As a past cancer patient, I had numerous friends and family ask the common question, “What can I do to help?” Usually followed by, “Please let me know when you need something.”
They mean well. However, this is a hard question to answer! Far too often, we don’t even know what we need. If you’re anything like me, you more than likely won’t ask for help when it really is needed, either. It’s even worse when someone is standing there watching you struggle, and you still decline their help. Is it pride? Stubbornness? In my case, both!
So, what can you do to help someone out? The best kind of help is the unsolicited kind. The possibilities are endless, but here you’ll find a short list of suggestions.
- Cook the whole family a meal. What better way to say you care than through food? If you make this meal at home, make sure you put your food in containers labeled with your name. You may find you are not the only one bringing food for the family and would hate to see Aunt Mary’s precious casserole dish head home to the wrong house.
- Mow their lawn. Often times cancer patients are fatigued from treatment and a long day at work. Help relieve their fatigue by taking on the lawn care needs.
- Pick a day to be their maid. The last thing I wanted to do was lug a heavy vacuum cleaner around the house or clean the dreaded bathroom.
- Volunteer to pick their kids up for a play date. There isn’t a better gift than having a quiet house to rest and relax at.
- Take the dogs for a walk. Being tired and fatigued could be a dangerous combination when you need to walk your dog. And even though Brutus could easily pull you after a squirrel, you’re doing your friend a huge service.
- Volunteer to drive them to their doctor appointments. You never know, you might come to enjoy these trips and develop your friendship on a much deeper level.
- Take them out for lunch. After being stuck at home, having a day (or even an hour) away from home could be so refreshing.
- Take them on a walk around the neighborhood. Having company and someone to talk to will more than likely lifts their spirits.
Like I said, the possibilities are endless. Whatever you decide, know that it will be appreciated and cherished for years.
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