as my other survivor friends:

    Meal's or a cake, for other family member's, are heaven sent. My DH and kid's loved when people brought food to our home. Some thing's might not taste, to her, the same once she start's chemo. If not, ask her what does.

    Offer to take her to appointment's, shopping ( if she feel's up to it), or any type of errand running.

    She will need some one to really listen to her, if she want's to talk about her fear's, hope's, etc. This may be a time when she doesn't want to hear about other's recoveries, to keep her chin up, etc. The ability to talk about how you feel, w/o input can be very comforting.

    If she loses her hair, it may make her feel very concious of her looks as well as for other's. Again, just listen. I looked normal to other's, until my hair started falling out. I decided to have mine shaved, and my close friend went with me. Not everyone chooses the same path.

    When I had to wear hats, wigs, etc., I felt as if I truly did have cancer and it was visible to me and REAL. Other's noticed too, which was sad for awhile, but became the norm, after a short period of time.

    For me, I found I was strong, but didn't always want to feel as if I couldn't be fearful. The listening itself, is tremendous support. Even though it might make other's uncomfortable. There are no word's that can 'fix' her cancer.

    Friend's need to call and reach out to her. When people say call me, and mean it, it may be difficult for her to do so. When it is offered, by friend's and family, it make's asking easier.

    Funny movies and item's, joke's, or anthing that made me laugh, were great for me, as well as my spirit. She may feel this way too.

    Some of my friend's made a run for the 'hill's' when I was diagnosed. It did point out those who truly cared for me. It is so important for family and friend's to let her know, she is not alone.

    Someone gave me the book "Chicken Soup for the Surviving Soul." I could read as I want. There were happy, funny, sad, and hopeful stories. All of these are the realities of her life.

    I apologize for the longgggggg reply. It has been 10 year's since my cancer. I feel very blessed.

    I will pray for your friend, her family, and you.

    Please keep us updated on your friend, and also on how YOU are doing. It is hard for those of you who care and feel helpless.

    God Bless,


    [This Message was Edited on 01/30/2008]
  7. ksp56

    ksp56 Member

    hoping Juloo read's the responses...
  8. sues1

    sues1 New Member

    I feel that you know of those bracelets for about any cause?
    Looks like over sized rubber bands. Cancer ones are in pink.

    They are not expensive,

    One of my favorite gifts was such and it simply said, "Survivor"" on it. It was sent to me. I grinned from ear to ear and love it. My hubby had already got one for me that says, "Hope Faith Love" and got one for himself too. He has not removed it yet for any reason. Not all guys would wear pink. LOL.

    Either online or shop that sells the special bras and wigs would sell such.

    Anything that boosts a persons morale is a great idea.

    Simple foods to heat up in microwave is a great gift. It is hard to cook and then eat during chemo, cake and such also great.



    When one of my dearest friends was fighting breast cancer for the second time, I was beside myself trying to figure out what I could do to help her with this lastest battle.

    Several of her friends and I got together and had a meeting..we set-up scedules..after the initial meeting, we met once a week (outside of her home)to re-do a new schedule for that week..Someone would pick her son up from school and help with homework..took her son to his sports games..people knew what days they needed to cook for her and her family so that there were meals coming in 7 days a week..a couple of gals cleaned her house every week..others did laundry, went to the pharmacy for her the grocery store, wrote out bills..helped with the mail..there were many many more things that people did to lend a helping hand..and this was such a load off the shoulders of her husband..he was so very grateful.

    One of the most important things we asked her was..were there any smells that bothered her..she said PERFUMES!!..anything with a scent made her tummy upset (shampoo, gels, hairspray, etc)..ever since then, I do not wear/use anything scented when I know I'm going to be around someone who is ill..especially, someone going through chemo.

    During her last days, when she was confined to bed, I would crawl-up next to her, and gently rub her was a very quiet and peaceful time of the day for both of words were needed...

    Juloo..I wish your friend the very best..
  10. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    It was on the tip of my tongue before, but I couldn't remember what it was called or where it was! It's a total nutritional attack on cancer, but it's extreme - it means no yummy food for a long time. If she's interested, take a look here, it's what I'm going to do. In fact, I'm going to start heavy juicing today to attempt to fix leaky gut as quick as possible (which may still take a year):

  11. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    And organized!

    Asatrump -- the idea you wrote about of having a hat party just blew me away. How cool! Also, I understand what you mean about the chemo and problems with taste. My mother had radiation for her salivary cancer, and it did the same number on her. She was already underweight when she was diagnosed, so it was really hard to find things that would taste good (or like anything at all) to her.

    Ksp56 -- my friend is not a really 'girly girl' kind of person, but neither am I. Even so, when I think about it, I think the hair loss would be a major issue for me. (My mother chose to have me shave her hair off when she starting losing it.) As you say, that it makes it all visible and real for you and others -- and perhaps brings on questions that would be uncomfortable. She is a budding Buddhist, but I don't think she was really planning to consider the Pema Chodron look as a deliberate choice. I like your 'Chicken Soup' book idea. I looked for it in a bookstore this past weekend, but will try another one.

    Wildwoodwine -- You mentioned smells. YES! Now that you've put it down, I remember my mom saying something similar. She said everything smelled burnt! My father-in-law had Sjogren's and COPD, and he had a heck of a time breathing in a room with something with strong scents. It always amazed me that even though he had a sign on his front door (no perfumes, lotions, etc.), they continually had visitors that paid it no mind!

    Barrowinnovations -- Thank you for the Gerson Therapy heads-up. I will definitely pass this along. As I probably said before, this would be right up her alley.

    Thank you all for being so supportive. I'm still hacking up a lung here, so it is email communication for now.