Pros: Lots of good suggestions and resources; Convenient size for carrying around
Cons: A lot of the recommendations may require high budgets
If you are a breathing human being, there is a very good chance that you or someone you are close to has been hit by breast cancer. The statistics are not good: if it hasn't hit your social circle yet, it is likely to do so soon, as one in eight women is expected to get some form of breast cancer in their lifetime (www.cancer.org). When you are affected by breast cancer, Denise Hazen's book, Treat Her Like a Princess: How to Help Your Girlfriend with Breast Cancer, will be a great resource.
Treat Her Like a Princess is a 6" x 6", 120 page paperback that will fit nicely in a purse or other carry bag, to keep on hand while planning how to help your Princess. Hazen is a cancer survivor and writes the book from personal experience, sharing ideas based on the actions of her loved ones while battling breast cancer.
Organized in twelve chapters, Hazen starts off explaining the feelings she felt when diagnosed with breast cancer (namely, "why me?"), then gets into how the Princess's friends should organize themselves, complete with activities, party ideas, chemo companions and recipes.
Some basics of Hazen's advice are to hold a Royal Court, with a 'Meal Master,' a 'Webmaster' (in charge of disseminating progress reports to all the loved ones, so Princess doesn't have to keep telling the same story over and over again--a genius idea), 'Chemo Buddy Scheduler,' 'Kids Organizer' (so Princess's kids can still carry on with their normal activities, if possible), 'Prince Charming's Support Group' (because cancer is hard on the husband as well), 'Castle Control' and 'Pet Keeper.' Obviously, some of these positions will depend on the Princess's personal situation. If the kids are grown or non-existent, there is certainly no need for a 'Kids Organizer,' but the overall idea is excellent. Hazen explains that the Princess needs to be focused on getting better, not on scrubbing the toilets or changing the hamster cage.
Many friends will not realize exactly how sterile the Princess's environment needs to be, and Hazen's first-hand experience is an excellent resource for people trying to help their girlfriends. For example, the Princess will need to carry her own pen around, so as not to catch germs when signing checks or credit card slips with the store's pens. Another suggestion here is to get green cleaning supplies, because the Princess's home should be as chemical-free as possible.
The only drawback to this book is that some of the suggestions can really rack up at the bank. While I like such ideas as having a scarf/headwear party and trying on wigs together before chemo, I feel like a lot of the suggestions (hiring a regular cleaning service comes to mind) here could break the bank for Princess's whose inner circle have to live on budgets.
Overall I found the information in this book to be quite useful, and while there are a lot of ideas (and glossary terms) specific to breast cancer, much of the suggestions can be used for supporting a woman struck with any kind of cancer. A friend of ours is working her way through stomach cancer right now, and reading Treat Her Like a Princess has given me several suggestions for how we can help her family after her surgery this week.
If you get hit with breast cancer, you can get a good feel for what lies ahead for you from this book. If you have a friend or loved one who gets hit with the big C, you need to read Treat Her Like a Princess to guide you through your supporting role.
This is an entry in laurashrti's Breast Cancer Awareness Write Off.
Like the book, this review is Lean-n-Mean.