Well, I hope you find these useful. They are for me.
1. "Hey Sam, want to go out?" Me: "I'm kinda tired"......A good response would be, "you want to rent a movie and just stay in or I'll just come over and watch TV with you." Tired doesn't always mean tired in our world. A lot of times it means depressed and being with your friend, even if they don't want to talk, just being there, means more than you'll ever know. Couldn't have survived my first year without my friends and family.
2. Tell others appropriately.....respect my wishes. In the beginning I didn't want anyone to know. My friends didn't tell anyone until I said it was okay.
3. Come cook me some dinner or even better, bring some yummy take-out on bad days.
4. I have a very active daughter, offer to have her come over and hang out so I can rest. She's always on the go and loves to be that way. I always feel like I'm such a bore to her.
5. Ask me if there is anything you can do to help, be specific as to what you would be willing to do and FOLLOW THROUGH. A lot of times when people say "What can I do?", they totally mean well, I get it. But there are a lot patients like me that HATE to put people out. So unless your specific, I'll say nothing. Some good examples are: "Would you like me to come clean your house?" "Can I pick up your prescriptions?" "Can I bring you lunch" when I'm super tired would be embarrassing but amazing!
6. Just acknowledge my feelings. Don't tell me how I should feel. Try to be empathetic. I have a daily fight for my life. I'm gonna be a little crazy sometimes, so please don't stay mad at me if I do something stupid. Just tell me I hurt you or I'm acting crazy. A lot of times, that just snaps me out of it.
7. Listen. Really listen. If I'm talking about worries for my future or Karleys future or the cancer, don't just watch tv while I'm talking or play on your phone. Acknowledge you are trying to understand what I'm going through physically and emotionally every day. Don't make me feel lazy.
8. Laugh. Laugh with me. Buy me silly stuff that makes absolutely no sense or do stuff that makes no sense. My friend Brad created a character he turned himself into just to make me laugh, and he's a little crazy. Laughter is so good for the soul.
9. Make plans with me but don't get mad if I cancel last minute. I'm just winging it here. Please try to be flexible.
10. Just because I look better or normal doesn't mean I am. Please don't abandon me when you think I'm ok. Because with my type of cancer, it will never be ok.
11. Let me cry. Sometimes I need this. I try to be so strong for everyone but I can't. It builds up until I go full on breakdown. Just say you're so sorry and this sucks.
12. Keep in touch. Don't abandon me. Call every once in a while to see how things are going. I won't blog forever.
13. Talk about stuff other than cancer. I love this because some days, when I'm feeling good, I totally forget I have it. Those are the best days. Don't always treat me like I have cancer unless I'm not feeling good.
Things to Say:
14 "I'm so sorry"
15. "I care about you"
16. "I'm always here to listen if you need to talk"
17. "Just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you"
18. "This sucks, I'm so sorry" - my personal favorite
Now all cancer patients are different, but hopefully some of these will resonate with some and others can learn from it. I know I sound like a total cancer dictator, but this is the only way to get my point across. Because for every person that thought Mind over Matter worked in my last blog, there is another thinking that way but we need more than Mind over Matter.
PS I'm not lazy! I'm exhausted.
Thank you all for your continuous prayers and encouragement. You have no idea how much they truly mean.
Also, EGFR patients. A friend of mine is starting a database where we can learn from each other different treatments and connect. More to come, but if you are interested, please email me.
And say a prayer for these people too. I couldn't add all my Lung Cancer friends but I did as many as I could. These are the ones that are living with it. Including me of course! And can't believe I forgot this final one.....
Surprise me with some Mexican Food! #tacos