Supporting a co-worker dealing with breast cancer - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Supporting a co-worker dealing with breast cancer

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By Stephanie Byars - bio | email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - You probably wouldn't think twice about providing emotional support for a family member or friend dealing with cancer. But what about a co-worker?

A co-workers battle with cancer isn't the kind of conversation you may want to talk about around the water cooler.

But chances are, at some point we'll all have a co-worker who deals with the disease.

Those who have been through the battle say support at the workplace can be crucial.

LPN Lisa Dambach and Social Work Manager Julie Metzger both work at Southeast Hospital in Cape Girardeau. Both are also breast cancer survivors.

They both had strong support from co-workers as they battled their diseases.

"I have the best group of girls that I work with," said Dambach. "They were supportive from day one."

"At times when I had a test a co-worker walked with me to have a breast MRI and that meant so much because I was frightened" said Metzger.

Working with doctors and nurses at Southeast Hospital proved to be valuable in helping them learn more about their disease. Metzger said she went to her co-workers in the medical profession for a wealth of knowledge.

But you don't have to be an expert to provide the kind of support a co-worker needs.

"I don't think there was any magic answer that you can give that person." said Metzger. "I think it's to be there and be present and if they're struggling with treatment, do some things to bring them food and help them with some tasks at work."

Dambach says it was the little things that meant so much for her.

"They brought food to my home so my family didn't have to worry about cooking," said Dambach. "When I returned to work they offered to do some work for me so I could take extra breaks"

Metzger says the most important thing, just be there for someone in need.

"It's very easy as a co-worker when you see someone diagnosed the tendency is to run, because you don't know what to do." said Metzger. "So the one thing you don't want to do is avoid the person."

More Do's and Don'ts of helping a friend or co-worker with breast cancer

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