Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Caring For Those With Cancer

In honor of one of my best friends (aka Bunks) who fought and beat breast cancer (yay) I’d like to share her 3 tips when helping a loved one going through treatment:

1) Cook a meal (make sure it’s light and won’t upset his/her stomach), volunteer to babysit, buy groceries, run errands, or order a book or magazine they like.

2) Don’t be silent. Call them just to say 'hi' and let them know you're thinking about them. You don't always need to talk about cancer, tell them about what's going on in your life to get their mind off what's going on in theirs. Tell them a funny story to make them laugh or bring over funny movie and watch it together. If you are still at a loss, donate to a cancer society in their name.

3) Do something for them even though they may not ask. Make sure it’s not intrusive and won’t require them to do work. Example: Go to a chemo appointment with them. Bunks said it was really nice to have friends experience what she went through.

We are in awe of our loved ones who valiantly fight this terrible disease. Since they fight it so bravely, we can at the very least offer our support.

Do you have any good tips to share when friends face cancer?

16 comments:

  1. These are great suggestions! My son was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer in March, and although he did not have to undergo treatments, all of these suggestions meant the world to me...especially the #2! I believe people are afraid to talk to you about it, as they don't know what to say....but we DO need to talk about it! Having someone just call and say "hi" and show they care, means a ton!! Great post!

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  2. You know, when I was in my late 20s I went through the whole cervical cancer bit. One thing that was frustrating for me was the fact that friends sort of backed off - were afraid to talk about it. Some even went so far and to stop calling.

    I think the idea of sickness scares so many. The most important thing is to remind them that they are important in your life.. and if it is too difficult to stand by their side, let them know why. To me, that would have made all the difference. :-)

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  3. These are really important things to keep in mind. I met a woman in my old neighborhood that was battling stage 5 lymphoma. I didn't get to know her very well, but she was a feisty woman that clearly enjoyed having someone to talk to about anything. I can see how it might have been easier for me because I only ever knew Betty the cancer patient. It must be so tough for people that knew her before. It feels like there's nothing else to talk about.

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  4. My best friend's father in law is dying of cancer as we speak. He is only 54 and was in perfect health before cancer started attacking his body. He is now in hospice care and it's good to read this because we do know this Godly man and I don't want to avoid him and think that is what he wants. He needs support and to know he is loved dearly..we live on opposite sides of the country granted but, hopefully we'll see him when we visit later this year. Thanks for the thoughts!

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  5. My friend was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30's. She fought until the very end and just wanted things to be "normal." That meant that we still went out dancing (we just took more breaks). We went out for drinks (she would just have one because of all the medicine). We went shopping (she got to celebrate with the smaller sizes from all of the weight she lost through treatments.) She didn't let Cancer stop her until it wasn't possible to fight through it any longer. Although she has been gone for four years now, I keep her in the back of my head- constantly. Never, ever let sickness get in the way of things. Keep on keeping on and make the most of every memory you can create with the people around you in that moment.

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  6. Those are wonderful ideas. If I had a friend with cancer I might also send a card in the mail (who actually sends mail these days?! I love getting a card) or offer to clean a part of their house or take care of a pet. I am lucky to say that cancer has not touched my immediate circle yet.

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  7. These are great tips, I really love #2. It's proactive and doing lighthearted things to show you care for them. Love the ideas for what to do that beats silence.

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  8. I have found that simply "being there" for them through their fight means A LOT! Beautiful tips and praying for all your readers and their family/friends battling this terrible disease at this moment.

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  9. When my Dad was battling, my husband's aunt, who is a Principal, had several of her classes make cards for him. She dropped one class' cards in the mail every few weeks. Those were some of the funniest cards he got....kids really have a way of lightening the mood. It was great to look at fourth grade one week, second grade the next, etc.

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  10. Wow TV I don't want to repeat myself, but another great post! These tips are super! I think these tips are also good advice for everyone to stay connected with friends with all struggles. The second one, don't be silent, is important to be with the people we are closest to. It reminds me of your other post about listening and really hearing what someone is saying. Too often we get so caught up in our daily lives that we can really let time go without staying in touch with the people who mean the most to us. Yay for your friend beating the cancer! Have a great night!

    Mama Hen

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  11. How did you know that I am exhausted and still on the computer? Ha! I think I will take your advice. I try so hard to get back to all of my super bloggy pals each day. It takes a lot of time though. Well worth it! Have a great night my friend! I am going right now! :)

    Mama Hen

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  12. Goodness, the code was pilates. What is the universe saying? Exercise! Ha!

    Mama Hen

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  13. My friend just found out a fellow classmate of ours does not have long left. She is dying from stomach cancer. She has 3 children aging from 3 to 9. It is very hard to even comprehend what their family and she is going through. My original response to this (didn't get posted due to technical difficulties) was to keep a positive attitude. I still think that is overall a good idea, but when I hear about this young mom I question how positive one can be. So I change my thoughts to...offer lots of prayers and love.
    TV, I am posting about the interview tonight. Thank you for asking!

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  14. I loved that! Such great advice that we all need to hear. I wish there was a Tweet button on your blog. I'd be all about that with all of your posts! You have such uplifting messages everyone needs to read. :)

    On another note, I love that you came back to my silly blog and told me how you would use the word "zulawula"! Hahahaha!! I think the way you used it was just PERFECT! I think I might actually think of that word first the next time I have to go down some Pepto-Bismol (which, really, would be pure bliss...mmmmmmmm...). :)

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  15. Those are also great tips to support any friend going through a difficult time. It's nice to have the affirmation that someone does care.

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  16. I can't believe I missed this post the other day! These are great tips...all of them are so true. It's hard for a person to take themselves to chemo appointment and having someone offer is great help. My mom hated asking people to drive her and it made her feel much better when she didn't have to ask. There were 3 of us that mainly drove her and what we did was decide amongst ourselves who would take her what week. We kept her out of the planning because it made her feel like she was putting people out. We all enjoyed taking her and tried to make her laugh when we were there. It makes a huge difference.

    It's so important to talk to the person about something other than cancer too. I'll never forget how my mom felt at the last family reunion we went to. Our reunions are always for the whole weekend at my aunt's house and a lot of the people there hadn't seen my mom in a while. For most of it, she was too sick to enjoy everything outside but she felt like people only came inside to see if she needed something. It's not their fault, they were uncomfortable, sad, and at a loss. She cried to me that she felt like a science experience and wanted people to only come inside if they wanted to actually talk to her. It broke my heart because I realized that I was doing the same thing. I felt sorry for her but that's not what she wanted.

    Sorry, I just realized how long this was!

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