It’s the first week of October. Do you know what that means?
Not only pumpkin spice everything (don’t get me started), but cue the pink! This is the time when more and more brands push their pink products, from kitchen utensils to pajamas, and everything in between.
But when does it go too far? In my humble opinion, if a product has ingredients that have been proven to increase our chances of being diagnosed with cancer — I’m talking to you, sugar and alcohol — then slapping a pink label on said products for profit? It’s too far.
Here’s an idea: What if we took the opportunity this month, instead of focusing on all the pink, we did whatever we can do to help those who might be battling breast cancer, or any number of other illnesses an/or disabilities? Imagine what kind of ripple effect that support could make, over buying that pink bottle of hard lemonade or bag of processed snacks.
Our community of Grown-Ass Women has been through their own share of physical challenges over the years — chemo treatments, auto-immune diseases, surgeries, injuries… you name it, they’ve been there. I wanted to know what made the greatest positive impact in terms of support while they went through difficult times in their lives. While some are comfortable asking for help, others struggle a bit more to lean on others.
It helped when my loved ones did what I needed without me having to actually ask. Because then I didn’t feel like a “loser” to have to ask for the small things that I couldn’t do. They knew what I needed & just did it. It also made it easier for me to ask for other things I needed. — Cara
So what can you do to support a friend or loved one during their time of need?
Homemade food brought over by friends and family that was freezer friendly. It was so appreciated and unexpected. My heart was overjoyed with love. — Jessica
Freezer meals delivered to the house were very appreciated. — Melanie
Bringing food was the most help. Meal trains are the best. — Jackie
But before you send delivery over, Dana suggests we think about bringing foods that are healing, “Take out foods are not healing foods.”
Chores and Errands
My sister in law actually cleaned my house while I was in hospital. Another sister in law got the laundry caught up. — Melanie
[They] took care of our pets when we were staying at the Ronald McDonald house. — Jane
Just to have someone clean my house and do the laundry. — Melissa
When I had a broken arm it was driving me places. — Meryl
Family and friends helping with kids, picking up meds, errands and helping me get to appointments. Helping me to learn to care for my new way of life with chronic illness. — Laura
Driving me to physical therapy appointments. Feeding the cats and changing the cat litter. — Carolyn L
While I was going through chemo and on disability, my family rallied together to pay for the cost of health coverage directly through COBRA. Not having to worry about health coverage, or getting the payment submitted on time each month was a tremendous help! — Barbara
Childcare and casseroles. — Liz
Taking care of my boys — Carolyn H
My friends have all been amazing about taking my daughter to her activities (which is a lot) over the past year. Having such a huge support group helps me be able to focus on getting better. — Linda
When I felt like I was dying from some very strong chemo, my friend came over and made me take a shower, get dressed, and go out to lunch with her. It was a small restaurant and we sat in the corner, and I was still sick and tired but that shower and that outing made SUCH a difference to me. — Jeanne
What I have loved the most is still being included in what’s happening with them…FaceTiming/Zooming me into events and phone calls & texts to see how I’m doing and talk. — Erin
A check in text and call and stop by for lunch, coffee or just sit and chat. When pain was subsiding I had a personal trainer friend come over and stretch my legs and arms. Thank God for these peeps. — Cathy
Just having someone reach out to let me know I wasn’t alone made a world of difference to me. — Renee
But just be aware, while some may love visitors, it might not be the right time so try to be flexible. Stacey says, “The one thing I don’t like is visitors right after a major surgery. I feel like I have to entertain so I asked for people to text and I’d get back to them. Or call/text my husband or kids to see how I am.” When you do visit, Syreeta adds, “Just be present. Stay away if you’re uncomfortable with just holding space for someone. Using cliches “be strong, you will get through this” and a million other routine response can just be harmful. Honestly, know who you are trying to comfort and ask them what do they need from you and do things for them that you know they love.
Join the conversation in our Grown-Ass Woman community!