Those of us who are terminally ill often hear — what can I do to help? For all of you who are wondering how to help, read on …
Know first that it’s very hard for people to ask for help in general. I had to force myself as it did not come easy to me. I’ve always been super independent and wanted to manage without help but like I said before, it takes a village and help is always needed.
So instead of asking how can I help, be specific about what you want to help with and when.
1. EVERYDAY LIFE – Tasks like childcare, grocery run, rides, meals, other type of errands is always helpful. Ask specifically how to help with each task.
2. GOOD COMPANY – Join for hospital visits, doctors appointments, hang out while in treatment; although covid makes all this hard right now. Being a patient, always, for the rest of your life is so boring so making a fun day out of it with a friend helps a lot.
3. FINANCIAL HELP – Some patients might have a GoFundMe or other ways you can help financially as it’s extremely expensive and not affordable for many to be in constant treatment. Perhaps you can help them organize one for a specific surgery, procedure etc.
4. JUST LISTEN – Be there to just listen and let your loved one vent about how shitty the disease is. We know everything there is to know about the disease so we’re most times not asking for any specific input or advice just want someone to let us vent our frustration and sadness.
5. FUN ADVENTURES – This is my absolute favorite as I value experiences and creating memories with loved ones above all. Do fun things together like something you do every week, month or even year kind of activities, that you do as a family or group of friends. It brings joy for everyone, and is something to look forward to when things are though.
In the end just ask yourself, if this happened to me and my family, what would help us.
Pic: Giftcards from my girltribe in our awesome neighborhood
Outside of these concrete examples, my advice to anyone wanting to help is don’t offer if you aren’t in a position to help and, if you do say you will do something, make sure you follow through. Finally, don’t expect a thank you note or even a response. There are some things that are just beyond us as we work through the details of this new abnormal.
And now you know more about how to help those of us with MBC.