Ways you can help

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

  Luziano De Cresceno

A list to answer, “What do I do now,” as a 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.

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.

42. I may not be able to read at certain times, but offer a good story.

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.

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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The gift pocket

Each of my family members has allotted an amount of money in our pockets, not for shopping but for giving, only.

On Christmas day we are going to share how we spent a dollar here or a few there to brighten someone’s day.

Here is a just a few: My daughter bought a cookie topped with ice cream for an older woman. She didn’t tell her, she just paid for it before she came up to order. She was so surprised and happy!

My son took homemade chocolate covered strawberries to an elderly home and passed them around. They loved them! He loved it too.

Everyone at my grocery store was impatient to check out and when the checker asked if anyone would spend $10 for a full bag of groceries to donate to the town food bank, each answered “NO.” When my turn finally came, I said no too, then remembered my gift pocket. “Oh, wait, yes, I will!” Her face lit up.  But then the people behind me began to buy one too….

The gift pocket is contagious…

Light the World

Preparing for Surgery

Preparing for surgery, for me, was to run around as fast as I could and do everything possible to not have to think about the nightmare I was living and how afraid I was. From diagnoses to surgery was a 2 1/2 week span during the Christmas holidays and I was trying to forget and go on autopilot by “distractions.”

A dear friend of mine asked me if she could come over and explain how to calm down before surgery. She had been faced with a rare nonmalignant tumor and had her share of adversity. I was bitter, angry, terrified and closed hearted! But she was persistent, patient, and I am sooooo thankful she was both!

This is what she introduced to me.  Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster by Peggy Huddleston.  I remember sitting on a bean-bag chair with J, in our family’s play room.  I was uninterested,bored and couldn’t wait for her to leave so I could distract myself some more.  I hated sitting quiet!

But I changed in those few moments.  A change that I needed to experience, which pioneered the beginning of being open to many many more changes to come. As I sat and listened to a tape of how this book came to be, and why it was important, I felt this feeling that I NEEDED to hear this.  Without going into too much detail, here are the steps that saved me not only through surgery, but many terrifying procedures that I needed to face that I was unaware at the time.

1.  Your mind is a powerful part of healing and how you think of things will determine how you will heal.  I HAD to change my rage and anger statements to positive statements that were less fearful because I was pumping those negative feelings into my body to feed my anxiety.  Things like “I am so thankful for modern medicine to help me heal.” or “I will be comfortable and heal well,” were more healthy than, “I hate this experience and it is all bad for me!”

2. Emotions and attitudes lesson pain and anxiety.  That is a powerful thought and I wanted to believe it.

3.  The book explains that you can hear during surgery and that it is important to be in a relaxed state for your body to respond at its best. Dr. Huddleston explains to have positive statement told to you during surgery, that you bring to your anesthesiologist to read to you while you are asleep.

4.  She has a 3 step process that helped me so much.

a.  Anchor to peace by listening to a relaxation tape to learn how to calm yourself. This was difficult for me as I was not “in” to yoga and mediation at this time.  Peace speeds recovery and allows for less medications.  I liked this statement because I was not a pill taker.

b.  Think of someone you love and get heart centered.  This brought good feelings of comfort and warmth to your body.

c.  (My favorite) Call on some special people to be your “Pink blanket of Love” and ask them to think or pray for you at the exact time you will be having surgery, a procedure, chemo or radiation.  Tell them it will be at 9:30 a.m. on  this date.  As you are there ready to go into surgery at that very moment, think about that support group sending powerful positive messages to you or praying for you.  As Peggy   puts it, it will feel “utterly delicious and peaceful.” I have done this and it works!  I testify of the power of prayer!

d.  Tell your doctor and anesthesiologist to say positive healing statements during surgery because you can hear them! You are the consumer and you have the right to say what happens to you.

5. Patients who feel empowered by being involved in how they heal do better as they heal.

My friend J gave me a gift that day that I didn’t know I needed.  I am posting it because often, in our fear we stay closed to things that may be the very thing we need.  For me, it was these wellness ideas.  I have passed them along to others.  If you have something that helped you, don’t hesitate but pass it forward.  We need each other.

THE NEWS!

What do I do now?

Dear One,

You just got off the phone.

You have received the news.

News you never ever wanted to hear.

Someone you know has the “C” word.

You heard it but it could not be real!

It can’t be.

How you must feel…

I know.

I felt it too.

You are numb.  In shock!

You may want to cry.  You may feel nothing.

You may want to hit something or scream out loud.

You put your hands to your face and bow your head with a huge sigh.

NO!  It can’t be Cancer!

“What do I do now?”

This is the question to be answered from this blog.

Come sit and let us hold on to one another.

This is not only for the newly diagnosed.

It is for the neighbor who wants to know how to help a little.

A friend who wants to know how to help a…

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Who is your God?

sun-coming-through-clouds

Who is your God?

What is He or She like?

Do you talk to Him or Her?

A friend and I were discussing God over dinner after she had offered grace before we ate. She had grown up Catholic and felt it was easy to pray to Mary because she was comforted by Jesus’ mother. But when talking to God as a child she used to feel intimidated like he was too omnipotent to be bothered by a little dot on the earth, which was her. But since then her relationship with God has changed. The discussion began.

Who is your God?

What is He like?

Do you talk to Him?

We both believe in a similar male God that looks like a man but contains all power over the universe, and we both believe that love is the first and most powerful law of the universe.

But what came out of the discussion was the influence our dad’s played in establishing a relationship with that “Father Figure” in heaven. It had a huge impact on both of us.

When she mentioned her first impressions of the scary God, I told her that I never ever felt that way about God. I explained that the reason was because my dad was such a kind, loving, soft-hearted father to me that I carried that father figure model clear up to the heavens, beyond the clouds to my God in Heaven. According to my belief He had those same characteristics as my own dad but on a grander scale. She agreed that her father had also been a positive influence in her own life and was also what influenced her new relationship with God as she grew older.

Isn’t that interesting. Our dad’s relationship with us on earth influences how we feel about our Father in the Heavens.

That is pretty powerful and a big responsibility.

We both enjoy talking to God every single day.

And we both believe he listens to our prayers and guides our lives.

Thanks dad’s who love their children so we learn to love GOD.

(I also ask God to give hugs to my dad and mom up there, too.)

RAK Dating Ideas

 https://www.randomactsofkindness.org

 Posting dating ideas to support the fun of being kind:

Here is today’s RAK Date Ideas:

THEME: Be Kind To Animals

  1. Bird feeder date: A. Pool your money and go to, Walmart, Home Depot or Lowe’s and purchase one inexpensive bird feeder (or as many as you want), a bag of bird seed, and twine or thin rope. (And/or optional a little hook holder stake that you can push into the ground with your foot. It looks like one of those shepherds crooks but its metal and can hold the feeder). B. Now the fun part. Look for a place where people can watch the birds come feed. Ideas: A Kindergarten window at a school, (ask first), a window or garden at a senior center, a Big tree where you get food at college or gather with friends at a park, a place where people sit for a bus or stop to rest from jogging… and place it there. C. In a few days go and refill it…You get an automatic second date out of this!

  2. Doggy Park date: Go to Walmart or a grocery store and buy some doggy treats that contain bacon. Find the local doggy park and be the dog candy passer outer. Be sure to tell people this is for RAK and ask permission to feed the dogs. The dogs will love you and you will have a blast getting licked to death with your date. Then go eat bacon cheese burgers at Carl’s Jr.

  3. Gather a bunch of old towels from your neighborhood and go buy cat and dog treats (always treats with bacon for the dogs.) Tell people the towels are for the local vets and animal shelter. Drop off the towels to the Vets or take direct to your local Animal Shelter. Then ask if you can volunteer for a few hours for RAK week. Play with the animals for awhile and pass out your treats you bought. 

  4. At a local park, pick up trash. Buy a small bag of birdseed and just spread it around the bottom of trees. Make a place clean for animals. Then have a picnic.

    I support innocent/getting-to-know-you dating. It’s fun.

    During Random Acts of Kindness week, the acts of kindness do not have to be big. Do small acts with someone you want to get to know better. It is a great way to have fun together…

    BTW my boys: Being kind to animals was one of the things to look for….remember that road trip conversation…