Advice for supporting mum with breast cancer

My mum has been diagnosed with breast cancer :broken_heart:and will start chemotherapy soon. I would be so grateful for any advice on how best to support her and any therapies that can help with side effects of chemo etc. Also any advice on dealing with the physical and emotional impact. Many thanks in advance


I’m so sorry to read this. What a tough time you must be having but how lucky your mum is to have a daughter supporting her along the way.

I found the podcast You, Me and the Big C an enormous support and comfort. They tackle so many of the big questions and somehow manage to keep it lighthearted at the same time. They almost became like friends. I highly recommend taking a look at the different episodes. Some will be more relevant than others so you can pick and choose with every stage your mum is at.

It’s also worth seeing what the hospital offer in terms of alternative therapies. There are often supporting charities that help with reflexology, massage etc. If not, some of the bigger companies like Urban Massage offer Oncology Massage these days and if you’re in London, can come to the comfort of your own home.

Audible is a good idea for distraction when she’s sitting having the chemo, and a group of friends who can alternate taking her to and from hospital. In hard times, good often comes and I’m sure you’ll be amazed at the love and kindness of friends.

Wishing your mum well and sending strength to you both xxx


Very sorry to hear this, this page contains a lot of self care resources <3


I expect the hospital has given you details of the charity Breast Cancer Now. They are a really valuable resource of advice by trained nurses. They also offer an app BECCA which covers a variety of topics as well as some experiences of other patients.
Macmillan also offer chat rooms for different types of cancer and I found that really helpful as you can get advice and product recommendation from other patients.

Very best wishes to you both and well done for supporting your mother.


I agree with the idea of alternative therapies. I found reflexology enormously relaxing. You need to find a therapist who is trained to treat cancer patients as not all will be.
Also think about food. Having her meals cooked for her will be an enormous help.

Check out the Royal Marsden Cancer Cookbook

I found it really helpful with its guidance as well as the recipes.


I’m so hugely grateful to you all for taking the time to reply, it really means so much to me. Immense thanks xx

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I’m so sorry to hear this. It’s a very personal experience and everyone will behave and need to different things at different stages of the journey. The best advice I can give you is to just check in with them constantly, even if you think they’re pushing you away. It can be such an isolating experience so knowing that they have unwavering support can really help with the mental struggles it can bring as well and the physical. Best wishes to you both x


I’m really sorry to hear your mum’s diagnosis and admire you for seeking support. I’m going through similar with my mum, as she’s newly diagnosed with lung cancer. I’ve found the work of functional Oncologist Dr Leigh Erin Connealy (follow her wonderful Instagram) and her book “The Cancer Revolution” to be really helpful; like a guidebook for strengthening the body through dietary and lifestyle upgrades to help Cancer patients build health and resiliency whilst they journey through various treatment protocols. It’s not a particularly long read and broken down into helpful sections, worth looking at. Dr Connealy is also on numerous podcasts you can listen to and she’s always helpful, hopeful and inspiring. Cancer cannot thrive in an oxygenated, alkaline and sugar free environment so optimising these areas are key. You might like to look into IV vitamin drips for immunity. Consult your mum’s doctor of course. My mum is having intravenous vitamin C and glutathione (master antioxidant) regularly (given the go ahead by her doctor.)

The best thing you can do for yourself is get plenty of sleep/rest. You might like herbs like Ashwagandha to naturally lower stress levels. B vitamins again to offset effects of stress. Grief is something we all go through over these kinds of diagnoses, and there’s a wonderful Bach Flower Remedy called “Star of Bethlehem” that supports the processing and transmuting of grief. I’m also getting IV vitamin drips mentioned above to help me through. And of course, talking to people, asking for support and being open to receive it.

Hope this helps in some small way. Wishing you and your mother all the very best. Keep us posted, warm wishes xo

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Thank you so very much for this. I’ve been scared to read too much so knowing specific things to read really helps. Sending much love and strength to you and your mum, who is very lucky to have you :raised_hands:xx

Hi Amelie
I went thru this with my Mum in May 2018, and I will not lie it was tough - there was a rollercoaster of emotions everyday, so it was a case of taking everything day by day. Caring for her is the number one priority but caring for yourself too is vital in the process as it is an all consuming journey you will both go on. You will be swept up in a stream of appointments and meeting consultants and the hardest part for all of us including my family was once the treatment was over we all felt very alone - so make sure you find some wonderful things to fill the time when it finishes. I know my mother would say she felt totally adrift after it was over.
I promise you the time will pass in a flash and a blur but it sounds like she has got the most fabulous daughter looking after her.
Huge love
Simone x

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Thank you so very much for your message Simone, i really appreciate it so much. I haven’t even thought about once it’s over tbh so that is interesting to consider and i need to think how to navigate that :thinking:Thanks so much again xx

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Hi Simone, just a note to thank you again for this response as now my Mum is thankfully at the end of her treatment and has her her op such that the breast cancer seems to have left her system which we’re so grateful for. But exactly as you predicted she now feels totally cast adrift and it’s hard to know how to deal with that. If you have any other advice for dealing with this i would be endlessly grateful :pray:xx

Hi Amelia so lovely to hear from you and I am so glad to hear that everything has been successful for your mum. After my mum was in the same position was when we found her at her lowest throughout the whole process. She was recommended some local clubs to join that had ladies who had been through the same and I initially went with her until she felt comfortable. The most important thing of all is that all lines of communication are kept open - my mum became very introverted with the family to the extent that she would not come to my daughters 10 birthday party. The best piece of advice is to try to get her to move on with her life and it sounds as if with a daughter like you she will be able to do exactly that. If she ever wanted to chat to someone I would happily put them in touch. Sending you both huge love and please do stay in touch xx

:pleading_face:Thank you so much for this, I can’t tell you how comforting it is to know that feeling a bit lost after is somewhat normal. I will do my best to get her out and about, it’s hard getting comfortable with the discomfort of having been through so much and being in the habit of worrying and living appointment to appointment isnt it. Please know that your kind words have reassured both me and my mum in one of the hardest periods of our lives, thank you so so much for taking the time :heart:lots of love xxx

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I promise you will get there. Yes there is lots of discomfort and it’s very new territory for everyone involved. My mum had some reconstruction and after she was use to that she has managed to do a lot of the things she enjoyed - going on holiday and dressing up for events. I am not sure where you are based but we were in touch with and they are fantastic.
Huge love :heart: xxx

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