Help! This is a difficult one! How can one help? What is right? What is wrong? What is a no go?!?
I wish there was that one answer that would always work, but there isn’t. What helps one day, does not work the next – at least for me! And what helps me, might not help someone else!
I don’t need pity and despite all good intentions of “let me know, if I can help”, I have difficulties to phrase it sometimes… sometimes I need to talk, sometimes I don’t… I know that a lot of people feel helpless, are afraid to say the wrong things, but there is no real wrong…. often saying something wrong is better than nothing, but nothing is better than “why do you have cancer” or nonsense…. see, it depends!
What did help so far was ….
1) to put all my potential helpers in a What’s App group for any emergencies! This means for me that I say it once that I need something and the group can see, if anyone is available…..
2) actions – people who offer something specific e.g. Nina and Luisa’s “we will pick up your kids next Thursday, when you have chemo and have a play date at our house” thank you! Bringing some food over – like my neighbour Gracie does today… her Indian cuisine is to die for and new dad of two, Heinzi and Markus equally love it… hmm….
3) normal things – ask me, if I want to go out, join in, whatever…. I say no, if I don’t feel like it…. even if I don’t show much initiative, I appreciate it…. yes, I am a bit more reactive lately than proactive
4) call me – I will simply not pick up the phone, if I have no time or don’t feel like it, write cards, letters, etc…. I appreciate every single one…. needless to say that my little chemo sisters girls club supported me with words and presents prior to every single chemo along with so many other presents that I feel truly blessed
5) don’t bother me…. share your normal problems, but I don’t need cancer worries – if you can’t deal with it, please talk to someone else – I need my positive energy for myself and my kids and only have limited extra resources…. I do, I can carry you along, but only to a certain extend
6) if I say no, don’t question it – normally I am already beyond ok, when I say that I am not well…. yes, I have hair, but I don’t have my strength or energy back yet, as I am still in chemo….
7) don’t challenge me mentally …. I am not a good decision maker, but right now, I always try to find simple and quick solutions for everything…. I often just cannot be bothered with complicated stuff (which might seem so easy to you – it’s a burden for me)
8) stop moaning about nonsense….. I like a good moan, don’t get me wrong, but only in little portions 😉 whinge away
9) make a joke – I am still myself, still like to laugh and any humour is ok – including cancer jokes …. my brother is good at it!
10) it is called cancer…. name it …. it is not ‘it’, the situation, etc…. it is cancer!
And as I write this – my little Mia is sleeping in Kindergarten…. and I will go there now for her to see me, when she wakes up ❤️