Each of these sayings is true, but perhaps the significance of the meaning varies with any given moment. The significance of a “small thing” can be greater depending on the recipient and their current position in life.
A cancer diagnosis is never a small thing. While more treatable and curable than ever, cancer involves significant personal challenges – both physically and emotionally. In spite of the good news surrounding treatments and outcomes, cancer still forces its way into lives with fear, worry, stress, solitude, and more problems. So if someone you know is diagnosed with cancer, the first thing that comes to your mind will likely be, “What can I do to help?”
Remember, small things count as big things:
- Be available. He/she may not always feel well enough to visit or leave home, but they still need contact with people. Ask if they want company and if not, consider other ways of reaching out. An old fashioned card in the mail is especially sweet as a visual reminder of your care. An email or a social media message allows them to read and respond when they feel up to it.
- Be understanding. We all agree that a positive attitude is important to the healing process. But we also need to understand that for some, talking about their fears is important. It helps them process what is going on and release some of the worry. Perhaps once voiced, their fears may not be quite so overwhelming. Your role is not to minimize fear but to listen and provide reassurance whenever possible.
- Provide needed assistance. We always seem to make meals for people in need. However, when undergoing cancer treatment, eating is often one of the last things the cancer patient can think about. Ask them or their family member what they need – or offer solutions such as a book, companionship at their next treatment, dishes washed, school transportation for the kids, etc.
- Be yourself. Your friends need you to be the person they know you as. If you are the one who keeps everyone laughing, continue to share those jokes and lighten up the intensity. In other words, don’t change who you are, because they need as much normalcy as they can get.
Don’t be discouraged if you feel like you aren’t helping. For most people, just knowing you care enough to do something – anything, even the smallest thing makes all the difference. Isn’t it always the little things that count?
Lead mammographer Barbara Nichols is delighted to share this specially created scrapbook with patients of the Women’s Imaging and Breast Center at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall. Artfully crafted from Texas Health tote bags, this thoughtful gift was presented by a patient this summer in appreciation for the care she received along her journey. Those who have walked in similar shoes often have the right words and are able to encourage others in ways the rest of us cannot. This scrapbook is available to write notes of support, Bible verses, and tips to those facing their own difficult journey. Texas Health Rockwall hopes this patient’s gesture to of love will be a blessing to others.
The caring staff at Rockwall Women’s Imaging and Breast Center understands the emotions that surround breast screening and potential diagnosis for breast cancer. Their care goes beyond just performing the mammogram. They are there to help you through the experience whether it is your first or 50th mammogram, a diagnosis or further investigation. Call 469-698-1100 to schedule a mammogram.
Submitted by Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Rockwall. Their Good Health guest columns cover a variety of topics at BlueRibbonNews.com.
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