How can I support someone whose child was just diagnosed with cancer?"

 
 

How can I support someone whose child was just diagnosed with cancer??

I get this question all the time! Most people will pray because they just don't KNOW what else to do. Yes! I believe in the power of prayer and His mighty hand but if you are able, here are some tips that made the world of difference and really felt like prayer IN ACTION! It was an answer to the smallest things needed, that felt HUGE!!! We were truly blessed by so many but I would say these made our top 10.
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1) Be there, listen and hold us when we cry.  The emotional roller coaster of your child's diagnosis is relentless.  I felt EVERY emotion and sometimes all at once.  One of my best friends would come to visit with me and sometimes I would tell her to "please talk about YOUR life" so that I may forget about mine for just 5 minutes.  We would laugh and without a doubt there would be tears, but she let me be me in that moment.
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2) Financially- I NEVER would ask for money but Lord did we need it. If they do not have a site to give $ then gift cards to grocery stores and gas stations are amazing.  They were highly appreciated and we used EVERY one.
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3) Offer to clean their house or pay for a housekeeper before they come home from the hospital. A low immune system needs a germ free environment.  This was a GOD SEND.  While receiving chemo to kill her immune system, someone was cleaning my house of all the little nasty bugs that could be lurking and ultimately put her back into the ER.  
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4) Don't ever forget Siblings. Buy the #supersibling a gift as well.  My eldest daughter Savannah has a heart of GOLD and adores her sister Paisley (even when she is not the sweetest, which is often).  We realized quickly that despite how young she was, that she was still experiencing her own emotional trauma.  Tremendous sadness and jealousy would consume her during our week long hospital trips and endless gifts for Paisley.  She also had to grow up quickly in order to help me hold Paisley for her nightly shot when Daddy wasn't home.  When gifts came to our door, if there was one marked Savannah, she lite up with pure joy!  Recognition of the super sibling is so important!
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5) Try to maintain a normal schedule:  Siblings- drop off and pick up from school and activities; Animals- take care of pets while the family is in hospital for weeks at a time.
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6) Donate your sick leave time to a co-worker who needs to be with his kid in treatment. This generosity still makes me 😭 My hubby was able to hold my daughter, do lunges with her down the hospital hallways, play with her and read her stories because some selfless men gave up their sick leave time or vacation hours.  This is priceless!!!
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7) Bring a homemade meal to their home or hospital (cause hospital food 🤢) or organize many with www.mealtrain.com.  This is an amazing way to support the family!!!  Keep in mind that some families may have restrictive diets during this time.  So make sure to ask if there are any special requests (like Keto) before creating a meal train.
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8) In hospital babysitting!! This is tough one but moms NEED to realize how important self care is! I would either leave and just cry the whole time or sometimes I would go on a date with my hubby❤.  I know, this seems very selfish, but I promise you that you are no good to anyone if you are not taking care of yourself first.  I wish I had focused on this a bit more at the time because my adrenal fatigue kicked into high gear after she was declared to have No Evidence of Disease (NED).
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9) Donate your blood or your hair!!! Even if it's not a match, another child will use your blood or platelets. Your hair can be braided and put on a hat for warriors by @prevailing_crowns. Prevailing crowns is a new foundation created by another parent we met during treatment and whom I adore.
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10) For crafty people, someone made us 12 kid friendly gowns!  So cute and Paisley was ecstatic!  An extra bonus was that she sewed in bible passages on these gowns 😍 You can purchase cool ones by Luke's Armor. Yarn wigs are the shiz too! Paisley was a HUGE fan of the jack sparrow #yarnwig. .

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Yaarrrrn Mateys! #YarnWig

Yaarrrrn Mateys! #YarnWig