5 Things You Should Know When a Loved One Gets Cancer

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In many ways, my cancer has been harder on the people around me than for myself. I experienced the shock and awe of a stage 4 terminal diagnosis but had to get up and get busy living what’s left of my life. I have stuff to do and significantly less time to get it all done. Everybody else has to pretend to be strong with me since I set up a no-grieving zone around me. I’m not dead yet.

Cancer seems to be everywhere. There’s zero chance you won’t have it around you somewhere; I just hope it isn’t too close. It’s horrible and has a wide impact zone of collateral damage to everybody around ground zero.

Not all cancer endurers react the same way to getting a serious diagnosis, but there are some aspects of this journey that are pretty consistent among people living with any type of it. I hope this list helps you navigate through it with your person.

1. Not all cancers are the same. Its states are varied, and a diagnosis is specific; you almost need a Dummy’s Guide for your person’s cancer to understand what they’re facing. Many cancers are entirely curable now, and others are a death sentence. Try to understand what your loved one has. But above all, know that every person experiences the disease differently. Their doctor may have given them a timeline – remind them it’s almost never correct. Every human is different.

2. Stay the hell off the Internet. Believe me, your person has seen all of it and hyperventilated at every new statistic. The numbers are usually overall outcomes, and they’re not the story your person heard from their doctor. Ask them about that and only that. What Dr. Google has to say doesn’t matter.

3. There will be times your person is not present. They talk and smile or grocery shop or whatever, but for periods of time, they’re swimming in their disease in their minds. They’re tamping down panic and rage and sadness to be able to talk to you. They’re probably better off if you don’t notice. Just be present for them; it gets better again. They also likely don’t care about your holiday plans for next year or other forward thinking happiness. They measure their time and happiness in today; be in that time with them. Share your memories of your relationship together.

4. Who they were before they got sick is who they will be when they have cancer, just strung a little more tightly. If they were an emotional hysteric before, then you will get more of the same during their cancer journey. Pragmatists and tough-minded people will not appreciate your visits with a “Chicken Soup for the Tumor-Ridden Soul” book in hand. If they were the loving sort, they will still be that way but maybe need more of that from you than before. Good gifts for your person would be something from your relationship that’s meaningful, or bland food (nothing that smells too strong) and of course, just your time.

5. Let them forgo the rules of good manners. Start every text, email or phone message with, “You don’t have to respond to this.” In fact, don’t phone; send a note saying, “When you’re up for it, I would love to talk.” They will come to you when they’re strong if they know you’re waiting for their cue. Depending on where they’re at in their treatment, they may be doing just great. But if they just found out and you aren’t immediate family, stand by in the wings. If you are close family, show up and do the dishes.

We cancer patients vary greatly, but you should know that you’re more important to us now than you ever were. We’re terrified almost all of the time. When you choose to take this terrible journey with us, you’re in a sense holding our heart in your hands. Even though we may not show it, we need you to be gentle with it.

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Taylor Swift Just Fulfilled a Dying 4-Year-Old Fan's Wish

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Somehow, Taylor Swift keeps out-doing herself — with acts of kindness.

When the mega pop star heard a 4-year-old fan named Jalene Salinas has terminal brain cancer, she FaceTimed the little girl for a 20-minute chat, Kens5.com reported. The news outlet helped start the Twitter hashtag #ShakeItOffJalene, which caught the singer-songwriter’s attention Monday night, leading to the wonderful moment below.

I’m so sorry you’re having a bad night,” Swift said, according to Kens5. “I’m so happy to talk to you though, and I’m so happy you like ‘Shake It Off.’”

You can watch the recorded moment here.

Bravo, Ms. Swift! You have a heart of gold.

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We Just Found a Really Good Reason to Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast

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Take a break from your morning routine and eat ice cream for breakfast. You’ll be satiating your sweet tooth — and raising awareness for childhood cancer.

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The Peterson family lost their daughter, Malia, to kidney cancer four years ago. The family has started a super sweet campaign to raise awareness about pediatric cancer and make sure other families don’t feel alone when facing their diagnoses.

“We had gone to Disney World on a Make-A-Wish trip three weeks before Malia passed away and we had ice cream for breakfast at a resort there,” Annette Peterson, Malia’s mom, told CBS. “It was such an awesome, fun experience for us. And Malia especially was like, ‘Why don’t we always do this? This is awesome.’”

To participate, eat ice cream for breakfast and post a photo to your social media channels with the hashtag #KidsGetCancerToo or #IceCreamforBreakfast. And if you need any more convincing, Kevin Bacon has already jumped on board.

 

 

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Entire School Puts On Epic Performance for Student Fighting Cancer

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This video will put a smile on your face.

Brittany Richardson, a 16-year-old from New Haven, Illinois, was recently diagnosed with spindle cell sarcoma, according to her Facebook page. A sarcoma is a rare type of cancer that develops from either bone or soft tissues like fat, muscle and nerves, according to Cancer.org.

Brittany is currently undergoing chemotherapy. To raise her morale, her teachers and peers at Gallatin County School in Junction, Illinois, decided to do something special for her, according to Right This Minute.

The school organized and filmed a lip sync to Katy Perry’s song, “Roar,” in which they sported encouraging signs and Brittany’s favorite colors — purple and lime green. The video was made in one continuous shot and filmed at the school, according to the YouTube description.

Check out the lip dub in the video below:

I was shaking when I first saw it. I was so happy,” Brittany told Right This Minute. “I feel like ‘thank you’ is not a strong enough word.”

Recently, Brittany and her family had some good news to share — she had a CT scan with encouraging results. There were no new tumors in her lungs, and some of the existing ones had shrunk, according to her Facebook page.

To keep up with Brittany and her battle against cancer, visit her Facebook page.

h/t Reddit Uplifting News 

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Sara Barielles and Cyndi Lauper Mashup Raises Money for Pediatric Cancer

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Music can be a powerful tool for change.

With this in mind, superstars Sara Barielles and Cyndi Lauper, along with breast cancer survivor and “Today” host Hoda Kotb, got together to mash up two of music’s biggest hits and raise money to combat pediatric cancer.

The result is this beautiful video (below) featuring Lauper’s “True Colors” and Barielles’ “Brave” and starring patients at the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. The video is called “Truly Brave.”

To lift their spirits and help these kids heal, I’m joining forces with Sara Bareilles and Cyndi Lauper to create a song and concert just for them,” Kotb wrote on the CrowdRise page.

Enjoy the celebration of bravery below, and visit the CrowdRise page to donate. All proceeds go towards pediatric cancer research.

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This Beautiful Father-Daughter Dance Will Bring You to Tears

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A couple in Victorville, California, completely scrapped their wedding plans so the bride’s father could witness the important event.

Lisa Wilson and her fiancé, Robert Pantoja, were married on Aug. 22, in a hospital room where Wilson’s father, David Wilson, was staying in the ICU.

He was battling a rare form of cancer that would keep him from attending the formal event, according to CBS Los Angeles. But the only thing more important to the couple than getting married was making sure the bride’s father had the chance to give her away and share the traditional father-daughter dance.

Cameras were rolling in the hospital room as the couple was pronounced man and wife. In an even more powerful display of love, the father-daughter dance was set to Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”

Unfortunately, the family announced on Facebook that David Wilson died 11 days later on Sept. 2. While the family mourns his passing, we hope they can take solace in the fact that he lived to give his beautiful daughter away on her wedding day.

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