I used to say “Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.” Though well meaning, I now know this comes across as a meaningless platitude. It is far too general. When one is overwhelmed with the dreaded fears that accompany a cancer diagnosis, we are not able to make decisions. Better to hear offers that can be answered yes or no, or with an easy response.
Much more helpful and appreciated are specific and clear offers that really help, ideas such as:
- I am bringing you dinner. Is Friday or Saturday better for you?
- I will come walk your dog. Does tomorrow morning at 9:00am work for you?
- I want to come see you and visit. Is Thursday at 2:00pm OK?
- Do your kids need to be picked up from school? If so, can I do that for you?
- I am headed to the grocery store. What can I pick up for you?
- When I come over tomorrow, I want you to put me to work for an hour. I can vacuum, clean bathrooms, whatever is needed.
- We both enjoy (XYZ) TV show! Can I come over to watch it with you when it airs on (such date)?
- Can I take you out to a movie?
- Let's go on date night!
- What's your address? I want to send you something! (and send a Pretty Package!)
And of course, thoughts and notes via phone calls, emails, text messages, and mailed cards are all greatly appreciated. The thoughts I appreciated the most were simple things like “I am thinking of you and wishing you well.” And I really treasured the people who came over to my home and visited and sat with me, letting me vent, cry, laugh, or whatever I was up to at that moment.
The need for checking in does not vanish when treatment is over. This heinous disease attacks our bodies physically, but also affects us mentally and emotionally. This lasts for quite a while and we still need ongoing support and acts of love after treatment is over.
In early 2019, Ketty was in a deep, dark emotional funk, filled with fear and despair when she received a Pretty Package from a friend. She sobbed with joy when she realized she was not alone, and that she too could be a strong fighting warrior against the disease.
Her son Michael walked in to find her in tears, but full of hope. Ketty is now a huge supporter of Fighting Pretty, recently ran a great Lipstick Drive, and her mini pink boxing gloves hang proudly from her rear view mirror.
Plus, if she wasn't inspirational enough already, read below for Ketty's favorite quotes:
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this: You haven’t.” (Thomas Edison)
“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” (Vivian Green)
Check out Ketty Miller and her son Michael (right) as they met with Corinne Christian, our Director of Events and Outreach (left).