Send a #bettereveryday chemo care tote.
As part of our mission to provide support, resources and inspiration to help cancer patients – and those closest to them – to live a life that gets #bettereveryday, we’d be honored to send a #bettereveryday chemo care tote to your friend or loved one. Click here to nominate someone you care about to receive a tote.
We also get a lot of questions about “what else” people can do to support their friends and loved ones on this journey. The following are a few ideas for things you might consider and other groups like ours that might bring additional comfort and joy.
Think of a few of their favorite things.
What does your friend love? I was an art major and loved coloring… and I was blessed to receive some really awesome adult coloring books that kept my mind occupied during long chemo treatments. Maybe your friend likes to color. Maybe they like binge-watching mindless TV and would LOVE a Netflix, Hulu or other streaming membership. Maybe they like to discover new music or play games on their tablet making them a perfect candidate for an iTunes gift card. Just because a friend has received this scary diagnosis doesn’t change the things they love, the things that make them, them. So think about the things they love – and the things you love most about them – and go from there!
Help them stay nourished.
My sister-in-law set up a Meal Train for our family during my journey. It was so incredibly helpful to not have to worry about cooking, and was such a relief to know my family was well-fed, even when I was unable to cook for them. Visit MealTrain.com to learn more and set up a Meal Train.
One of our very generous meal train participants always showed up with coolers (yes, plural) of groceries in tow. It was the most generous and amazing thing to have healthy snacks and other basics (saved us many a late night milk run). It meant a lot.
If you’re not close to your loved one, look for local services like CareBOX Program. They provide free essential care supplies to cancer patients in Central Texas to help prevent malnutrition, infections, and injuries from falls. Visit CareBOXprogram.org to learn more.
Help them stay on top of the everyday tasks.
When I was going through treatment, my boss called and told me my job description had changed and I now had one job: get better. That doesn’t keep life from going on and other tasks backing up (at work but also on the home front!). This awesome group, Cleaning for a Reason, arranges for patient’s homes to be cleaned while they are at chemo. Can you imagine the relief of coming home from a treatment and knowing all you have to do is rest?! Visit CleaningforaReason.org to learn more and see if their services are available in your area.
If you live near your loved one, consider also offering to help them run errands or running errands for them. Picking up kids from school, taking them to practice, dropping off dry cleaning or picking up prescriptions are all very helpful and allow the patient time to rest and focus on getting #bettereveryday.
Don’t forget the people who support them.
Caregiver fatigue. It’s a real thing. My family was amazing. My husband took on everything I would usually do around the house. My mom basically moved in for six months. They were a true life-line. That’s no easy task. As you think about ways to help your friend or loved one, consider also doing something to help their support network. Organizations like Cocktails and Chemo are one way you can support.
Other ideas include:
- Offer to stay with your friend or loved one while the caregiver goes to a movie, workout class or other favorite activity
- Ask to take kiddos for an afternoon and visit a park, zoo or museum, bake cookies or do a craft project. Something completely kid-focused so they can just be kids for a bit.
Just be there.
Whether physically or in spirit, there’s one thing that anyone on this journey can use: your emotional support. On my journey some of the most meaningful things were seemingly the smallest: the daily texts from my best friend, the weekly cards from my sister-in-law, the random funny YouTube videos from my college roommate. While the above options are all incredibly helpful, your friendship, love and support are likely the best gift you can give.