Things Anyone Can DoPosted: March 12, 2013
My Mom has always been an extremely independent person.
For this reason alone, this diagnosis of cancer and the subsequent treatment, has been really difficult for her. There are things she simply cannot do. Or rather, things she shouldn’t be doing.
She has a tendency to try to tackle ALL. THE. THINGS. on the days when she is feeling well. Which is fine, except that she then does too much, and then she usually feels like crap the next day. Which is not fine.
I have been trying to help her find a happy medium in the things she can do, the things other people can do for her, and still give her a sence of her normal independent self.
The most important thing right now is she wants to feel normal. Like herself. She doesn’t want a pity party. She doesn’t want people to treat her any differently. Which is why I think her friend, is not being her friend. She sees my Mom, and she sees cancer. She doesn’t see the woman who has been her friend for the last twenty years.
My “Aunties” have been very good about taking her to do things. Last Saturday she went to breakfast with my her best friend L, she goes out for her margarita and a half every Tuesday with my Godmother, these outings are huge for her, a little bit of normal in a really messed up not normal time.
This morning, I was given a wonderful idea from my awesomesauce nurse extraordinaire friend, to see if anyone would want to give blood in my Mom’s honor. Straight from her email, “Patients with cancer often need transfusion of red cells or platelets on a regular basis. Donating in your mom’s honor would help many folks. (Nine people per pint!), costs nothing, takes less than an hour, and can be done locally. Plus they can use that time to send your mom awesome thoughts.” She also mentioned, “Donating in honor is different from a directed donation. Directed donations can only be used by the person the blood is directed towards and often goes to waste.” If you donate blood you can send her a card/email to tell her you did this in her honor. I love this idea.
Although, she is getting annoyed with me for leaving them, I will pop in her house when I know she is gone and leave a favorite candy bar, or special treat. She likes things that are not always easy to find like Bit O Honey, Good N Plenty, other weird,
gross, candy from her childhood. But, often these things sound/taste really good to her. Since she isn’t eating as well as she used to, I figure a candy bar here or there isn’t going to hurt anything.
Offer to pick her up and take her to breakfast, lunch, or a drink. She has cancer. Cancer patients can still have a drink every now and then. Let’s face it, she probably needs a drink more now than she ever did.
My sister and I have been taking turns with meals, but yesterday my Mom figured out that she can put something in the crock pot on the back porch and shut the door while it’s cooking all day, and the cooking smells don’t bother her. She cooked and ate something that she made herself. That was an awesome find. Sending her crock-pot recipes, or fix and freeze meals, are really good things for her.
This whole “things anyone can do” thing is where the email idea came from. I was trying to think of something little that people could do that didn’t cost anything. My Mom has always been a huge people person. She seldom knows a stranger. I know it may seem a little weird to email a stranger, but how long does it take to say, “I’m thinking of you, I’m sorry you are going through this, please let me know if I can do anything.” I would seriously be surprised if my Mom doesn’t end up emailing some people on a regular basis because of this little email project.
On Saturday, when we stopped over, Mea put all of Mom’s Easter decorations up. Mom had gotten them out, but she ran out of steam when it came to putting them in their places. Mea had fun decorating, and my Mom was happy that her decorations were put up. I think my sister and I will take turns taking the granddaughters over to change the seasons in her decorations. She has stuff for every different season of the year.
Mea and I searched high and low for slippers the other day. Mom’s feet were cold. It is not exactly slipper season, but we were able to find some. I found a Coach pill-box for her. If she has to take medication, she may as well do it with some flair. Awesomesauce nurse extraordinaire friend suggested milk shakes as a good way to get something in her belly. I found a tiny blender with a sports cup type top that just is the cup after you have blended, easy shakes for one without having to get out the entire giant blender.
Just ideas. If any of you have more, I will gladly take them. Things to put a smile on her face are important to me right now.