Pink October talk at Glitnor Group.
There’s four dreaded words that you as a guy don’t ever want to hear, and no woman ever want to say –
“I found a lump”.
To me, us, this happened quite some time ago, end of 90’s, and I’m happily remarried since, but my story goes a long way, and it still goes to show how fast it can happen and develop like the lightning strike out of nowhere.
While the research has come quite some way, there’s still no cure, and it’s an illness that leaves no one untouched. It’s evil. It affects everyone involved, in ways you can not imagine, until it happens, and even then, you end up being stumped and lost, even as a “bystander”.
It started with a lump, she got treatment, and then it looked all good and well for some time. We moved countries, and one day, she said – I can’t hear on my left ear. Hospital, and it had returned, 4 years later, now, metastatic, and from there, it was all downhill, and she eventually passed away.
Luckily, today, this will not be the case for everyone, as treatments has gotten way better, but the treatments is not all.
There’s many more aspects to it than just treatments…
One of the worst part for us, was long time friends disappearing, because they “could not deal with cancer”, or hospitals. They just tried to find any excuse to bail out, with the exception of a very few that stuck around. If you are a true friend of someone, don’t be that person and take the bailout card – be the one that cares, even if just in the small things…
Here’s some of what you can do, even if you don’t have much time or resources, that will be gold dust to victims of cancer (in general)
- Please, Warn the person going for the chemo, not to eat the usual things they like or love afterwards, avoid them for the time being, or you may end up not being able to eat them afterwards, as chemo can / will play tricks with your mind… nobody tells you this, and we wished someone had…
- They got kids?
Apart from just life – just like you, we are all busy, but they also have to deal with the effects of cancer and treatments, apart from the existential crisis they inevitably go through, and it is wearing people down. Offer their kid(s) the occasional sleepover, or just to take them off them even for a day/evening.
They need adult time to cope, or even just peace and quiet. You have no idea what the value of such a small gesture is or may be…
They just got back… They still need to eat and so on… Going to the shop?
Ask them – I’m going shopping, you need any top-up stuff while i’m there?
That top-up shop delivered, may be the difference between having to do a shop the day after the chemo, or 2 days later when you feel better and you can actually cope with it, because, we are all people, and we forget things, until we need it…
- Getting to / from the hospital? If you can, take them there and pick up. Get a paper “flight sickness bag”, just in case. Just keep it in the car. you know why…
Take that one worry out of their life if you can, they have enough existential stuff on their minds already, and that is gold, and they know they are safe with you…
The practical little things…
Sometimes, people being people, things can get too much for anyone, and if they cuss you out, having a particularly bad day, don’t take it personally – they are likely just exhausted and need to vent, and you just happen to be in the firing line for just being their trusted friend, because they feel comfortable and safe around you, so take it, just listen and don’t let it get to you.
Really – let it go in one ear and out the other… I know it’s hard, but you are the true friend, and for good reason.
They will be embarrassed enough afterwards about what happened, but be there the next time… the true friend you are.
Everyone has ups and downs. They just have some more of it, right now – the downs, and the feelng of world being against them.
Be the brave one for them – they need you and your strength as their guidance, and your presence as the anchor to reality.
Think about it – It’s not really hard things, it’s not big things, even small things count big time, but just being around, for a call, for a coffee etc.
It’s quality of life, the sense of normality that brings hope and future back into the picture. You just being you as usual, and most importantly, being there, counts.Now, you can do the above, and you can also donate to research to make this problem eventually become what we all want – extinct.Take care out there!
#PinkOctober #BreastCanscerSpouse #BreastCancer #BreastCancerAwareness