“what can I do to help?”

The infamous question everyone asks, and I never know how to respond.  A lot of times, I think people are wanting to perform acts of service, when I really want to say “please send me funny memes daily”.  Food is hard, as I’m never hungry or everything tastes like metal.  I don’t really want people coming in the house a lot as it’s winter time and everyone keeps getting colds.  So I’ve been thinking about things that have helped me and made a big difference, and decided to make a list of things that aren’t necessarily chore, food, or driving you around town like a Lyft related.

1- Reach out.  Seems simple right?  It honestly makes a big difference.  Every text, email, message, card, anything someone sent me, I’ve save.  On chemo days or days where I can’t get out of bed, I read all the kind messages.  It really does amaze you who reaches out, and who doesn’t.  Even if you’re worried about bothering the person, or bombarding them like everyone else, don’t.  Call them, text them, send them snail mail, just say something.  They’ll be so happy you did.

2- Send funny memes.  I wasn’t joking.  Every time I went in for chemo, I always made a snapchat post requesting funny memes that day.  I would sit and cry laughing in the car on the ride to the hospital, or sit in the chair during chemo giggling.  I remember a few days ago I was sitting on the kitchen floor crying because I had projectile vomited all over the kitchen and I felt so frustrated.  My phone went off and it was a meme of Chrissy Teigen my friend Moriah had sent me and I started laughing on the floor and realized how silly it was to be crying.

3- If you insist on gifts, ANYTHING hydrating is wonderful.  One of my good friends and hair mentors, Elanni, brought me a beautiful basket filled with lots of things in it.  Two things were these face masks that were AMAZING.  Chemo is so dehydrating.  Everything on your body dries out horribly from your scalp to your skin and nails to your lips constantly being chapped.  So hydrating face masks, lotions, chapsticks, strengthening nail polish(I recommend OPI nail envy), are all wonderful things to give to someone going through chemo.

4- Don’t take it personal if you did reach out, and heard radio silence.  Yes, you should still reach out again.  No, you will not annoy them.  There were times when people would text me, and simply unlocking my iPhone was too much energy I didn’t have to give.  I kept my phone on do not disturb for almost a month.  Eventually I got around to responding to everyone, and I try my best to let people know I really do appreciate them reaching out.  So if you sent a text, and maybe your friend or family member going through chemo didn’t respond, still send another damn text.  One text 8 weeks ago isn’t the most heart felt gesture.  Please continue to let your loved one know you are thinking about them.  I promise you they will appreciate it.

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