Show Support for Mom
A cancer diagnosis is devastating news for the patient as well has her loved ones. Hearing those words come from your mom is an emotional experience. Some moms might feel they don’t want to burden their children with strong feelings of anger, anxiety or depression. Others might see this as an opportunity to reach out for help. Mom needs your support, no matter how awkward it might feel at first. There are many ways to show mom you are there for her, from wearing breast cancer shirts to being there during her doctor appointments.
Sometimes it is enough to be a sounding board for your mom. She doesn’t necessarily want your advice or opinion on every aspect, but it’s important for her to vent her feelings and frustrations throughout the treatment process. When mom has bad days and she needs to cry and complain, just listen and comfort her. When she has good days full of energy and optimism, be there to cheer her on and encourage her on this long journey.
Validate Her Feelings
It’s important to give mom the space to vent her feelings. Maybe she’s angry and hopeless. Perhaps she has withdrawn from the world in a depressed state. Maybe the reality hasn’t hit, and she’s experiencing a bit of denial. Your job is to be there for your mom to listen to and validate her feelings, confirming that her feelings are normal.
Take advantage of those times when mom feels strong and healthy. Take a walk with her, show your pride by donning matching breast cancer shirts, take her to lunch or spend time doing what mom loves to do. Remind her that life is worth fighting for, and she will get through this tough time with the help of family and friends.
Sometimes when a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, family members are unsure how to react. They become awkward, second guessing all of their actions toward the patient. Be yourself as much as possible. Your mom wants you to act as you would have when she was healthy. You can still go to her for advice on things going on in your own life. Try to be yourself as much as possible when you talk and interact with mom.
Support Her Decisions
After the diagnosis has set in and your mom has been informed of treatment options; make sure you leave the decision making to her. Remember that it is her disease and her life. She has the ultimate power to decide which path of treatment to follow. Your job is not to judge her decisions and argue with her about other options. Your job is to support mom by standing by the decision that she has made.
Patrick Whalen is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites. Follow him @2patwhalen.