Everyone’s lives are so busy, so it’s easy to forget someone going through cancer treatment is dealing with it every day. In this first post, I talked about ways to show support for a friend just diagnosed with cancer. Here’s another round of ideas to try several months down the road, when the realities and hardships of cancer treatment really have kicked in.
A couple months down the road:
Give a box of cards labeled with when you want your loved one to open them: When you’re sad; when you’re angry; when you need a laugh; when you need a cry; when you need to remember how much you like chocolate/wine/retail therapy.
Offer to go for a walk with her, and choose a location with lots of benches and reasons to stop and rest.
Send a Facebook message once a day/week with the last line, “You don’t have to reply. I love you.”
The next time you see something beautiful, inspirational or funny, post a picture on Instagram and tag her. Just because.
Drop off a vat of your favorite soup, but in meal-sized containers she can freeze.
Arrange to keep her occupied while you or a team of friends pops into her house and cleans it. Let’s face it, few of us would ever ask a friend to clean for us… but as a surprise? Hallelujah!
Chemo Goody Bags – one for every trip, filled with anything from warm socks to fine literature like People Magazine or Reader’s Digest. Little things to keep her mind occupied.
If she has children, offer to bring them to the zoo/library/park one Saturday so she can just relax at home, alone or with her significant other.
Does she have a particularly energetic dog in her life? Offer to walk her pet or even take care of her pet for a few days to give her a break.
Offer to bring her grocery shopping and help her shop.
Arrange for a masseuse to come to her house (at a day and time of her choosing).
Give her a gift card for a massage and then offer to schedule it for her.
Ask to visit for the sole intention of watching something mindless on TV together, in silence. Don’t try to cheer her up. Just be.
Love to frequent the farmer’s market? A small bouquet of wildflowers left on her stoop will brighten her day and remind her you are thinking of her.
Restaurant gift cards.
Mail her one card a week. Or two. Or seven!
Send a card for the sole purpose of saying, “I promise to never ask how you’re doing and to mentally punch people in the throat if they ask you in front of me.”
Add a PS: I will always want to know but only want you to tell me when you’re up to it.
Sherry Pollex became a champion for survivors of cancer when she and longtime boyfriend and NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Martin Truex Jr. established the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation. At 35, Sherry was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer and doctors estimated that her chance of survival was less than 30% within 5 years. She underwent a radical hysterectomy, debulking surgery and 17 months of chemotherapy. For her 37th birthday, she launched SherryStrong.org to empower women to know their bodies, recognize the symptoms of ovarian cancer and learn how integrative and holistic practices may complement conventional medicine.