HOW TO HELP…(Reprint)

We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.       

  Luziano De Cresceno

“What do I do now, my friend?”

1. Snail mail Letters or cards make me feel so happy and loved.

2. Send comics/jokes/uplifting short thoughts to me so I can laugh or feel good inside.  I often bring them to treatments, or surgeries to cheer me up!

3. Read and keep up with my blog/ or start and keep my blog because that will help me not have to tell my story over and over again. That is so hard for me. (Look in archives)

4. Set up calendar care (read archive post) This will make life so much easier for me. (This handles meals, childcare, rides, etc.)

5. Make a cross off treatment chart. (look at my blog post for the example)

6. Small meaningful gifts: scarves for cold neck or head, nail polish, pajama bottoms, music, books on tape, magazines, treats, candy, food, mashed potatoes, etc. Serve how you feel most comfortable.  I will appreciate anything.

7.  Go wig/hat shopping together. Or buy your friend a new hat! (Funny or useful)

8. Bring over surprise comfort foods without too much seasoning. (Burns my mouth) I love bread, soup, mashed potatoes, bland things like rice, smoothies, ice cream.

9. Bring over simple lunch (like soup) and stay for a few minutes depending on how I feel.

10.  Hand or foot massage (with or without lotion)

11.  Don’t try to sell a product to me unless I ask.  I have heard about them all!

12. Look up information for me when I am too stressed to read about it all.

13.  Send or record a sweet…mantra I can say to myself at treatments. I use scriptures from the Bible. Jesus Christ is my master healer!

14. Bring things that can calm my nerves (color book and crayons–this has known calming effects for adults too)

15. Make a quilt, afghan, or pillow case I can take with me to treatments or surgery.

16. If you want to make something for me, I will so appreciate your time as well as the thoughtful gift.

17. Offer your gook-luck charm.  I promise I will give it back. I need your strength to get me through!

18. Flowers always are uplifting.  Be aware of the ones that need care.  I may not feel up to it.

19.  Help me around my home. I will hate to ask but I need help. I have no energy.

20.  Help with my kids schoolwork, extra items I am too tired to deal with.

21. Help fold laundry. Or do my wash.  I will love you forever!  It keeps on coming…

22. Just visit.  (But be sure to watch my signs.  I may be too weak to talk)

23. Go to chemo therapy treatments, doctors appointments, and radiation therapy with me.  I will say no.  DON’T drop me off.  Insist you come in.   I will appreciate having support right next to me even though I present myself as tough.

24. Help drive me to other places, like the grocery store.

25. Shop for me.

25. Stay with me.  Sometimes being alone is not fun.

26. Watch movies with me while I lie on the couch.

27. Plant some flowers in my entryway. I may be too tired to take care of them, but it would cheer me up as I enter my home.

28. Supply warmth.  I am cold.  Cancer makes you cold physically and emotionally.  Warm microwavable rice packs or water bottles would feel lovely.

29.  Go with me to my information appointments.  I may not be able to handle all of the information.  Please take notes for me.

30. Offer to organize my medical stuff.

31. Place a sign on my door that says; ‘Please do not enter if  you are feeling sick, stuffed, or have a cough’  I must keep my home germ free.

32. Offer to keep the supply of hand sanitizer up to date.

33. Make a surgery basket or box that would cheer me up.  I most likely will have scary surgery and I need an uplift. (magazines, candy, card, etc.) Check on me after too.

34. Use your talents that you feel most comfortable to help serve. Someone once came and read children’s stories to me.  I LOVE children’s stories.

35. Do something for a local cancer center that offers ideas to do, for example: Bake for breastcancer, locks of love, shave  your head for…, run or walk for…marathon or bike-a-thon- for…Tell me  you have done for cancer and I will be speechless.

36. Be aware that I may not be myself and may not be able to talk to you during certain times of my treatments. Not because I don’t want to but because I won’t have any energy.

37.  Most of the time my white count is very low, which makes me very susceptible to getting sick.  Please keep your little ones at home. They have more germs that grown ups and don’t know when to cover and cough.  If I get sick it could be fatal.

38. Share music you love that can uplift me.

39. Share thoughts, recordings or stories that can uplift me.

40. Draw with me or for me. Coloring is theraputic as an adult as well as a child.

42. I may not be able to read at certain times, but offer a good story. Read to me if you have time.

43. Be a check-er-inner. (look at past blog post)

44. Be a shoulder to cry on.  I need to cry a lot!  Come to stock tissues.

45.  Do not be judgmental.  I am battling more than what is on the outside. I am very sensitive, but cannot be bothered by worrying if I have hurt your feelings.  It is too much for me to deal with.

46. Please take my kids.  I feel so terrible they have to see me like this. Could you do something to help them forget for a little while…

47. Please feed my partner or my family when I am having surgery.  They are so weary!

48. Please don’t think that after all my treatments are done that I don’t need any friends anymore.  I will always have to worry about cancer.

49. Love my animals for me. Take them to the doggy park, or whatever…

50.  Please remember that I am not Cancer.  I am a human with tender feelings.  I feel anger, fear, frustrations, loss, and so many other feelings. I want to have a regular life like you. Let me talk of other things.

51. Send me a text message every week, during treatments, at the waiting room, etc.

52. Send me an e-mail. Or 2 or one each week….

53. KEEP REMINDING ME, I CAN DO THIS!  I will get better!

54.  PRAY FOR ME! I need you my friend.

Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 1 John 4:11

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To Wig or not to wig, that is the question?

Jen’s real hair

I was the person who went to the beauty parlor and they told me ‘Oh darling, you poor thing, the best thing you can do is cut your hair short, there’s nothing you can do with your type of hair.’

I have baby fine hair which I have always fought with. When I found out I had cancer, it had taken me about 8 years to get my fine hair to grow to the middle of my back.  A feat all fine hair people know is not easy!  I had to cut my hair off in small increments to not only get my family used to me losing it, but for me, who hated the whole cancer package.  This was the only time I ever went to a hair cut salon and they asked me “Are you sure you want to cut your hair.  It looks great and so healthy?”  I couldn’t say, “Well no, I am not sure, in fact I don’t want my hair cut at all.  In fact I don’t want to loose one piece of it, but if you have to know, I have cancer, and it is all going!”  Of course I didn’t say that, I politely said…”Yes I am sure, cut it off.”

So this is a mocking of my wig trying on venture!  Wigs looked like Dolly Parton on me. BIG HAIR! FAKE HAIR!  I felt like I was a little girl trying on my mother’s old wigs and hairpieces. Everyone around me saying…”Oh how adorable you look.”  I felt like a total weirdo. Good thing all of those real pictures of me with wigs people liked on me, are on an “old” phone that won’t share.  I was not a happy face.  I tried many different styles in many different wig shops and I could not find one that made ME feel like….ME!

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So all of you who are HATING trying on wigs and feel terrible about loosing your hair.  I know how you feel.  I opted to not get one! Well, actually, I got a 1/2 wig.  One that looked like I still had my long hair but had no top.  I HAD to wear a hat.  So I was known as the girl with the “many hats.”  I often didn’t wear it because it was so hot.  But at least when I wanted to feel more like the old me, I would put on my long “thick hair.”

FIND A WIG YOU FEEL GOOD IN OR DON’T GET ONE AT ALL.  There are adorable hats out there that you can accessorize. (Later post) Or be bold and go bald. I wasn’t quite comfortable being a bald “look at me” person…