My family is so grateful for the outpouring of support. We continue to be blessed with support from family, friends, and the community. I know that we are lucky to have this support. I know other individuals who fought cancer and did not have a strong support system. A strong support system can be uplifting in so many ways. In true Ball State fashion I'd like to do a count down of ways to show support to an individual with cancer. There really is strength in your support.
Top Ten Ways to Show Support
9. Help coordinate a fundraising event. I have been lucky enough to have multiple fundraisers organized in support of my battle. Each had a different focus and purpose. A wonderful woman at my work organized a fundraiser which went to fun things for my family to do together. It focused on making the most of our family time and we have definitely made the most of it! Additional fundraisers raised funds for the ongoing medical bills. Since my cancer continues to come back so do the medical bills. Several friends and family members ordered special cervical cancer awareness shirts personalized with my name on them. I also had another friend organize two separate successful painting parties to raise funds to go towards medical bills. My sister and cousin had special magnets designed to support cervical cancer awareness and passed the proceeds on to me to help with the medical bills. We were even selected as a family to receive Christmas presents from the oncology floor at my local hospital last year; a hospital that I continue to spend a lot of time at. My sisters church has also reached out in unbelievable ways to support not only me but my entire family.
8. Attend a fundraising event. I cannot begin to tell you all the individuals who have shown up and supported us through this journey. One week I saw Facebook posts of individuals wearing my cervical cancer awareness shirts popping up almost daily. It put a smile on my face immediately. The live events were awesome! I had such a fabulous time spending the evening with friends from my hometown I hadn't been able to see and spend the evening painting. The Indianapolis event was equally amazing! This is the third year I have lived in Indianapolis and I am so blessed to have made friends here and had friends travel from other cities to be in attendance!
7. Read blogs and share posts. My blog has evolved into so much more than I ever expected. It is a platform for my advocacy initiative. I want to make sure that all women know the signs and symptoms of cervical cancer. I also want to make sure any woman experiencing cervical cancer knows that she is not alone!
6. Get your well women's check. I know what you are thinking, how does me getting my well women's check help support you in your cancer battle? It is simple, advocacy is a part of my life. If my story saves just one woman from going through what I have to go through I will feel accomplished. Please take care of yourself and get your exam! Remember to ask questions and know what is available to you. Remember that you can request an HPV test in addition to the standard Pap you receive at your well woman's check.
5. Offer to clean. One of the hardest things to do during treatment is to get the strength to get up and clean the house. I had a fabulous friend who offered to come and clean and wouldn't let me get up and do anything. It was so great! I cannot even describe how nice it was!
4. Stop by for a visit. When I was in full swing of my chemo treatments there were many times I couldn't get out of the house or would be in the hospital for an extended period of time. I was always happy to see a friendly face!
3. Take the caregivers and do something fun with them! I often just want life to be normal for my family again. I try to remember that this is our new normal but that doesn't change the fact that I sometimes wish they could just escape the reality that we live in now.
2. Send a card. Here is a great source of cards I found that really touch on the impact of cancer.
...and the number one way to show your support to someone with cancer is
1. Send a text or message. Many times someone going through treatment may not feel like talking but they will always see your text or message. It can be as simple as "I'm thinking of you" and they will feel your support. They will gain strength from your support.