Your best friend just told you over a sizeable bottle of wine that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer, and your whole world stopped. She's your soulmate, your twin flame and practically your sister. The Rachel to your Phoebe, The Serena to your Blair...and now she has cancer, aka the ugliest "C" word ever.
We know how shocking, overwhelming and heartbreaking this is for you. We also know the first thing you're probably wondering is, "What can I do for her?"
Chances are, she's still processing the news of all of this herself, and she may not know what will help her yet either. But here's the upside: you found this article, and at AnaOno, we can help you through it as you help your friend through it. We've had a lot of friends who've been diagnosed with breast cancer, and based on our own experiences, we're here to offer our tips on how to care for your breastie and help support her through their breast cancer diagnosis, mastectomy, surgery and treatments.
We've compiled a step-by-step guide on how to help your best friend make it through this incredibly hard time. We've included tips for being supportive through the ups and downs along with some practical things she'll need that will support her along the way. AnaOno is an excellent resource for thoughtful and meaningful gifts for women with breast cancer that will help you show her how much you want to be there for her every step of the way.
So, how can you help support your friend with breast cancer? Let's start with the basics...
What To Say (And Not Say) To Your Best Friend With Breast Cancer
When you're talking to your friend about their breast cancer diagnosis or upcoming breast surgery, it can be hard to know what to say (or not say) in your conversations. This may be new territory for you, and you may not know as much as you thought about breast cancer. You may feel awkward asking them about their new diagnosis and what their treatment plan is, but just remember that they are just as new to navigating this situation as you are. No one prepares you for breast cancer.
When you guys are talking, DO speak openly and sincerely and offer your best support, but do your best NOT to project your own fears and anxiety on them either. Remember how scary this must feel for them. Instead of telling them, "I'm so scared for you," try, "I know you're feeling a lot right now, but I want you to know that I am here for you."
Even if you don't know what to say, TELL THEM! Saying something like, "I wish I knew the right thing to say all the time, but I want you to know that you can come to me whenever you need to talk and I will be here to listen."
Being open and honest, while still being sensitive to what their emotional needs are will mean the world to them. And sometimes, we all just need someone to listen to us, and let us vent our fears and frustrations to those who know and love us most.
Finally, avoid trying to offer suggestions in regards to her health. It can be very tempting to research her diagnosis on your own and try to come up with helpful tips. But your friend doesn't need you to assist her in coming up with a treatment plan. Trust that she and her doctor have it covered and that she's thought long and hard about every treatment decision she's made. Instead of trying to offer health advice, be the strong emotional support she needs.
Encourage Pre-Mastectomy Self-Love
It goes without saying that a mastectomy is one of the hardest surgeries a woman can undergo, not just physically, but emotionally, too. Prepping for a breast surgery can take a huge toll on your emotional and mental health, and can also impact one's sense of self-confidence.
As self-love advocates, we encourage you to encourage your bestie to incorporate some simple self-love practices into her daily routine. Whether it's practicing daily affirmations, or celebrating her body through a sexy pre-mastectomy photoshoot, support her as she figures out what her self-love needs look like throughout her journey. You can check out our pre-mastectomy checklist for some more suggestions!
What To Get Your Friend Before Her Mastectomy
As your BFF prepares for her mastectomy surgery, she'll need an arsenal of super-soft post-surgical bras she can wear once her medical compression bra has served its purpose. She may or may not have heard from her doctor, but after mastectomy, her mobility may not be at its best, so post-surgical garments that make dressing easier are what she needs most.
A post-surgical front closing bra after mastectomy or breast surgery will support and comfort her body and ease post-surgery pain. Our award-winning Rora Pocketed Recovery Front Closure Bra is the perfect gift for your bestie after her mastectomy. This ultra-comfortable accessory will help her to recover in something that's not only soft, but a fashionable and pretty wire-free bra, too! Because it hooks in the front, it's much easier for her to put on when she's still sore from surgery. It also features built-in pockets which are ideal for any breast forms or breast prosthesis she may want to wear.
Getting gifts and pretty, comfortable bras for your friend after breast surgery that will help her with her recovery is a supportive way to show you care. Another post-mastectomy gift suggestion is the unbeatably soft Monica Full-Coverage Bra, a soft, stretchy and breathable bra for full coverage support. This is a back-closure post-mastectomy bra with convertible straps that can be worn straight or cross-back style. This one is so soft, it'll probably become her all-time favorite. Due to its versatile design and convenient functions, our Monica bra provides the soft support and comfort that recovery easier. Either or both of these bra options make great gifts before mastectomy so your friend will be prepared immediately after her surgery.
Don't forget underestimate the power of clothing in how to help someone with breast cancer. The Miena Robe is not only cute with her favorite recovery PJs, but also practical to her recovery process. This robe comes with a specially designed drain management belt made to store her drains immediately following her surgery. It's ultra-soft and lightweight, so it doesn't irritate the skin or feel too heavy or warm. After she's all healed, she can remove the belt and wear it as her #selfcaresunday robe around the house.
Post-Mastectomy Dream Outfit. It doesn't get any better than the Miena Robe and Rora Front Closure Bra Recovery Bundle!
What To Get Your Breastie For After Recovery From Breast Surgery
Once she is healed from mastectomy, reconstruction, lumpectomy or DIEP flap surgery, throw your bestie a lingerie shower or take her on a shopping spree to find the softest, comfiest and prettiest bras after breast surgery! She'll finally be at the point where she can transition out of her more practical post-surgical styles and into cuter, more fashionable, sexy bras. And what better way to celebrate than to spoil her with pretty new lingerie made for her body!
The Molly, our flirty pocketed plunge bra, will keep her super comfy while inspiring her to reclaim her confidence after breast cancer and wear her favorite low-cut tops again. This fun T-shirt bra is feather-soft, supportive and pretty. As one of our softest modal surgical bras, it will soothe her sensitive surgical areas, all while keeping her cute, comfy and confident.
In addition to being wire-free, the Molly bra is also super-sexy and feminine, too. It comes with delicate features like a satin bow. It is also pocketed to accommodate breast forms, prosthesis or F(oo)B™ inserts, and the seamless front will provide a gorgeous smooth finish, whether she remains flat after mastectomy or reconstructs her breasts. This style is the perfect gateway bra into our even sexier post-mastectomy styles.
The Molly, this T-shirt bra works for those with one breast, two breasts or no breasts. Gift one to your BFF after her breast surgery, and get one for yourself too. Who doesn't love wire-free, pretty bras?
The Gloria Pocketed Lace Bra is the perfect end-of-surgery gift suited for a night out on the town and for when your friend is ready to reclaim her sexy style! This gorgeous, lacy bralette was designed to make her new boobs look flawless. Not only is this lacy bra wire-free, supportive and comfortable, it's also pocketed to accommodate breast forms or inserts if she is flat or looking for balance if she is unilateral.
Our Gloria lace bra is luxurious with exquisitely crafted seaming and silky soft feminine details to make your bestie feel like her sexy self again. Once she has her go-to sultry AnaOno bra, encourage her to explore her sexy side by practicing some of our favorite self-love tips.
Not sure which style she'd like? You can also help your bestie feel comfortable and confident after breast surgery by letting her pick out something exciting from our collection. A gift card is always a great gift to get for your loved one with breast cancer so they can choose the items that work for their unique needs and style.
It can feel like a huge responsibility to be there for your best friend going through a mastectomy, diagnosis or surgery. But as hard as it is, just know that no matter what she is going through, the best tip for how to support someone with cancer is to simply be there for them. As long as you stay by her side, she'll know just how much you care and support her.