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How do I provide practical help? Ideas appreciated

Forums General Melanoma Community How do I provide practical help? Ideas appreciated

  • Post
    EddieM
    Participant

      I have a friend with stage 4 melanoma. Her disease isnt my story to tell, so I wont go into detail about that. But apart from just being here for her when she needs to talk what practical things could I be doing? What have you found helpful? She doesn't like to ask for anything. I know she gets tired and at times has some mobility problems. Maybe there are some things I havent thought of which is why Im asking for people with experience.

      I have a friend with stage 4 melanoma. Her disease isnt my story to tell, so I wont go into detail about that. But apart from just being here for her when she needs to talk what practical things could I be doing? What have you found helpful? She doesn't like to ask for anything. I know she gets tired and at times has some mobility problems. Maybe there are some things I havent thought of which is why Im asking for people with experience.

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        Fen
        Participant

          Some of what you could do depends on her circumstances.  Does she have small children? Family around?   I would suggest taking care of basic needs first – make sure she has good healthy food when she feels like eating – then just be supportive.  Talk about things other than cancer, take her for rides, anything that she can do other than sitting in the house.  You're a good friend.

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          Fen
          Participant

            Some of what you could do depends on her circumstances.  Does she have small children? Family around?   I would suggest taking care of basic needs first – make sure she has good healthy food when she feels like eating – then just be supportive.  Talk about things other than cancer, take her for rides, anything that she can do other than sitting in the house.  You're a good friend.

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            TAC
            Participant

              Perhaps you could tell her that you would like to help her in whatever way she needs. Try to convince her that it would make you feel good and it would also help her with many routine and mundane things…..grocery shopping, food prep, cleaning, etc. I know that many people want their situation kept quiet but just explain that one of the greatest gifts she can give is to allow others to help her….easy to say but often hard to convince someone of this. I know many in a neighborhood who do meal preparation and delivery for each day of the week; others run errands; drive to doctors appts, the list is endless. You are a good friend to ask and in trying to help. Best wishes in your efforts.

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              TAC
              Participant

                Perhaps you could tell her that you would like to help her in whatever way she needs. Try to convince her that it would make you feel good and it would also help her with many routine and mundane things…..grocery shopping, food prep, cleaning, etc. I know that many people want their situation kept quiet but just explain that one of the greatest gifts she can give is to allow others to help her….easy to say but often hard to convince someone of this. I know many in a neighborhood who do meal preparation and delivery for each day of the week; others run errands; drive to doctors appts, the list is endless. You are a good friend to ask and in trying to help. Best wishes in your efforts.

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                Carmon in NM
                Participant

                  I am a stage 4 patient and I am blessed with some amazing friends who are like you and who mean the world to me. In my case, I have always been a strong and independent woman and it's important for me to feel that I haven't lost that part of my life. It's difficult for me to ask for help because it feels like giving up my strength and independence.

                  If it weren't for my friends, I wouldn't be here right now! When I had an undiagnosed tumor begin bleeding into my brain and I was home alone, I called a friend at 5:00 in the morning and told her I needed her to take me to the hospital and all she said was 'I'm on my way.' Without her, I would most likely have not survived that brain bleed.

                  When I was diagnosed in 2008 my friends patiently listened to me as I talked out my fear over and over and over again. If it did upset them to listen, they never showed it nor did they offer me false positives or hopes, they just listened and made it clear that they wanted my company no matter what.

                  While I was in the hospital having a craniotomy, then gamma knife surgery and back home recovering, they jumped in and fed our horses, took care of my aquariums and stayed at the house with our dogs until my husband was able to get home. Then several of them just showed up and vacuumed and straightened the house for me which meant the world to me.

                  I've been in a clinical drug trial since last October and my husband is frequently working out of state so friends jump in and drive me to my appointments which is usually an all day affair. Essential though because I have driving restrictions due to damage from the brain bleed. I don't have a washer and dryer so one friend shows up and takes our laundry home and does it for me.

                  I missed both Thanksgiving and Christmas due to the timing of drug infusions so at Thanksgiving folks brought over plates of food and for Christmas, two friends made my husband and I a complete turkey dinner and timed it so that I was over the worst of the drug side effects and could enjoy it!

                  But I think the key for me is that they never make me feel like they are doing me a favor. I always feel like they are doing these things because it's an excuse to spend time with me. We laugh and giggle and just generally have a great time together which helps me to forget that I'm sick as a dog or in a lot of pain from chemo drugs. We also go out to lunch in groups whenever I'm feeling up to it and that is such a treat! Again, we laugh and talk and make plans for the summer and riding our horses again once I am through with all of these treatments.

                  So I don't know if any of this helps but it was a great chance for me to express how much I love my friends who have been with me every step of this journey! Carmon in NM

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                  Carmon in NM
                  Participant

                    I am a stage 4 patient and I am blessed with some amazing friends who are like you and who mean the world to me. In my case, I have always been a strong and independent woman and it's important for me to feel that I haven't lost that part of my life. It's difficult for me to ask for help because it feels like giving up my strength and independence.

                    If it weren't for my friends, I wouldn't be here right now! When I had an undiagnosed tumor begin bleeding into my brain and I was home alone, I called a friend at 5:00 in the morning and told her I needed her to take me to the hospital and all she said was 'I'm on my way.' Without her, I would most likely have not survived that brain bleed.

                    When I was diagnosed in 2008 my friends patiently listened to me as I talked out my fear over and over and over again. If it did upset them to listen, they never showed it nor did they offer me false positives or hopes, they just listened and made it clear that they wanted my company no matter what.

                    While I was in the hospital having a craniotomy, then gamma knife surgery and back home recovering, they jumped in and fed our horses, took care of my aquariums and stayed at the house with our dogs until my husband was able to get home. Then several of them just showed up and vacuumed and straightened the house for me which meant the world to me.

                    I've been in a clinical drug trial since last October and my husband is frequently working out of state so friends jump in and drive me to my appointments which is usually an all day affair. Essential though because I have driving restrictions due to damage from the brain bleed. I don't have a washer and dryer so one friend shows up and takes our laundry home and does it for me.

                    I missed both Thanksgiving and Christmas due to the timing of drug infusions so at Thanksgiving folks brought over plates of food and for Christmas, two friends made my husband and I a complete turkey dinner and timed it so that I was over the worst of the drug side effects and could enjoy it!

                    But I think the key for me is that they never make me feel like they are doing me a favor. I always feel like they are doing these things because it's an excuse to spend time with me. We laugh and giggle and just generally have a great time together which helps me to forget that I'm sick as a dog or in a lot of pain from chemo drugs. We also go out to lunch in groups whenever I'm feeling up to it and that is such a treat! Again, we laugh and talk and make plans for the summer and riding our horses again once I am through with all of these treatments.

                    So I don't know if any of this helps but it was a great chance for me to express how much I love my friends who have been with me every step of this journey! Carmon in NM

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