The dynamics of a breast cancer diagnosis is as different from one woman to the next as the cancer itself and the treatment path that each will have. As a result, one of the most difficult non-medical decisions that a woman has to make after a diagnosis is how she can best share the information with her family and friends. And from what I have found, this can be a really tough road for someone who is considered to be a strong woman.
No one can take this journey alone and be successful. Just as the patient needs a team of medical professionals so does this patient need a team of supporters to help with everything else in her life. Barbara Jacoby
Of course, a woman becomes classified as strong because others count on her for help and direction in leading their own lives. She is the wife and mother who negotiates the schedules and lives of one or more other members of her family. She is the co-worker who not only does incredible work on a daily basis but also helps others who need her encouragement to do the same and she still finds time to listen to their concerns and provides solutions for them. She is the friend who will always take time to spend with others and who will make time to assist them in their times of need with all of the support that one could possibly give. So when this pillar of strength who others have come to rely on is diagnosed with breast cancer, those around her quite often assume that she will handle this and breeze through it in the same way she has done with everything else in her life and their life.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Even the strongest women are human and have the same fears and concerns as any other person. Therefore, even if you have come to rely on someone for support in your life, please know that if she receives a breast cancer diagnosis, she is going to need all of the help and support that you can give to her. No matter how strong you may think she is, this is a life-changing event for her and whatever you can best offer her in this time of her need, she will be very grateful for the help, kindness and thoughtfulness.
If you are the strong woman who has been diagnosed, this is the time for you to reach out to those around you for help. For all of those things that you do on a daily basis, you will need help while you go through your treatment and recovery. This is the time that you should be able to rely on those around you for a change and allow for them to give back to you in the best way that they can. Hopefully, they will rise to the occasion and understand the position in which you currently find yourself.
Should you, for any reason, not receive the help and support that you need, I would like to suggest that you organized and map out exactly what you need and expect from each of them. They might not have the slightest clue of where to begin and exactly all that is involved in your daily life that will now need to be handled by someone else for the time being. Based upon your knowledge of the strengths of each of them, including children, if you assign them tasks or duties in which they are most likely to succeed, you will not only get done the things with which you need help from others but you will also make them grateful that they can help you. This not only gives them a way in which to give back but also it will give them a sense of pride in themselves because they have something of value to contribute.
No one can take this journey alone and be successful. Just as the patient needs a team of medical professionals so does this patient need a team of supporters to help with everything else in her life. That may be a team of one or many but it really doesn’t matter as long as the patient gets the support that she needs. Most people will be willing to provide help and assistance especially if they know exactly what they need to do and it is something of which they are capable of doing. As a result, this will allow the strong woman to use all of her strength to heal and recover and that is exactly as it should be. And with the help and loving support of those around her, it will make her journey even easier.
Barbara Jacoby is an award winning blogger that has contributed her writings to multiple online publications that have touched readers worldwide.