A few years ago, I had a friend who I found out was a breast cancer survivor. In visiting with her, she said one of the hardest things was people's reaction to her news. She said, "People I'd known forever, now all of the sudden didn't know how or what to say to me, so conversations were uncomfortable." Unfortunately, a few years ago, she passed due to brain cancer or I'd call her now and ask her for her thoughts. I learned a lot from her and her family and always respected her and have always remembered this conversation. I bring it up now only because we found out that one of our friends has breast cancer. We are taking in dinner and I wanted to make a card but I wasn't sure "what" to put on the card. I didn't want a "Save the Ta Ta's" card because we don't know yet what her treatment will be and not wanting to offend her in case she has to have a mastectomy, I wondered what to put on it. I also didn't want to give her a card that says "I'm sorry." Now maybe some would disagree, but when we lost my Dad and people said they were sorry, the natural response to that is, "Thank you but it's ok or we're ok or whatever." Well the reality of the situation was that it was NOT OK and when people said they were sorry, I wasn't sure what to respond back. Since then, when someone is struggling, I try NOT to say, "I'm sorry," because I don't want them to feel like they have to say it's OK, when it's not. The reality is, it's hard, it hurts and it stinks. I wanted to make her a card that let her know that we cared and are here for her. This is what I ended up with. The front says, "Give CANCER a shot in the _ _ _) and the back says "And when you feel up to it, let's do something. In the meantime, you're in our thoughts and prayers." We are delivering this card with a dinner for her family and thought we'd see if there was anything like cleaning, running errands, helping with the kids or anything else they needed help with. I hope it makes her smile for a split second anyway and breaks the ice so that we don't have an uncomfortable conversation. Any cancer survivors out there that have any personal experience on what helped them so that we can help our friends? I've found in life that most people want to help and when they say, "Call me if you need anything," they really mean it but the reality again is that most people won't call. So any thoughts on how we can show up to help, would be appreciated and if you received any thoughts or cards of that made you laugh or wisdom that you really enjoyed, please share so that we can truly pass it on to someone it might help. Thank you!
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