Sometimes the call is bad news...
Following on from my last post about tribes and keeping the connection. Another friend received a call with very unexpected, terrible news. After going for her annual check ups, she received the call as she had before expecting her doctor to say "everything is ok see you next year" but his words were different - not the usual scripted response. He said "Im sorry to tell you, you have breast cancer"
News nobody wants to get... ever. This was just a routine check up, its not like my friend had found something of concern and was investigating. Naturally the news was devastating. She was told she would need to start chemotherapy right away and would have a session every 3 weeks for 6 months. My country is still in a covid lockdown although it has been somewhat relaxed by our government, what it meant was I wasn't allowed to go and sit with her in the rooms while she had her chemo. All round awful!
I wanted her to know that she wasn't alone, she had me, her friends and her family as a support system. I started to message her, in the beginning it was daily and now I message ever 2 to 3 days. Its a simple WhatsApp message that lets her know I'm here - I'm thinking about her - I care. Sometimes I would find a thought provoking text or poem and that would be my message for the day. Coupled with my messages her family and friends created a meal roster, only for the week of chemo just to ease the burden on her family. This is a great idea to do for friends that are ill or just going through a rough time. Its very well received and they are so grateful for it. Coupled with this another friend started a prayer group for her, they sent a passage of text and we would all say it each evening.
I wanted to do more. So I decided to put together a care package. Its something that you can personalise for your friend and you can add as much or as little as you like. I did a bit of research on the effects of chemo and cancer in general to see what sort of comforts would help. My friend is not "pink girly girl", and she doesn't like candles or aromatherapy oils" so I kept that in mind while putting my pack together. It took me a while to do because A I'm disorganised and B I don't know when enough is enough but then I finally settled on a few items and I was happy. I dropped the parcel off and I was done.
My parcel was so well received, my friend was so touched and taken aback at how thoughtful I had been. And that there were so many things that really would help and comfort her. A "care package" doesn't only have to be for friends with cancer, it can be for any illness. Or if you have a friend going through a rough time at work or at home, or is struggling financially, or fighting with a loved one. Care packages can be made up for any of this things. A hamper full of food for your friend thats struggling financially, a bottle of wine and chocolates if they having a rough day at work or with the kids, a coffee voucher made by you which says they can choose the place and coffees on you the chats on them. All these gestures of kindness make a massive difference in the lives of the people you most care about. In my next post I'll break down what went into my care package and why.
Until then - spread kindness like confetti and connect with your tribe,