September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. That will likely mean lots of different things to lots of different people.
One thing it means for us is that for the first time we have a personal connection to someone that this particular awareness month is designed to shine some light on. Like so many other things in life, each person’s story is unique. One person, or kid’s cancer situation is not identical to another. Yet, even knowing that, my breath is taken away when I see the posts about children whose lives were cut short by this disease. Even if theirs was a totally different type, caught at a totally different time, seeing it hurts.
So, in the midst of treatment, I’m going to try a share some this month about what dealing with childhood cancer is like in our family right now. It’s impossible to share it all.
Here on day 1, I want to share one answer to the “what can I do/how can I help question”. You can reach out to a family in the midst of treatment before you go to the store and ask if there’s anything you can pick up for them.
Finding time to do normal things like shopping can be really tough amidst doctor’s appointments and dealing with side effects from treatment. That’s even more true as we’re in the midst of pandemic and living with compromised immune systems. Even if there wasn’t covid, we’d still have to be REALLY careful about exposing our girl to even the usual passing cold -that can land her in the hospital right now. So, texting before you head out to the store can be a huge encouragement.
Sometimes the answer is “nothing right now, thanks!” Other times the answer may be yes, there are a couple of things. Whatever the answer is, being reminded that someone cares about us and wants to help lighten the load is amazingly encouraging.
Somehow, the in the moment-ness of that contact makes it possible to say yes. It’s a lot easier to answer that than to remember who offered to help, and reach out to them, and wonder if we’re interrupting their schedule.
As I think about it, this way to help can sure apply to people going through other challenging times, too 🙂