(BPT) – The topic of breast cancer can feel familiar – from October walks to pink ribbons, Americans know breast cancer. That is, until you or a loved one is diagnosed.
Suddenly, breast cancer moves from a topic that feels championed to a topic that is entirely too new, too unknown and too fresh. Suddenly, there is not enough information or resources to help a family cope.
Nearly all Americans are aware that breast cancer poses a serious health threat to both women and men, but despite the vast awareness, many don’t know what it really means to fight this disease. According to a recent study conducted by Ford’s breast cancer awareness initiative, Warriors in Pink, more than 40 percent of Americans are unfamiliar with the day-to-day challenges patients face while in treatment, and even more, nearly 75 percent admit that they are unsure how to best support patients.
Loved ones not knowing how to help makes a difference because family and friends are proven to be patients’ greatest resources for getting through treatment. Supporters may not know where to start in providing support, feeling that the issues facing patients are too big for them to solve. But what you still don’t know about breast cancer is that the little things matter more than ever. In fact, the ability to maintain day-to-day routines during treatment is one of breast cancer patients’ top concerns – second only to life expectancy.
“In terms of the day-to-day, it’s those tasks that were hardest for me,” says breast cancer survivor, Jenn Nudelman. “So my friends and family just came and did things. They didn’t give me a choice. A lot of times people reach out and say, ‘What can I do?’ But I’m not a person who asks for help. It was those friends who didn’t even ask, just acted, that I really shared the journey with.”
The key to care and being able to “just act” is being familiar with what types of support patients need most. When asked what type of support that is, patients report needing the most help with daily activities like household chores, errands and meal preparation while undergoing treatment.
“People brought meals to me,” says survivor Lisa Hedenstrom, “and my husband organized a lot of the logistics – taking me to appointments and helping me organize those appointments. Family and friends would come help with tasks for me, too. Because of them, I didn’t have to worry about grocery shopping or other types of tiring daily chores.”
Another survivor, Lori Redunski, could relate. “My husband hired a cleaning crew to come in and my kids would come home and see the lines in the carpet, smell the cleanser and feel comfortable in their home. It made our life so much easier,” she says.
These daily tasks are often overlooked, but every action taken to help patients to focus on their health and fighting this disease makes a difference.
“There are missing things that people don’t think about,” says survivor Heidi Floyd. “For example, if you need your side walk shoveled because of the snow, your lawn mowed or your pets cared for. Who has energy to walk their dog when they’re doing eight or nine hours of chemo or daily radiation?”
While help with these daily tasks undeniably lessens the burden on breast cancer patients, it’s important to remember that emotional care is also vital for those going through treatment.
“Through it all, you need at least one supporter who is genuinely there to do just that, to support you; to pray with you and to make you laugh,” says survivor Deborah Hayes. “Amidst trying to be strong throughout treatment and recovery, and making sure that everything in your personal life still gets accomplished, one really does need that supportive friend or group to share your innermost feelings.”
To empower friends and family to take action and support the breast cancer patients in their lives, Ford Warriors in Pink offers free support services that make it easy to respond to their greatest needs – including cleaning services, meal kit deliveries, alternative hospital wear, online scheduling tools and more. These resources, available on their website at www.fordcares.com, allow loved ones who don’t know how to help to simply click and “just act” – without being asked. Additionally, the site offers tips and ideas on how to help patients have more good days during their journey.
“I was blessed with a great family and friends that were there to bring me support,” Redunski says. “But when people don’t have that support, they really need to feel comfortable with the resources that are available to them – whether through their doctors or online.”
Take the time to learn how you can make the little things add up to a supportive journey for the breast cancer patients in your life.
January Magazine Issue 2018
What’s inside: Diana Barrios Trevino and Roland Trevino serves as the executive chairs for 2018 Khaki and Plaid, Diana also shares her story, learn how to get more out of your smartphone, tips for taking care of your winter wardrobe, Randy Adams learn to buy and sell cars, More students are going to grad school, and more!
Ep 17 | Pastor Keely Petty Gives an Encouraging word for the New Year!
We kick off 2018 with Pastor Keely Petty! Want to start the new year off right? Listen to Pastor Keely Petty’s message on living a productive life and establishing a relationship with God.
Pastor Keely Petty serves alongside her husband Sr. Pastor Lee Petty in various Ministry capacities at Bethel International Christian Fellowship in San Antonio, TX. She is an ordained Elder/Prophet/Teacher in the body of Christ, Author, International Conference Speaker, and frequent host on various programs for the Trinity Broadcast Network, and various media outlets. She is the Program Director of bethel Community development Corporation, Inc., a Faith-Based Community Organization serving the disenfranchised in San Antonio, TX and surrounding counties.
She is the founder of several community based and international initiatives such as: Girl Worth Mentoring, which empowers teen girls to fulfill their God-Given destiny through Life Skills Empowerment Training Sessions. The Self Esteem Initiative 4 Women helps women from all walks of life become competent to live productively for themselves and others through the 6 Pillars of Self Esteem and Emotional Freedom Techniques. Faith Connections which assist Ministries and Churches to become a 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) Non-Profit Organization through Strategic Prevention, and Capacity Building Leadership Development and Training.
Pastor Keely also work with several AIDS Service Organizations and has been appointed to the Ministers Roundtable of Texas who mission is to reduce HIV/AIDS among women of color through the Texas Black Women’s Initiative and Worth Life. She is the host of a community dialogue “Conversations on Sexual Health” in an effort to reduce HIV infection rates among women of color. She is a member of the San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Christian Business Women’s Association, and the Professional Women of Faith Network.
She has received acknowledge for her contributions to her community from:
The San Antonio Business Journal Women’s Leadership, San Antonio Women’s Chamber of Commerce, Top Ladies of Distinction, Gems of Faith in Who’s Who Women’s Edition, and has been featured on the cover of ReFocused Magazine. Pastor Keely has been appointed as Commissioner on the Mayor’s Status of Women, and holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of the Incarnate Word, and is a graduate of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA).
This beautiful woman of God is the mother of two young adult sons Jirah and Jonathan Petty, and resides in Cibolo, TX with her lifetime sweetheart and agreement partner Sr. Pastor Lee Petty.
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Podcast weekly broadcast location:
Rockafellas Barber Shop (Owner: Rico Rodriguez)
1733 Babcock Rd. San Antonio, TX 78229
A warm and inspiring message during this Holiday Season. “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” Jillian Denys shared with Refocused Magazine about her journey battling cancer and her experience with Komen San Antonio Race for the Cure team. A must read! Merry Christmas from Refocused Magazine!
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