Monday, April 22, 2013

{guest post} when someone has cancer

Hi there! As you know, I'm currently vacationing with family for the next few days -- my littles are experiencing Disney World for the first time! While I can appreciate a good pair of mouse ears and princess lunches, the smiles upon my kids' faces are priceless. I can't wait to share our experiences with you upon my return. Until then, I have some really wonderful guests submitting posts in my absence. 

I’d like to introduce to you, Amy, author and co-founder of Made for More Ministries, where Amy and her husband share their testimony of God’s faithfulness and their commitment to Him and to each other, during Amy's discovery and journey with breast cancer. The fight against cancer is near to my heart, being a skin cancer survivor myself. Grab a cup of coffee, and be inspired by Amy's message today...

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What Do I Do When Someone I Know Has Cancer (besides making a casserole)?

Sooner or later, cancer will smash into your life. It might be a loved one or a close friend. In my case, it was me, Stage II Invasive DuctalCarcinomabreast cancer. We were blessed with an immediate wave of caring friends, family and neighbors wanting to help. The strange thing is, like me before the cancer, many did not have any idea what to do. Their hearts were genuine, they simply did not know what was needed (true confession - neither did we!)
We were lucky that we had some good friends who had been down similar paths. They quickly organized everyone – cranking out schedules and duties for everything from food delivery to doctor visits to kids’ taxiing.
The sad fact is, not everyone has a great support system, or any support system at all. We learned a lot of valuable lessons through the cancer journey (God will grow you through these times, if you will let Him!), and a biggie is to listen to those who have already been there. They know so much and many are so willing to share.


After God got us through the cancer, my husband Tom and I, as survivor and co-survivor, knew that He was calling us to start a ministry that would give encouragement and hope to others walking a similar path.  So we listened and started Made for More Ministries, passing forward His love and grace to others.
So what should you do besides delivering your killer casserole? Here are some practical tips for helping those battling cancer:
6 Practical Tips for Helping Someone With Cancer
1. Casseroles are good, but give them real ‘meat’ that will sustain them through the entire cancer journey and beyond. They need hope, encouragement and current, useful tools. Check out Made for More or other cancer resources for materials, tips and what to expect on the journey. We offer free eBooks for caregivers/co-survivors, an encouraging and informative blog and other unique and useful resources. Please reach out to us on our website, Facebook or Twitter. We’d love to help. Print out links and tape them to the casserole!
2. Pray diligently for them. Be specific – healing, rest, peace, comfort, strength, for family members/care givers and acceptance of His will.
3. Remember that they are still the same person as before, but are going to need special support, whether they ask for it or not. Some may be too proud to ask or to accept. Sometimes it is best not to offer or ask, but to tell…as in I WILL (fill in the blank).
4. Listen, then listen some more. There is nothing worse than having to hear everyone else’s story when you are the one suffering. It is about them so keep the focus on them as long as they want it.
5. On the other hand, don’t assume they want to talk about their cancer/treatment/prognosis. Sometimes they really do just want to talk about the weather. Either way, listen, listen and listen some more.
6. Find out if someone is coordinating meals and other schedules, and then contact THAT person to offer your help – or be that person.
Remember, they are still the same person - your friend or loved one – not a leper, a martyr or a celebrity. They will appreciate you being the same too, only a little more helpful!
If you are a cancer fighter/survivor, what tips might you suggest?

20 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I haven't experienced this but now have tips to help if this ever happens

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    1. I appreciate you taking the time to comment! It is likely a matter of time before you know someone who will need your friendship and presence to just be there. Now you have a tool to share! Thanks!

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  2. Amy and Mandi, thank you so much for sharing this important post. We lost 3 family members to cancer over the last 5 years and it's so critical for everyone to know what to do, how to act, and not feel lost. Having recently experienced this, all of these ideas are excellent. This is not something any of us like to think about, but it happens and I hope everyone reads this. Thanks for sharing. ~Cindy@littlemisscelebration.com

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    1. As always, Cindy, your comments are appreciated! You're so good to me -- a loyal reader -- and I am grateful for your support in Amy's cause. I know she is, too.

      I'm disheartened to hear that there has been so much death around you...so much of this evil cancer. I have such great hopes for a cure -- a faith that God will intervene.

      Love to you today and always!

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    2. Cindy, You are most welcome. One in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. It's too important a topic not to talk about, regularly. Thanks for reading.

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    3. Thanks for the comment, Cindy! I am sorry you and your family have been impacted by cancer so much. No one is exempt from the devastation it leaves behind. Having some resources to refers others onto for encouragement and helpful tools can help leave you feeling like you did something positive! Thanks for the note.

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    4. Cindy,
      Thanks for your comment! I appreciate your words and am just so sorry you have had to encounter so much loss from cancer in such a short amount of time. Having tools to share with those walking through a battle of cancer helps a bit, knowing you did something that can add value and insight for those in the midst of the struggle! Thanks again.

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  3. I love this post; my mom recently passed away from breast cancer and I remember what a big deal it was for me just to ask "How are you doing?" It seems that we often want to do so much for people that we often overlook just BEING there for someone and listening to them, even when it is difficult. God Bless you for writing this post :)

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    1. Oh, Michelle, I could so easily wrap my arms around you. Often times, my heart goes out to those left behind more so than the ones who've lost the battle -- our hearts continue to hurt and the sadness never really subsides. Cancer is an evil plague amongst us, but I do feel that the love we give to our loved ones help their fight a little more tolerable. XOXO

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    2. Michelle,

      Thank you so much for your post. My heart aches for your recent loss. Let's work together to share Hope and encouragement to those that are still in the battle or just starting down the path. Send them to our site, too! Blessings to you and yours!

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  4. I love this post; my mom recently passed away from breast cancer and I remember what a big deal it was for me just to ask "How are you doing?" It seems that we often want to do so much for people that we often overlook just BEING there for someone and listening to them, even when it is difficult. God Bless you for writing this post :)

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  5. My grandpa just has been put back in remission after his second go with gum cancer, & all I really wanted was someone to give me a hug & just let me talk & be scared & then have somebody I knew that I could go and they would pray hardcore with me.

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    1. You dear angel -- hugs to you! You are so loved and appreciated. You are never alone, as a child of God. Don't be afraid to ask for support...for there are thousands of us who want to help. You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. XOXO

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    2. Happy to pray for you and yours! Send an email to me via our website (above link) and I will gladly add your names to my daily prayer list. Thanks for the post and stay strong in Him!

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  7. Both of my sisters have battled cancer, one going through it right now and I have to say that your post is right on. Thank you for reminding me that even though I feel helpless, I am helping!

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    1. More than you know, sweetie! Best wishes and many prayers to you as you fight alongside your sister. Your love and support for her makes it more bearable than you think. XOXO

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    2. You certainly are, Kim. Surrounding our friends and family in the midst of crisis is so important. Your presence is a huge present! Allowing them to be themselves and just loving them through the good, the bad and the ugly. If they tweet, FB, or visit sites, encourage them to check our link out (above) and get regular daily encouragments!
      Blessings and thanks for the comment!

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  8. My dad was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer almost 2 years ago, I feel like my time with him is getting short. He has so many other medical condition's that make the Cancer worse. I pray a lot and yet I feel ignored for some reason. I know it's not intentionally, I just am having such a hard time, especially since my dad has become real close with my children. Great post!

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    1. Rebecca,
      I am sorry for your situation. It sounds as if the possible loss of your father has you in a tough spot...and rightfully so. Searching for answers and questioning is completely normal and letting God know you are ticked is fine with Him. He can handle it. Might I suggest visiting our site and following us on FB, and twitter if you are willing. We do daily encouragements for those impacted by cancer. Send me a note on FB or through our contact page. Please know that God is always there and lovingly waiting for you to come to Him. He may not give you the answers you are hoping for, but He will show you how to find comfort in His arms. Life was never said to be fair or easy, but God has shown us through His Word that he will walk before us in all our struggles. There can be so much comfort in that and it is ours for the taking. Not always easy, but available, none the less. Thinking of you and your situation.
      Thanks for the comment.

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I am incredibly grateful for your comment! I will respond as soon as possible. XOXO, Mandi

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