Beginning Your Journey

A diagnosis of breast cancer can be overwhelming at any age in life. DBCC wants to ease your journey by sharing information about the resources that are available. You may have questions about you treatment, financial concerns, transportation obstacles getting to treatment, or you may need the support of a counselor to help cope with the emotional side of facing breast cancer. The “Beginning Your Journey” programs helps connect those recently diagnosed with breast cancer with local resources and professional staff at the area’s cancer centers to address their concerns and get the support they need. The programs will be offered monthly, in each county, in partnership with a local hospital. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, you find information here about programs and services the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition can offer you.

The Next Step in your Journey

If you are recently diagnosed, we encourage you to come to one of our Beginning Your Pink Ribbon Journey groups and learn more here! 

Our Peer Mentor Support program can match you with a survivor who has faced a similar diagnosis, treatment or recovery. Our Peer Mentor Program Coordinators can speak with you about your specific needs, answer your questions about breast cancer, and provide many resources as you being your journey. If you are women diagnosed with breast cancer in your 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, you may be interested in learning more about our Young Survivors in Action (YSIA) program

If a Loved One is Diagnosed

A diagnosis of breast cancer can be devastating with intense emotions. Your loved one or friend may have feelings that range from fear, anger, and frustration to vulnerability, depression and helplessness. These emotions are normal. Your loved one has been forced to confront the possible loss or change of a breast, the fear of losing her feminine image, or in the case of male breast cancer, his masculinity, their health, and even their life. It is important that you understand what they may be thinking and feeling.

Suggestions on how to help:

Provide Practical support:

  • Go with them to doctors’ appointments
  • Coordinate rides to treatment
  • Cook or arrange meal delivery
  • Take care of the children
  • Do the grocery shopping
  • Help with cleaning the house
  • Do the laundry
  • Water the plants
  • Mow the grass
  • Screen telephone calls
  • Handle insurance needs
  • Help care for pets
  • Drive car pool
  • Keep a list of phone calls, gifts, flowers and meals

Provide emotional support:

  • Provide moral support
  • Be a good listener
  • Give lots of hugs
  • Openly share your feelings
  • Be there for them
  • Continue to provide support after treatment is over
  • Respect their need for privacy

Resources for Partners/Spouses

  1. “What’s Happening to the Woman We Love”, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Booklet
  2. Breast Cancer Husband : How to Help Your Wife (and Yourself) during Diagnosis, Treatment and Beyond by Marc Silver
  3. Stand by Her: A Breast Cancer Guide for Men by John W. Anderson
  4.   Cancer in Two Voices by Sandra Butler and Barbara Rosenblum
  5. Cancer For Two: An Inspiring True Story and Guide for Cancer Patients and Their Partners by Dave Balch

Resources for Children

  1. “What’s Happening to Mom?”, Susan G. Komen for the Cure Booklet
  2. Michael’s Mommy Has Breast Cancer by Lisa Torrey (Picture Book)
  3. Our Family Has Cancer, Too!by Christine Clifford (Chapter Book)
  4. Both Sides Now (Readers Circle) by Ruth Pennebaker (Young Adult)
  5. Breast Cancer:Questions And Answers for Young Women by Carole Vogel (Young Adult)
  6. Copies of the Hurricane Voices Family Reading List are available from DBCC.

Resources On-Line

Circus of Cancer (circusofcancer.org) – website from Kelly Corrigan, author of The Middle Place , has an excellent section on ways to help a friend or family member with cancer.

  1. New Castle County Application Made possible through a grant from Incyte.
  2. Kent County Application Made possible through a grant from the Potter Trust of the CenDel Foundation
  3. Sussex County Application
  4. Please print and complete the application and mail it to: Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition Attn: Lois Wilkinson 165 Commerce Way, Suite 2 Dover, Delaware 19904 For additional questions or concerns, please contact Lois Wilkinson at 302-672-6435.
  5. The “Beginning Your Journey” programs helps connect women with local resources and professional staff at the area’s cancer centers to address their concerns and get the support they need. The programs will be offered monthly, in each county, in partnership with a local hospital.
  6. The Frequently Asked Questions section can provide you with questions to take back to your health care team to help you further understand your diagnosis and treatment options.

You’ll also find information about our Clinical Trials Mentoring Initiativeonline resources, books and videos.

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