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Pink-Link Support Tips 

Thank you for being a part of the Pink-Link support network and for accepting this contact. We've put together these support tips to review BEFORE any contact is made with another member. If your contact is currently going through treatment, remember what it was like for you and remember how you felt supported. Try and do the same for her. Please remember that any advice given to another member does not replace the medical advice that they've received.

  1. Know how to listen actively and without judgment. Be open to hearing what the person has to say.
  2. Recognize that the experience of living with cancer and its treatments can be isolating. Encourage the person to join a support group, maintain social contacts and involve her faith community in the circle of healing.
  3. Recognize that intense emotions are appropriate responses to this experience. Communicate your willingness to "hear" these emotions without judging them.
  4. Remember that this person is more than a survivor with cancer. Recognize and respect the limits that a person sets regarding how much or how little to talk. Be cognizant that their comfort in talking will be bolstered by open and honest communication.
  5. Talk about normal, non-medical life, if the person is interested. Take cues from the person about how much talk there should be about cancer and non-cancer topics.
  6. Bring humor to the conversation. Help to bring levity to a difficult situation and allow the person to connect to those things in life that are not usually associated with cancer.
  7. Offer to create a community within the Lots of Helping Hands website, accessed through Pink-Link, to assist with dinners, driving and babysitting.
  8. Be considerate. Be aware of fatigue and listen for signs of discomfort or anxiety.
  9. Be honest. When feeling nervous or unsure of what to say, tell them. It's okay to say, "I am scared of saying or doing the wrong things, but I want to be here for you. I'm open to helping you in any way you need."
  10. DO NOT relay stories of people that have died from cancer.
  11. DO NOT assume knowledge of how a person feels or what course their life should take after a cancer diagnosis. How one experiences cancer is individual and can only be defined by that person.
  12. DO NOT be afraid to talk about their religious faith, but DO NOT push views or beliefs onto them. Cancer has deep spiritual implications and can mark the beginning of a new chapter in one's spiritual journey which may lead to a renewed and strengthened faith.
  13. Communicating love and concern and willingness to be present is one of the greatest gifts you can give.
  14. Survivors need to be allowed to feel. One of the best ways of doing that is by letting them express their emotions and accepting them. DO NOT trivialize a person's feelings.
  15. Trust is an important issue in all relationships. The need for it can be heightened when a person is feeling vulnerable.

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