How to Support a Friend After a Mastectomy: Tangible Ways to Show You Care

How to Support a Friend After a Mastectomy: Tangible Ways to Show You Care

b-present Team | June 20, 2024

Supporting a friend after a mastectomy can make a significant difference in their recovery and emotional well-being. Whether you’re nearby or far away, there are many meaningful ways you can offer your support. Here’s a guide to help you be there for your friend in tangible and impactful ways.

In-Person Support After a Mastectomy

1. Help with Daily Tasks

After such a big surgery, your friend will need time to rest and recover. Offer to help with daily chores such as cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and laundry. These tasks might seem small, but they can be overwhelming for someone recovering from surgery.

2. Provide Transportation

Driving can be difficult after a mastectomy, especially if your friend is on pain medication. Offer to drive them to and from medical appointments, social gatherings, or even just for a change of scenery.

3. Create a Comfortable Space

Comfort is key during recovery. Help your friend set up a cozy recovery area with pillows, blankets, and easy access to necessities. Consider gifting items like mastectomy pillows (we love Sleep Again Pillows), soft robes, and button-front shirts that are easier to wear post-surgery.

4. Offer Emotional Support

Sometimes, just being there is the best support you can offer. Spend time with your friend, listen to their concerns, and provide a shoulder to lean on. Bring over their favorite movies, books, or board games to help distract them and lift their spirits. 


Remote Support After a Mastectomy

1. Send Care Packages

If you can’t be there in person, sending a care package is a wonderful way to show you care. Include items like skincare products, comforting snacks, uplifting books, and handwritten notes.

2. Virtual Check-Ins

Schedule regular video calls to check in on your friend. Virtual hangouts can provide much-needed social interaction and help them feel less isolated. Use apps like Zoom, FaceTime, or even social media platforms to stay connected.

3. Organize a Meal Train

Set up a meal train with friends and family to ensure your friend has home-cooked meals during their recovery. Websites like Meal Train or Take Them a Meal make it easy to coordinate and sign up for meal deliveries.

4. Send Flowers or Cards

Brighten their day with a bouquet of flowers or a thoughtful card. These small gestures can provide a significant morale boost and remind them they are loved and supported.


Additional Tips for Supporting a Friend After a Mastectomy

1. Respect Their Boundaries

Recovery is a personal experiene, and everyone handles it differently. Be mindful of your friend’s needs and respect their boundaries. Ask before visiting and be understanding if they need space.

2. Educate Yourself

Learn about mastectomies and the recovery process. Understanding what your friend is going through will help you provide better support and empathy.

3. Offer Long-Term Support

Support doesn’t end after the initial recovery period. Continue to check in on your friend, celebrate milestones, and be there for them as they navigate life after surgery.


By offering thoughtful and practical support, you can make a significant impact on your friend’s recovery journey. Remember, the most important thing is to show you care and to be there in whatever way you can. 


Learn more about supporting a friend: