Wife and mom are my two most important titles. I’m a Dietitian by training and like to call myself a Battle Strategist because I firmly believe that we are all warriors! I want us to be empowered warriors with the good energy and health needed to fight our daily battles. We can do this Warrior Moms! We have an important job to do!
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I remember sitting by my friend’s side in the chemo infusion room at Baylor Sammons Cancer Center in Dallas. This time it was one of my dearest friends, Becca Masters. She had undergone an extensive surgery after an ovarian cyst was discovered to be cancerous. To ensure that she would not have to face a recurrence of Ovarian Cancer in the future, the doctor had prescribed several rounds of chemotherapy. This treatment would destroy any remaining microscopic cancer cells that were not seen and eliminated during the surgery.
As I sat there, I was reminded once again to just pray over all the details of this treatment. Just as we had been praying over all the details of the surgery. Details. Lots of details.
It is so easy to forget that God cares about every single detail of our life. We serve such a BIG God that we underestimate how He truly cares about every aspect, every detail of His creation. His word reminds us of His love for us. Matthew 10:29 says “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Ya’ll!!!! First of all, there are a lot of birds right??? And in this scripture is reminding us that He notices when a bird falls to the ground and He cares even more for us! Detail!! Secondly, every hair on your head is numbered!! Again, detail that changes daily!! So I point this out to remind us that He not only cares about every detail of us as His children but also to point out that we can PRAY about the details!
So although it was unintentional, the past few blog posts have turned into a cancer series. My hope and prayer is that you have found it practical and helpful. A sweet reader requested that I write about how to pray for someone who has cancer. This is the kindest request. So I’m going to outline how you can pray for someone who is struggling with this huge, overwhelming diagnosis. You will notice that this is detailed. Simply being that we serve a BIG God who cares about every detail of our life, our body and our health. Because we are His creation.
Here are details that you can pray over. They are not in any particular order and I’m sure that there are some specifics that I have not included on this list.
You may not be in a place where you can provide practical support to a loved one with cancer. But you can always pray. I love that we can pray just like we are having a conversation. No formality required! And I love even more that we can pray about the details!
I hope that you have found this helpful. I would love to hear from you!! What are some of those specifics that you have prayed for your friend with cancer?
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Thinking back to the days when I was driving to Dallas frequently to be by my friend’s side. Manda Maxwell was going through the toughest cancer journey. The doctor visits, chemo infusions, radiation treatments and hospital stays. I was by her side. As her cancer advocate, this is how I could use my past experience to guide her down this difficult road.
But I was truly part of a team. My role was specific cancer support. There were other needs as well. Manda’s friends formed a Fight Club. These friends met very practical needs.
That’s what we will be chatting about today! Last week, we covered
“what to say when your friend has cancer.” This week, we will cover “what to do when you friend has cancer.”
It is a question that I get often….”My friend has cancer, what can I do to help?” Most of us want to do something but we don’t know what to do.
Let me start by telling you that there are many specific needs and many ways for you to be supportive. I’ll tell you some wonderful advice that I was given years ago by a chaplain who was training our cancer ministry team. He stated to NEVER say…..”If there is anything I can do to help, let me know!” He explained that this vague statement was never helpful and most people would never reach out with what they needed. So I will remind you that if you want to help, it is always better to reach out with very specific examples. Remember that your friend is dealing with a state of overwhelm with this diagnosis!!
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind while offering help……..
Going back to my experience with Manda Maxwell, I was so very impressed with how her friends banded together and formed a Fight Club to help with all of her practical and specific needs. Shay, Karla, Sheaffer, Erika, Andrea, Narci, Jeni, Lisa, Meagan and Lori took beautiful care of their friend!!! Here is a highlight list of how they provided specific support…….
As stated, this is just the highlights of what Manda’s Fight Club did for her. Just the highlights!! Her Fight Club communicated with each other over group text to stay organized. They were able to do all this because it wasn’t one person. It was a group!! A group of friends who cared and loved well!! They took care of practical and specific needs for a long time. I always loved hearing Manda talk about her Fight Club.
This beautiful picture breaks me down every time I see it. It is Manda’s Fight Club at her funeral.
The needs are many and the list is long. It is too much for one person to take care of everything for their friend who is facing a cancer journey. However, when a team, a fight club is formed. That makes a difference! There is power in numbers! We all have different gifts, talents and abilities. Can I encourage you to form a Fight Club for your friend?? It is an amazing means of support and a great way to extend our circle of friends while meeting the practical and specific needs of our mutual friend.
So now we have talked about what to say and what to do for our friends that have cancer. I’ve been asked by a reader to write about how to pray for a friend facing a cancer journey. So stay tuned next week for that. Until then, let’s keep loving and encouraging each other well!
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As I have worked alongside cancer patients in my career, I have gotten this question over and over. “My friend was diagnosed with cancer. I want to do something, I want to help! What should I do?” It is such a common question and one that I want to address today!
People have the best of intentions, they really do. But in their earnestness to say something, they typically end up saying the wrong thing!! Here’s some guidelines to consider on what not to say to a friend with cancer.
We have covered what to say and what not to say. Next blog post, we will cover what you can do and practical support that you can give.