Cancer sucks. It isn’t a gift or a blessing. It is an evil wolf in sheep’s clothing. It may even be the scariest word in the English language. The BIG C is like an annoying roommate who never leaves.
I should know. It knocked at my door. I tried to not let it in, but it got through the weathered cracks in the doorframe. The medical team has my back. My dear ones let me vent and provided the words I needed to hear. Yet, I hid from the big world. I know now that was wrong.
I did get asked a lot on this journey on what help my village could provide. I was stumped. I was the one who made care packages, I wasn’t the one who received them. I hid from the kind and caring people who just wanted to help. There was some awkward un-solicited advice and odd comments that left me feeling nauseous, like after a roller coaster ride gone bad.
Then, after a lot of soul-searching, clarity arrived. I realized people offered what they could. And that is okay.
If you have a loved one who is fighting the good warrior fight, I have a few tips to share on what to say to them.
- YOU ARE NOT ALONE. It might seem scary in the moment. There are loved ones who will be there. Sometimes it isn’t the people you expect will be there, but the ones who surprise you.
- THAT SUCKS. It is okay to keep it real.
- What are you CRAVING? The reality is that cravings from treatments can askew any warrior’s taste buds. It can be the obscure or out of the ordinary, and that is okay.
- How can I help? Those are the sweetest words to anyone doing the hospital dance. Let them tell you. Let them talk about their days, and listen. There are gems in the conversation.
- Sometimes it is okay to not speak, however just give a hug. The power of touch is beyond what any IV bag can provide. Cancer isn’t contagious.
Cancer is evil. It doesn’t get a hall pass. It is the bully at school that doesn’t go away. It steals your morning paper and drinks your coffee in front of your face. You can rise above the deceptive enemy. If you give it power it will take you. You got this.