When someone you know is diagnosed with breast cancer, one of the first things you would want to do is to reach out and show your support. Maybe you want to call, send a message, or give a card. You can always find a gift for someone with breast cancer. Or maybe you want to drop by and talk personally. You want her to know you are there and you want to give her hope and strength.
But what should you say?
Knowing about a friend or a loved one’s breast cancer diagnosis is truly upsetting and shocking. So it’s understandable that you may find yourself lost for words. Certainly, it can be difficult to find the right words to say. To help you, we have listed down some of the breast cancer encouragement phrases you can write in a card or say to a friend.
Breast Cancer Encouragement Phrases
“I am here for you.”
The first time you hear that someone has breast cancer can feel knee-jerking and shocking. However, this isn’t about you. It’s about her. Instead of saying “Oh my God” or “That’s so terrible”, opt for saying “I’m sorry” and follow through by saying you are there to support. During the first disclosure, it is best to say less.
“I pray for you every day.” Or “I am praying for you.”
Let the person know that she is in your thoughts and prayers. This will give her great comfort. If you’re not religious, you can change this into “You are in my thoughts.”
“I’m so proud of your strength.” Or “You are strong.”
She must know you appreciate just how hard she is fighting every day. This simple phrase might even be the thing she needs to hear to push through the day.
“You are not facing this alone.” Or “You’re not alone.”
Cancer can make someone feel isolated. So make sure to tell her that you are with her with this journey and that she is fighting this battle with you.
“I can’t imagine how you feel right now but I’m here to listen if you want to talk.”
Hearing that a friend or a loved one has breast cancer can bring out a lot of questions in you. But you should avoid asking and accept that she’s not ready to share everything. Instead, offer to listen when she is ready. Having a person who she can vent to or talk to about whatever is a great help for someone who is going through a lot.
“I’m going to help with…”
Instead of saying “Call me when you need help with anything”, be specific. Tell her what you can do to make things easier for her. If you can help her clean the house, say so. If you can look after the kids, cook for her, and drive her to her appointments, that will be great. Tell her anything that you are willing and can do. If you’re going to wait for her to decide how you can help, you will probably never get that call.
“This sucks.” Or “This stinks.”
Because it is. Cancer sucks and it stinks. And it hurts to know that someone you know has it. Saying it out loud to someone who has to go through with it can be a validation of how she feels. Sometimes, this is all that needs to be said.
“This does not define you.”
Cancer can make someone feel that her life revolves around the illness. But that’s not true. Help her see that she is more than a cancer patient. Make her focus on the traits she has that has nothing to do with having cancer.
Say Nothing at All
It’s okay not to know what to say at first. When words fail you, the best thing you can do is be present. Simply showing her that you are there to help and listen is what matters most.