How to care for someone with cancer

I’m up out of bed. Hopefully I’ve ridden the toughest part now and will begin to be able to think about eating and sleeping better.

The last few days is the bit where mostly I sleep and just want peace, quiet and to get through.

One of the questions I get asked is how to care for someone with cancer.

Well I think that depends on a few things. Their age, how ill they are and personality.

When we are children we get a lot of looking after and let’s face it we aren’t that self reliant until we get older. So if the person suffering is a child I would say they naturally want and need caring for. Likewise in the very old who may need assistance getting to the bathroom when they are ill etc. Being really ill is tough on your body and the young or old will probably find it’s even more depleting.

Most grown ups I speak to agree like me that when they are ill they just want to be left alone. I don’t really want or need caring for. I just want to be left alone to get through. I’m capable of filling a glass up with water even while I’m pretty sick and mostly I want peace, quiet and time to sleep and get through it.

The only time I think that changes is if you are really ill. When I was so ill I was in hospital there were points I remember thinking that I should be finding the attention off the nurses, the pats on the back and strokes and ahhhs really annoying and just a bit patronising but I actually didn’t. I found at my worst it was actually comforting. Of course once I wasn’t at deaths door I reverted to not really wanting to be treated like I was either 4 or infirm. That’s where personality comes in.

There are probably people who like that attention anyway. I’m too fiercely independent and strong headed in some ways which I see as strength but it does mean that if you try to pat me on the head you better be prepared to loose that hand- I’m pretty fierce like that.

So I guess the answer is why not ask the person how they would like to be helped.

Someone fetched me bread, milk and bacon today. When I feel up to it a bacon sarnie is what’s been on my mind for days. No idea why. But that little kindness was really helpful and very much appreciated. I love getting messages of strength and honestly I also really like knowing that if I can’t cope, if there is something I need that I have people who I can ask. Who will pop round or pop to the shop for me.

I’m mentally very strong. I knew right at the start of this battle that I would fight and fight hard and not allow my body to stop fighting. I have found so much love around me and truthfully the people who send strength to me I will always be grateful to. You keep my fire alive. You fan my flames and help me keep up the fighting attitude. I have that within me don’t worry about that but sometimes just a word of love and encouragement really helps boost that strength.

We all need that encouragement sometimes. It doesn’t take much to send a simple hi and wow you are doing great. What I have realised is that in the past I self support myself. I’m like that annoying Duracell bunny always going and often happy to help others recharge. For one of the only times in my life I have had to turn that energy inwards. For one of the only times in my life I have realised how important it is to surround yourself with people who help you keep your light shining.

Thank you to all those who send love, support, random unexpected messages, gifts ( really unexpected but welcome), comments etc that bring strength.

You help me get through the worst days into the brighter ones and keep the fight strong. To all of you I would say live your days shining bright. Be the light. Relish the small amazing moments and live. Live loud and bright. You are amazing. Life is worth the fight x


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