The Silver Lining Video Series: How to Be a Friend to Someone With Cancer

The second video in the series is related to how to be a friend to someone with cancer. As of a couple of months ago, I am in the yucky position of being a friend to a girlfriend with cancer….AGAIN. I’ve had two other (really good!) girlfriends go through the f-bomb cancer experience. Geesh.

Even after having been a nurse and a patient, I’m realizing (again!) just how difficult it is. What I really want to do is make it go away. But since I can’t do that, I’m doing my best to follow my own advice and do what people did for me during my experience (with high hopes that it is a wee bit of a Silver Lining for her!).

As I mentioned, I have so much gratitude for the people who were present for me and my family during my experience. They made all the difference in the world!

As always, I sure would love your thoughts and input about what is (or was) helpful to you!

Leave a comment


  1. says

    Hi Hollye. It was wonderful to find your website and video today! I support folks going through cancer through safe bodywork in Glendale, CA. I would love to feature you as a resource on my website if that would be ok with you? I love what you have shared through your site and would love to share your inspiration with my clients.

    Have a beautiful day and thank you.

  2. Candy O'Gara says

    I love reading your blog. I was referred to it by Karon Cullen Meyer, and from reading Frances Schultz's blog. I am a seven year breast cancer survivor. A close friend of mine was recently diagnosed with her third reoccurrence of breast cancer. It was a big set-back for her! And for me, …a big and scary reminder of the awful grip breast cancer has on one's life! I hardly knew what to say to her….so I wrote a short and sweet note! Seeing your video helped me a lot in preparation for a personal visit to take place this week. I found it to be a very "to the point" reminder on how to act and what to say to a friend in need……and I thank you!

    • says

      Thank you for your note, Candy. I really appreciate it! Aren't Karon and Frances the BEST?
      I'm so sorry to hear about your friend's recent diagnosis. A big setback indeed and you're so right that is is a real reminder of the brutal grip of breast cancer on our lives. I'm so happy that the video helped prepare you for your visit. Sending all my best wishes to you both!!

  3. says

    Hollye, you said it all and you said it so beautifully! I found your video to be very helpful! Unfortunately, I have three family members fighting cancer and I am sometimes unsure of what to do. Thank you for sharing your wisdom! Take care.

  4. says

    Hollye, another great video! It is the next best thing to seeing and hearing you in a face to face chat. I think you are the perfect example of how we should treat those we encounter with FBC. You are genuine, helpful, supportive, and cheerful with a positive attitude. Your authentic self shines through. If we follow your heartfelt advice on the video we can be the friend to others with FBC that we would want them to be for us.
    Finding your Silver Pen blog has been a real silver lining for me. xox

  5. Lisa Tyndall says

    Love love love all of your postings. Your messages always have such relevance for life in general. I tune in every day and I have been spreading the word of your blog far and wide. Beautifully done. Hands down, best blog out there.

  6. Kim C says

    Such a beautiful and practical video, Hollye. I'm so glad you're addressing these difficult topics. Doctors often tell us to seek support from family and friends, but often times it's difficult. We as patients don't always know how to ask for what we need and caregivers are often awkward and unsure. This is such an important issue to address. Thank you so, so, so much! I still get the sideways glances when people know I've had a cancer diagnosis. I'm stronger now, but at the time of treatment, socializing was so fraught with awkward moments. I'd often come home feeling hurt and upset. This is funny now, but I remember a friend coming over and saying that I looked so great and I was going to beat this thing and to keep it up and be positive. I thought to myself…. Doesn't she know it's stage 3 and how can she be so sure?!! Then another friend came over and seemed so sad and worried about me and treated me with kid gloves and I thought to myself….. Doesn't she know I've had surgery and chemo and I'm going for a cure and I'll be just fine? Oh sheesh, nobody could win. It wasn't so much them, as my own fragility at that time. I can now talk about anything to do with cancer, but it sure took a few years to get there. It's so nice to hear the stories from other people with a cancer diagnosis, too.

    • says

      Thank YOU so, so much, Kim! I am always so very appreciative of your kind and insightful words. You inspire me and so many others. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Joan says

    Thank you for "The Silver Lining" which I very recently discovered. I am just now 3 years post mastectomy plus a second surgery which removed additional chest wall tissue to hopefully prevent further CA cell spread.

    I thank God, my husband, family and friends, and the medical team for their unfaltering support. I also found it healing to be able to express to them how I was feeling and to ask for their prayers, for their presence and for what I needed at the time. Satan may be able to destroy parts of our bodies but will never be able to destroy our love and hope.

    Your newsletter is a beacon of light for all cancer struggles and survivors.