Cleaning for a Reason: Breast Cancer Awareness

Imagine sitting in that sterile-smelling room; the walls nearly bare other than posters about preventative care. Listen for the silence that always makes you nervous; waiting for that knock on the door, asking whether it’s okay to enter. You’re so happy to see your doctor to finally get your annual physicals, labs, and wellness checks out of the way. 

Just as you think you’re going to be on your merry way soon, it happens. What you think is going to be a very normal day, a very normal yearly check-up, turns out to be your worst nightmare. And you can’t wake up. You have breast cancer.

Lives are forever changed as the result of a cancer diagnosis. Families spring into action, anxious to begin treatment, while all are understandably filled with worry. The experience of having life turned upside down is one that one in every eight women will face during the course of her lifetime. And though the statistics are strikingly different, it’s not just women. One in every 833 men will receive the same diagnosis.

The reality of living with cancer is that daily life becomes about treatment. The question, “How are you feeling?” is something that has to be constantly answered. Conversations become centered on doctor’s appointments, weighing options, possible side effects, medications, and all of the other “what ifs.” On top of that, you’re now an advocate for breast cancer awareness. Inevitably, many of life’s other to-dos fall to the wayside. 

The Importance of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

We all get in the mentality that this is just something that happens to other people. Other people, but not you. However, given the prevalence of breast cancer, it’s likely that someone in your life will be diagnosed. And yes, maybe even you. Breast cancer awareness month is an annual campaign to bring awareness to the disease because it’s so much more common than you think. 

With this disease, it requires a strong support system. And one day, you might even need that support system. So start participating now. Start being aware now. Here are a few ideas for how you can best provide support and spread breast cancer awareness.

  • Be specific in your attempts to help. Offer specific, tangible help. When you feel anxious and overwhelmed, it’s hard to even think straight, let alone put together a to-do list. Instead of saying, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do,” suggest ways that you can assist, and then let them choose. For example, you might say, “I’d like to bring dinner over. Which day next week would be convenient for you?” You might also say, “I’m headed to the store. What can I get you?” People who are grappling with cancer don’t have the time or energy to delegate, so the more specific you can be, the better. 
  • Listen with intention. Make it a priority to leave your mouth closed and your ears and heart open. Listen to their plans, concerns, fears, and hopes. This is not the time to share a story of your best friend’s cousin or offer treatment advice. This is the time to listen intently and acknowledge their feelings. 
  • Donate to the cause. Your loved one is struggling, and so are many others. Show your support by donating to an organization that provides early detection services, education, and support to people who are battling the disease. A good place to start would be the  National Breast Cancer Foundation.
  • Offer your time. Money isn’t the only way to donate. Volunteer to walk or sponsor a walker at a fundraiser, such as the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. 
  • Do your research. Share stories from people who’ve been there. Read about their lives, their struggles, and their hopes. Social media is more powerful than ever; use your own personal platform to educate others and encourage early detection. Suggest support groups for your loved one. The National Breast Cancer Foundation offers a virtual support group that meets once a month. Help them connect with others who are walking similar journeys. 
  • Get creative. Think about the things you have to take care of in your day-to-day life. Children, errands, dishes, laundry. In the realm of help, there’s no better gift than that of a clean home. Buying your friend or loved one a gift certificate to The Maids is a simple way to make someone’s life easier while showing you care.

How The Maids Supports Breast Cancer Patients 

Battling breast cancer can exhaust a person in many ways, leaving little energy for much else. That’s one of the reasons The Maids participates in Cleaning For A Reason, an organization that provides free cleaning services for people undergoing cancer treatment. The program has served more than 43,000 patients with almost $15 million in donated house cleanings.  

We take pride in getting to be a part of that. We alleviate the worry of cleaning while making cancer patients’ homes a place of comfort to heal and invite others in. Patients can easily register online for a free cleaning.

This month, find a way to spread breast cancer awareness and support those who are affected. Donate to Cleaning For A Reason, or use your time to support a patient in need. Together, we can make a difference.

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