Skip to main content
Image

Top 5 Emotional Triggers For Women With Breast Cancer

By Rethink Breast Cancer April 18 2018

“TRIGGERED”… The strong emotional response to something that you can’t stand.

via GIPHY

To add to the “Unsolicited Advice” and “Sh*t People Say When You Have Cancer” conversations, we asked women with breast cancer what things have #TRIGGERED them throughout diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. So here are the top 5 emotional triggers for a woman with cancer… AND how to avoid them.


1

INSTEAD:

Try to understand that, for her, it actually couldn’t be worse right now and this diagnosis isn’t any less scary/serious than the other cancers out there. 


2

INSTEAD:

Recognize that, while your intentions may be good, she doesn’t need you telling her what she “should” be doing… she has a doctor for that. What she needs is your support. 


3

INSTEAD:

Choose to understand that everyone’s experience is different and comparing her diagnosis/weight/response to treatment/etc. to your friend of a friend does very little to encourage her where she’s at. ♡ 


4

INSTEAD:

It’s important to realize that ‘normal’ probably doesn’t exist in her mind anymore and that life doesn’t just pick up where it left off. So instead of being excited, she could be anxious about what her new normal might look like… and that’s, well, normal. 


5

INSTEAD:

Recognize that in her mind chemo doesn’t always mean cured. Staying connected with people who’ve gone through similar experiences isn’t something to “move on” from and can actually help her navigate post-treatment life. 


All this being said, let’s not overcomplicate things. We don’t want you to feel unnecessarily tense around people you know just because they have cancer. The best ways to avoid setting off these emotional triggers are actually pretty simple:
Listen.
Offer advice if they ASK you for it.
Let them know you’re there for them.
And BE THERE for them.
It’s the little things.