10 ways to be a better friend to a friend with breast cancer

10 Ways to be a better friend to a friend with Breast Cancer

10 ways to be a better friend to a friend with breast cancerGirlfriendology, the online community for women based on female friendship, is observing Breast Cancer Awareness Month by sharing 10 ways to be a better friend to a girlfriend with breast cancer, chemotherapy and the incredible stress, worry, fear and emotion it involves.

The lessons come from women who have undergone treatment for breast cancer. They are friends of Girlfriendology.com founder Debba Haupert who shared their honest opinions and insights. Haupert points out that this can be a difficult topic for many, and that every woman faces cancer differently, so one woman’s needs can differ from another’s.

With more than 2 million breast cancer survivors in the U.S., chances are you know someone dealing with the disease. Here’s how to be a good friend during a difficult time:

1.    Provide encouragement – Sometimes a woman is looking for a friend simply to affirm that she is doing all the right things and that she’s going to be okay. Remind her of her strengths and victories, uphold her decisions and encourage her to keep going.

2.    Listen – Listen without judgment, whenever it’s needed. Avoid easy answers or telling her to buck up and be strong. There are times when cancer can be overwhelming and they need to talk about it. Be the person they need – and simply listen. Let them process their thoughts aloud, listen and care.

3.    Offer help – Instead of saying open-endedly, “Let me know if you need anything,” ask precisely what you can do. Ask your friend if she’d like you to bring dinner, do laundry, babysit or go grocery shopping for her. Offer to help by doing Internet research on treatments and remedies. Identify what needs to be done and ask if you can help her by doing it.

4.    Cheer her up – Do things that really help and buoy spirits. Knit or buy her a pair of fuzzy pink socks. Give her an inspiring book or pink gifts. Celebrate the end of each treatment with champagne. Give her a gift certificate for a massage or a manicure. Help her deal with the hair loss – take her wig shopping, buy a hat or buff for her or, like some girlfriends do, shave your head in solidarity.

5.    Be understanding – Plato said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Your girlfriend is going to have good and bad days, so be patient on those days when she may say something she might not mean, or not mean it the way it sounded. She is fighting a life-changing battle and deserves your patience, grace and understanding. Don’t take things personally… cut your girlfriend some slack.

6.    Help her communicate – She may not want to talk about cancer all the time. While she’ll appreciate your interest in how she’s doing, it can be wearing to go through all the details again and again. Help her set up a blog or start a chain phone list for updates.

7.    Laughter is the best medicine – Give or lend her your romantic comedy movies or books, or take her to a chick flick – just make sure there are no cancer storylines. Send her funny cards or wrap up silly presents so she has fun gifts to open. Be flexible with your time – and jump at the chance to be with her when she’s feeling good. Back off when she asks because she’s feeling not so good. Take off time from work if you need to be with her.

8.    Offer inspiration – Share stories of people who have gone through the same thing and are doing well years later. We all need inspiration, reassurance and optimism. It’s even better if you can connect your friend with those people so they can talk to them. Never talk about people who have died of cancer or are not doing well.

9.    Friendship endurance – Be in this friendship for the long haul. There are going to be good and bad days, weeks, and months. Be her friend no matter what, and even when the treatments seem to go on forever – that simply means that she’s still your girlfriend. Continue to be there for her.

10. Celebrate life together! Look for opportunities to be together, to share memories and moments to remember, go on an adventure or explore together, laugh together and cry together when needed. See the beauty in each day as her friend and let her know that. Celebrate each day of friendship.

Remember friendship is like marriage – in sickness and in health. Be there for her and enjoy every day of your friendship. And, in observation of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, early detection is the best protection so practice self-exams and mammograms for your own health. Girlfriends need to remind each other that as well.

Girlfriendology is the online community for women based on inspiration, appreciation and celebration of female friendship. Founded by Debba Haupert in 2006, Girlfriendology inspires women to make new female acquaintances, spend time with their girlfriends, and appreciate those friendships that are vital to women’s health and happiness. Girlfriendology.com features inspiring women in semi-weekly podcasts, contests to share girlfriend stories and provides videos, shopping, reviews, blogs and more.


Additional Breast Cancer Awareness info: Pink Gifts for Girlfriends, More Pink Gifts for Girlfriends
Technorati tags: , breast cancer awareness, breast cancer prevention, female friendship, , , , girlfriend gifts, breast cancer, breast cancer gifts, pink gifts, pink gift

p.s. And … be a friend to Girlfriendology! Share this blog with your girlfriends by clicking the Facebook LIKE button below and also, when you’re on our Facebook page, SHARE IT WITH YOUR GIRLFRIENDS. (Please?!) Thanks girlfriend!

Womans World magazine article

Celebrate Your Friendships! as featured in Women’s World magazine

Girlfriendology-quote-celebrate-friendshipShare our similarities, celebrate our differences. (Celebrate our friendships too!)    M. Scott Peck

Do you? Do you celebrate your friendships? Do you recognize the similarities and differences that make our friends special in our lives? Do you feel blessed that your friends are in your life?

That’s our goal here at Girlfriendology – home of inspiration, appreciation and celebration of Girlfriends. We’re all about recognizing and acknowledging the women in your life who are there for you, sharing ‘women’s wisdom’ so we all benefit, and inspiring women to connect and support each other.

This message is getting around as we’ve been featured in a couple national magazines lately. We’re honored to have been interviewed by INC. Magazine. (Albeit, it was an article on Pinterest but Girlfriendology is still featured!) And we were thrilled to talk with ‘Women’s World’ about friendship. Here’s an excerpt (since the image is a bit hard to read, sorry!):

Womans World magazine articleStart a “no-stress” book club! Getting together with your friends helps strengthen bonds. And keeping your meetings unofficial will make everyone have more fun, says friendship expert Debba Haupert. “I have ‘no-stress’ book club meetings,” she says. “We take a half hour before we start discussing the books to just talk. And there’s no pressure to even read the books! … In the summer when the windows are open, you can hear us laughing down the street!”

Phone a Friend this Sunday! Even though there’s Facebook and Twitter – you need to hear your friends’ voices now and then. That’s why we started a tradion called ‘Phone a Friend Sunday.’ … It’s therapeutic and necessary to keep your friendships strong.

How do you celebrate your friendships? How do you stay connected with your friends? Here are some more ideas:

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!) SIGN UP for our weekly newsletter and get our FREE eBook ‘30 Days / 30 Ways to Be a Better Friend– check it out! Don’t forget to make your girlfriends feel special with perfect birthday gifts for women!

Follow Me on Pinterest

More to check out – Facebook.com/Girlfriendology and Twitter/@Girlfriendology where we’re connecting with over 60,000 women (we block guys!) and Pinterest.com/Girlfriendology where we share visual inspiration and great quotes. More Girlfriend Friendship Quotes & did you see our INFOGRAPHIC on ‘What Women Want‘?

If you’re a brand, please contact us and check out more for Brands and Businesses who want to be Girlfriend Recommended. And – THANKS to YOU Girlfriend!

Note: Girlfriendology does share affiliate links from time to time. However, we only recommend products that we’d honestly share with a girlfriend.




Girlfriend Judi Cogen joins Girlfriendology – Woot!

Friendship Judi CogenEveryone needs a great girlfriend like my friend JUDI COGEN!

She’s smart, resourceful, sunny / happy, a proud / fab mom and a funny friend to call when you’re up or down. She’s also something new to Girlfriendology.com – she’s our great, get-er-done girlfriend.

Judi will be taking over some of the things, to be honest, that I’m not so good at! Staying on top of schedules and emails, and helping us line-up/communicate with guest bloggers, eBook authors, and ebook affiliates. She’s also a very funny friend so she’ll be sharing some of her observations on girlfriends (and more!) in blog posts and speaking.

Who is this fabulous friend? We’re glad you asked …

JUDI COGEN is the … Read More

Be 'Girlfriend Recommended' | Girlfriendology Advertising Sponsorship Opportunities

Friendship Girlfriendology Biz AdSpring / Summer Girlfriendology Advertising and Sponsorship Update

It’s fully Spring here in the Midwest and we’re already gearing up for some exciting times this Summer. I wanted to invite you to be one of the ‘Girlfriend Recommended’ brands we love sharing with our thousands and thousands of girlfriends.

First, a quick update: We’ve now over 25,000 Twitter followers (& we block most men) and 25,000+ female Facebook Fans (as of February 2012). We’re getting 4-6,000 impressions (by women) on each Facebook update + all the Twitter impressions, blogs, newsletters, eBooks, webinars and any other ways we can share girlfriend advice and inspiration.

Now, for the Summer update:

PRESS RELEASE: 'Girlfriendology Guides' Launches to Share Women's Wisdom

Friendship Girlfriendology 101‘Girlfriendology Guides’ Launches to share ‘Women’s Wisdom’

Girlfriendology.com becomes publisher of eBooks sharing information by women, for women

CONTACT: Debba Haupert, Girlfriendology LLC, 513-919-8939, Debba (at) Girlfriendology (dot) com

CINCINNATI, OH, March 14, 2011 – As women, we pass down knowledge and offer assistance to other women – from recipes to child care tips, book recommendations to shopping advice. We love to share what we know with other women, and vice versa – it’s been that way throughout history.

Technology has expanded the possibilities of … Read More

Bloggy Conference – Join us at Social Media and Blogging Conference for Women

Friendship Speaking at Bloggy Conference

Girlfriendology is proud to be speaking at upcoming social media conference* BLOGGY CONFERENCE.

Girlfriendology founder, Debba Haupert, will be speaking at Bloggy Conference – a social media and blogging conference for women in July, 2011. Here’s the official press release and info: (JOIN US!)



Contact Tiffany Noth, Bloggy Conference, 765-580-0053 phone, 765-458-1803 fax tiffany@bloggymoms.com

Mason, OH – April 18, 2011 Bloggy Conference is launching it’s first … Read More

Girlfriendology & Girlfriends Featured in Anderson University Alumni News

Friendship Alumni news GirlfriendologyYeah! I’m using my business degree! (:

A LONG time ago I went to a small, liberal arts college, Anderson University, in the midwest and am proud to say, I graduated in four years (surprisingly!) with a double major in Marketing and Management. The best thing about my small, liberal arts college in the midwest, without a doubt, was the friendships that I still have to this day and cannot (and do not want to) imagine my life without these friends who have stuck with me for a long time and who I know will continue to do so!

Recently my college alumni news publication, Signatures Magazine, asked for a chance to interview me on being a blogger (and using my business degree – yeah!) and sent a photographer over to take a photo of me for the article. Fortunately some of my great girlfriends (who are also bloggers and work online) were generous enough to be there for the photo too. So BIG thanks to Julie Sweeney, Julie Bauke and Joanne Westwood for being my support team and fabulous models (: in the photo.

Following is… Read More

Biz, Rango, Johnny Depp & Girlfriendology | Press Release

Friendship Biz RangoGirlfriendology is THRILLED to be able to work with Biz Stain Fighter Detergent once again!

As you may have seen on TV or in 57 million newspapers, Girlfriendology was featured by Biz as a ‘girlfriend recommended’ product, which it is! Now, Biz has BIG news so we’re sharing it here:

Biz Stain Fighter and Mean Green team up with Paramount’s Rango

West Chester, OH  – February 18, 2011 – CR Brands, Inc., the manufacturers of the brands Biz Stain Fighter and Mean Green Cleaner and Degreaser, have teamed up with Paramount Pictures to promote the original … Read More

Girlfriendology / Debba Haupert to speak at BeyondSocial101 Conference

Friendship Beyond Social 101 presentingCome join Debba Haupert, Girlfriendology founder, and ‘Girls in Tech‘ for the Beyond Social 101 Conference!

I’m excited to be speaking at an upcoming (soon!) conference for ‘Girls in Tech’ – the Beyond Social 101 Conference, February 25/26 in Columbus OH. I’ll be sharing the tools and tips to growing an online community – like the fabulous Girlfriendology. (-;

Register for this ‘Beyond Social 101’ / Girls in Tech event!

Join me and other ‘girls in tech’ for this new and exciting conference. Here’s the scoop:

Girls in Tech is launching this networking / learning event to raise the visibility of women in technology. They believe that women in business, as well as individuals who need to re-enter the workforce, need support in building their personal brands and dominating the Internet. AND Girls in Tech wants to … Read More

5 Years of Inspiring Female Friendship – The Girlfriendology Celebration!

Friendship 5 years of GirlfriendologyInspiration, Appreciation and Celebration of Girlfriends – for five years!

Five years ago today I wrote a ‘love letter’ to my girlfriends. Brought on by two dear friends dealing with cancer and feeling a very conscious ‘need’ to be around my friends, I wanted to express my appreciation and to explore why female friendship was so important to me and to all women.

Research confirmed the reasons we NEED girlfriends. Female friendship makes us healthier, happier, less stressed, live longer and feel more beautiful. Again, we NEED girlfriends. Husbands, boyfriends, guy friends can be great (we’re not against that) but there is nothing that can take the place of a dear friend who understands, cares, accepts and loves you. Nothing. Nada. No way. We need girlfriends.

Like a tiny seed that one day becomes an orange gerbera daisy (aka: … Read More

PRESS RELEASE: Girlfriendology grows with Social Media

Friendship 5 years of Girlfriendology

Girlfriendology focuses on the “social” in social media – hits five-year mark

Online community for women grows through social media connections

Cincinnati, OH, January 10, 2011 – In January 2006, Facebook had 5.5 million active users, YouTube had just officially launched and Twitter was months from its first tweet.

At the same time, Debba Haupert had a dream of inspiring women to be better, more supportive friends and started a blog called Girlfriendology. The idea came from the nature of women to need female friendship and be ‘social.’

Since January, 2006, social media sites have exploded in popularity. Facebook now has over 500 million active users, YouTube serves more than two billion … Read More

Brands You'd Recommend to Your Girlfriends | Advertising on Girlfriendology

Friendship Girlfriendology Biz AdIf a brand tells me they’re great, I don’t always believe them. But, if a girlfriend tells me she loves them, then I’m sold!

That’s how it is with girlfriends. We trust each other to recommend products and services, share tips and tricks that our girlfriends will love as much as we do. That’s how word-of-mouth spreads, fans grow and, actually, bloggers influence. We women trust our friends (and bloggers are often our ‘virtual friends’) to recommend the best solutions and companies.

She-conomy reports the actual impact of  women on consumer … Read More

Press Release: Healthy Choice Sponsors Holiday Shopping Guide

Friendship Healthy Choice Holiday Shopping GuideHEALTHY CHOICE – the choice for sponsoring the Girlfriendology Holiday Shopping Guide

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: The holidays don’t typically mean we make a lot of ‘healthy choices,’ in what we eat, right? As a reminder, Healthy Choice partnered with Girlfriendology on it’s Holiday Shopping Guide. The shopping guide includes  gifts for girlfriends (the focus of Girlfriendology), as well as products and services that are girlfriendly around the holidays.

“Healthy Choice was the perfect partner for this holiday shopping guide,” said Debba Haupert, creator of Girlfriendology. “Girlfriendology is based on offering inspiration and support for women and sharing things that girlfriends share to make each other’s lives better. Healthy Choice is something we’d definitely recommend to our girlfriends at this time of the year when we’re tempted with so much.”

Healthy Choice offers a variety of meals to give women … Read More

The Friendship Circle Announces September National “Month of Friendship”

Friendship CircleFriendship is Key to a Long, Healthy, and Happy Life

San Francisco, CA (August 25, 2010) – We all know about the importance of friendship to staying happy and socially engaged, but here’s another reason to make sure you keep making those weekly dates with your BFFs: According to recent findings, they might be literally saving your life. The July 2010 PLoS Medicine journal reports that having the support of a great circle of friends increases your odds of survival… Read More

Girlfriends Are Good For Your Health

Friendship Seagrams Girlfriend Cocktails Watermelon MartiniGirlfriends Are Good For Your Health – Just Ask Girlfriendology!

In fact, Seagram’s did just that. In preparation for National Girlfriend’s Day (August 1) and National Women’s Friendship Month (September), they came to Girlfriendology to explore the benefits of female friendship and how we can be a better friend. Also, how when we get together with our girlfriends (like over a Watermelon Martini perhaps!), we feel less stressed (which the American Institute of Stress reports that 75-90% of visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related … Read More