I spoke to a client today who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and feeling a little overwhelmed by all of it. She didn’t know anyone who had breast cancer now or in the past, and she didn’t feel like her friends wanted to talk about it.

Friends and family often have no idea what to say, what not to say, or what a cancer patient is going through unless they have been there themselves. I found it helpful to bring up the elephant in the room first, speak only briefly about it, answer questions, and then moved on to another topic. If you need help with something – anything – ask them to help you. Be specific. Most people want to help but, again, have no idea what to say or where to begin.

She really appreciated being able to talk with someone who has been there…and survived. I was glad I was there to listen.

Kim Croft, the Breast Cancer Recovery Coach, CCHt