10 Favors You Can Do for a Friend with Breast Cancer

Trying to think of how you can help? Here you'll find ten creative ways to give your friend the help she really needs.

Within a week of being diagnosed with breast cancer, a good friend of mine had enough dinners to feed an army. Learning that a friend has been diagnosed with breast cancer is shocking, and springing into action is often how we cope. Here are creative and helpful ideas you can be help a friend after a breast cancer diagnosis.

  1. Organize meals. It sounds basic, but when a mom can't cook meals for her family for months without becoming nauseous, it can wreak havoc on a household. Volunteer to make sure she has dinner each night, or let her know that you'll make sure her children's (and husband's) lunches are prepared and waiting for them in the carpool each day.

  2. Good old fashioned babysitting. Whether you volunteer to take her children for an afternoon of distraction (and giver her some peace and quiet at home), or offer to keep one child entertained for an afternoon so that Mom can have some coveted special time with another child, your friend's lack of energy will make this favor incredibly valuable. Or hire a babysitter and treat her to a movie for the afternoon to get her mind off the stress of treatment.

  1. Offer to drive the carpool on her day - or organize other friends to do it. If her children aren't in carpools, she may still need help getting them to dance classes, piano lessons and basketball practice.

  2. Mow her lawn. Whether or not your friend usually takes care of her yard or has someone on hand with a green thumb, letting her know that you'll make sure her yard is taken care of means she'll have one less item on her family's to-do list. And if she's had surgery, you can bet she won't be excited to push a lawn mower for a while.

  3. Take care of the grocery shopping. Knowing that her refrigerator will remain fully stocked with snacks and lunchbox items, even if she lacks the time or energy to do the shopping, will be a huge help. Just swing by her house to pick up her shopping list, pick up her groceries while you're getting your own, and you'll make her life that much easier.

  4. Become her messenger. If you and your friend are especially close, you might volunteer to be the one who relays updates to the rest of your friends. Use email or a phone tree system to keep her closest friends updated about how she's doing, and you'll make sure she doesn't have hundreds of voicemails waiting to be returned.

  1. Throw a pajama party. Well, not quite – but if your friend has had surgery, particularly a mastectomy, she may need pajamas, robes, and tops that are easier to slip on than her other clothes. Offer to become her personal shopper, determine what she needs, and find cute new nightgowns and tops that will brighten her day.

  2. Pharmacy runs. Your friend may need everything from pain prescriptions to shampoo to cough syrup for her kids, and she'll be relieved that she doesn't have to schedule a trip to the drug store.

  3. Become her own personal Netflix. Your friend may just want to zone out, particularly following chemo sessions or surgery. Bring her favorite DVDs and pick them up once she's had time to watch them.

  4. Surprise her with a gift certificate for a manicure, pedicure or massage. One of the hardest parts of breast cancer treatment is the nasty toll surgery and chemotherapy can take on body image. A manicure may be just what she needs to feel pampered and a little more feminine.

Tell us how you helped your friend during treatment, or share the most helpful favors your friends did for you, at support@breastcancerconnections.com.