Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Things A Cancer Patient Wants Friends and Family To Know

I thought it was time for me to write a list of things a cancer patient might want their friends and family to know  about their needs.

1. Often we are cold or hot, our bodies change often, please stop complaining if you live with us that
Chemo Therapy
Electric Blanket

 it is too warm or cold for you. Our bodies are under a great deal of stress, please don't put us under mental stress by complaining. Just put on a sweater if you are cold or open a window in your bedroom if you are hot.

2. We do not know how we will feel day to day or even hour to hour, so if we make plans they should be considered tentative at best. Don't tell kids that we will be doing something because younger children have a harder time with plans that have to change the day of or before.

3. People say, "Let us know if there is anything I/we can do for you?". Generally we will say Thank You but never really ask for anything. It is not that we DON'T need something but we don't know how to ask with out feeling awkward. Better if you just do something, we will appreciate both what you do and not making us ask.  HERE is a link to a list of ideas for things that you could purchase for your friend or family member. Other helpful things are gift cards for gas, restaurants, Amazon, Netflix or a store card.

Don't ask, just do because if you wait for us to say something, you might be waiting a good long while! We really will appreciate the help, it is just hard sometimes to ask for it, especially for those who usually are the ones taking care of everyone else.

4. Unless you are someone who spends a lot of time with us and knows our culinary preferences and our family's tastes, don't send food. During cancer treatment, our taste buds can change and make everything horrible tasting or maybe even go away. We won't want to turn down the offer of food because we appreciate it, even if it isn't something we or the family would particularly like. I'm sure you would rather food get eaten, so your best bet is to maybe ask what our favorite snacks or beverage are and send those instead. Also, snacks are something we can take with us for those hours at chemo.

Spaghetti with Red Sauce
5. More about food... usually the doctors we are working with will give us a good general guideline of what they want us to focus on with our diet.  Some days, during treatment, it is all we can do to sip a beverage and maybe get down a few bites. Those few bites might be a corn dog, a lettuce wrap, some chips, a few veggies or whatever tastes okay at that moment. PLEASE, PLEASE I beg of you to not criticize or offer diet advice. We are getting dietary advice from god and everyone. We love the fact that you care enough to offer the advice but we get so much of it, that it becomes overwhelming.

6. Don't stop sharing your life with us. If you are someone who would talk to us about your crappy day before we got cancer, then tell us about it. If you are sick, feel free to share. Just because we have cancer and going through treatment, doesn't mean that your issues are not important to us. Also, listening to someone about their horrible boss or bratty kid or whatever will give us a mental break from our own problems. Much the same reason people watch drama filled talk shows.

Okay, that is all for now... part 2 might come later. If you are a cancer patient or survivor and have any suggestions for things you would love friends and family to know, feel free to email me (brandy) AT energysheep DOT com.


  1. A gift card to the grocery store so can pick out what we can eat.

  2. Don't ask us why we have gained weight..or exclaim the same.. We know that and do not like to be remembered about it.. We Say that to ourselves more than enough.,Sometimes thinking that it would make it easy for us to hear when others say it but sadly that doesn't Happen

  3. " everything will be alright" is the line you start eventually hating.. People really make you hate it.. Trust us,we will be more than glad if that happens and we too keep telling ourselves that.. But sometimes when others say it, There's a certain irritation about it though you know they don't have anything else to say..