When You Need a Helping Hand

I’m not here to say you can’t “do” cancer alone. You most certainly can. It just really, really helps to have a good support network.

While chemo treatments were going along like they’re supposed to, and the anti-nausea meds weren’t knocking me completely on my ass, I didn’t need a ton of help. That meant I was able to enjoy my visitors rather than lay lethargically staring at them trying to stay awake. The week where I was horizontal for 5 days wasn’t fun by myself. Only had to do that once to find a better way. Luckily, none of my meds make me lose all presence of mind, so while I felt particularly unable to do much of anything, I was smart enough to know that I shouldn’t be doing anything other than trying to sort my socks, and that was a job all by itself.

I suppose I got a little spoiled having my aunt here for the week after my last AC chemo doing laundry, cooking and cleaning up the dishes and trash without me having to lift a finger. What this made me realize is that while it would be really awesome to have a significant other or a roommate around all the time to help with the daily stuff. These days, though, there are now more single people than there are people with spouses, so that also goes to say that there are a lot of single people with cancer.  Fortunately, there are services available to chemo patients that can help when you can’t manage it all alone.

I feel lucky to be in an area where I can get free housecleaning while I’m on chemo. Many people don’t. I wish this weren’t the case. Cleaning for a Reason is a non-profit organization that connects people on chemo with cleaning services who will provide cleaning services free of charge for women going through treatment for cancer.

Getting a ride to and from appointments from friends is awesome, and I’m very lucky to have a network of folks willing to help. For those who aren’t so lucky, there are services available to help with the financial burden that cancer can be. There are services that will provide free gas to those who are struggling to afford it. There are resources available if you need to fly somewhere to get to treatment. I just saw a lady on the news out of Montecito, CA, where a huge number of people came together to help her get to her chemo appointments while the mudslides were blocking Highway 101. There are some really amazing people in this world!

Grocery Delivery Services
When you need groceries, you can’t get out, and a friend isn’t available, there are plenty of delivery services that can help. Friends, if they’re so inclined, can help with gift cards to the stores in your area. Note: There are delivery fees included, but it’s still better than having to go out in an immuno-suppressed state and be around people where you don’t know if they’re sick or not.

Meal Delivery Services
Most folks have a bunch of menus at home and favorites that deliver. There are a few other services around that will pick up food and deliver it to you if your favorite restaurant doesn’t deliver on their own.

Other Services and Resources
There are other resources that offer services or goods for people with cancer, and some specifically for women with breast cancer and who are on chemo.


About Pink Ribbon Road

This blog is about receiving and living with a breast cancer diagnosis.
This entry was posted in The Not Cancer Part and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to When You Need a Helping Hand

  1. Funny thing is that it doesn’t take much energy on my part to write these posts. It takes enormous energy to focus on work stuff. I suppose some of that is because there’s not that much to do there and when I don’t get answers from people in a timely manner, it’s easier to get distracted. Chemo brain makes it hard to focus and multitasking is about out. I was going to put some music on this afternoon while I was doing something and just couldn’t stay focused on the work task. In time, I guess…


  2. Renee Gjerde says:

    I am impressed that you have the energy to write these blogs and include so many links to resources. Well done!!


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