Supporting a Loved One Who Has Cancer

In our many hours researching online, T and I have both come across a number of articles on how to support a loved one (be they friend or family – or both) who has cancer. We’ve debated sharing the links to some, but while some parts of each were good, other parts didn’t speak to us at all. So we decided that when I had time, I’d put up a post on what will help us — and hopefully also help you when you’re wondering what’s okay or not okay.

Also, so many of you have let us know to tell you if there’s anything you can do to help. And we appreciate it more than we can say. Please know that we often don’t have an answer because we’re at a loss at what to do – or what would help. So if we tell you we don’t know — we really, honestly have no clue.

We know in many cases like this, help is done by bringing food so that time doesn’t have to be spent cooking. But we can’t do this one because of my dietary restrictions, and because T is now dealing with her own set of them. Some chosen to help her fight her cancer better. Some induced by chemo. While she hasn’t had nausea/vomiting in direct response to the chemo she was on, it has caused her to become nauseated or sick from foods which never bothered her before. The taxotere also made foods not taste right, and while her tastebuds are growing back, it’s been a slow process. It’s made eating a challenge. 

That, and we’ve read so many recommendations to *not* eat your favorite foods during chemo, because you risk hating them when all is said and done.

Visiting and phone calls are probably one of the best supports you can offer either of us right now. For T, either. For me, visiting. T is able to go out some, but she has to be careful where, when, and for how long, because she’s dealing with more than one type of anemia, and is very fatigued. 

If people call or come to see her, she gets the opportunity to visit with friends/family without expending a lot of energy. As her red blood cells (RBC) and hemoglobin continue to decrease, it’s important for her to conserve as much energy as possible. We mostly limit going out to short trips around town when she’s feeling her best, to get her out of the house and get fresh air. 

Several weeks ago, I setup a blog for T to write in about how she’s doing throughout this. Right now it’s mostly just a timeline of events, resources, and the like. Instead of making this into a long post, we’re going to put it on her blog. Also, that way, it will be available to other people who are going through the same thing. (There’s not a lot of sites out there by people with leiomyosarcoma.)

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