Join tens of thousands of cancer fighters, survivors, and supporters who understand. Why Join?

When You Get Cancer You Really Value the Little Things

March 7th, 2016 |
Recently Diagnosed, Relationships, Emotional Support

by CMMoore | Survivor: Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma    Connect


Everyone likes to see a smiling face, receive a bouquet of flowers, or get a card that says "I'm thinking of you". When someone is going through cancer treatment, those small gestures have an even bigger impact. A lot of people think this happens often, but that's not always true. A lot of people don't do anything, simply because they don't know what to do or say. The reality is, all it takes is a small gesture to really make a difference in someone's cancer experience.

When you're diagnosed with cancer, you immediately wonder what's going to happen when you tell other people - will your closest loved ones do the big things, the small things, or nothing at all? You question how they will respond because you know life will never be the same for you or them - that space in time will change things forever. What will they do? What will they not do? Will they help or run? Will they give me my space or suffocate me? Their response defines not only how we feel loved and cared for but how we remember our lives throughout the cancer journey and beyond.

Now, I'm an oncology nurse. My journey to the "other side" had begun. Having worked as an oncology nurse for the majority of my career, I was extremely familiar with what diagnosis and treatment entailed. I knew it was no picnic.

I vividly remember the day I told my friend Colin, who was a former patient of mine that I had cancer. While I was in the hells of chemo after-effects, he came for a visit cradling a box of Popsicles. I was so exhausted and wasn't sure I had enough energy to talk, but he made that feel okay. We chatted minimally and he handed me a Popsicle. He said, "We don't even need to talk, I get it. Let's just veg out on TV." He meant what he said and his actions showed it.

Having Colin by my side was not only a comfort but an encouragement. I needed the love and support from others, lots of it, and thankfully I got it from many people. There's never enough positive things others can do for someone with cancer.

Here is a list of other small, wonderful things people gave to me throughout my cancer treatment, as inspiration for others out there:

  • A blanket made by a 90 year old great grandma who, as I was told, "crochets and prays all day"
  • Flowers from paramedics at the hospital.
  • Cards from friends.
  • Lance Armstrong's book, It's Not About the Bike.
  • A Ficus tree decorated with yellow ribbons signed by my co-workers with messages of encouragement.
  • Scarves my sister bought.
  • A hand-decorated journal from a co-worker.
  • Over 200 hours of the Hospital staff's vacation time (PTO) that they donated.
  • Checks from my colleague doctors to help with medical expenses.
  • Prayers from more people than I even know.
  • One of the nurses/a co-worker set her watch at the exact time I was receiving chemo so she could send a healing prayer.
  • And many more things.
The outpouring of love and help from others was incredible which helped catapult me into a stronger frame of mind to help battle the beast. As I look back at the road I traveled on the cancer journey, I realize that whether or not these people knew what to do, they all gave me love and help. It's not about the gift or the size of the gesture, it's about their heart and how it touched and helped heal mine.

What are some positive things others did for you when you were newly diagnosed? Share in the comments below!

Sign up to join our community here to continue the conversation.

Want to blog with us ? Learn more here.

CMMoore's picture
Top
Blogger
CMMoore   
Christine Magnus Moore is a registered nurse who has a Master’s Certification in Caring for Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer. For the majority of her career she has worked in the field of oncology. Christine is a stage 3 non-Hodgkin lymphoma survivor for over thirteen years and is the author of the book, “Both Sides of the Bedside: From Oncology Nurse to Patient, an RN’s Journey with Cancer,” which was published in March, 2015. Christine has written articles about the cancer journey and survivorship for the Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, the IHadCancer website, and writes her own blog on her website at bothsidesofthebedside.com. She serves as a board member for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and is the leader of a young adult cancer survivor group called the LLS SoCal Cancer Connection. You can find her on IHC under the username CMMoore and on twitter at @CMagnusMoore.

Comments

Top