Gosh I haven’t blogged in forever! but i thought what better way to get back to it than on a very special day: World Caring Day!
Never in a million years did I ever expect to be diagnosed with breast cancer at 26 years old and succumb to reaching out to family and friends for help. Back in 2015 when I was first diagnosed, I was newly engaged planning my dream wedding. I never thought my new husband would be helping me on and off the toilet after my surgery, or emptying my drains that hung in replace of my breasts.
When our friends were heading out to the clubs, my husband and I were preparing for my next day at chemo. But out of all the awkward scenarios we found ourselves in through the caregiving journey… it truly brought us closer than I think we would have ever of been before!
One thing being a young person diagnosed with cancer that I felt most uncomfortable with through my journey was asking and accepting help. It didn’t matter if it was from family or friends, the comfort of knowing you are in need of help and succumbing to actually receiving it is so hard especially when you work your whole life to be as independent as possible! I remember reading a quote, “A healthy life is a life of balance; including the ability to give and receive”. And that was what I had to keep in the back of my mind knowing I really needed the help now…, but could also pass it on later.
It took a while but I eventually LEARNED to accept help… But how?
1. Let go and let love. One of the hardest parts of accepting help to me was letting go. It was me trying to hold onto one thing that I thought I still had control over. I had to remind myself every day that it was okay to let go because it was out of love. Your family and friends want to help when things get tough. This also gives them a way to show that they care. So if someone says “let me know if you need anything”—have a list ready and give them something to do that will help!
2. Be gracious. Truly the only thing that your friends and family want in return right now is acknowledgement. A simple thank you is all you have to give right now. This was sooooo difficult for me because I am the one typically doing for everyone else. Be gracious, if you have the energy to share a hug or a smile do it. Noone expects anything in return right now, this is the one time in life when you can skip thethank you cards or going out of your way to return the favor… a simple heartfelt thank you is plenty of acknowledgement at this time.
3. Give Back… but only when you are ready and able Tough times are temporary, or so they say… so when your tough times subside, only THEN is it appropriate for you to pass on the good that was once given to you. It feels great to help others, and sometime is awkward to be on the receiving end of that. When the opportunity finds you, don’t forget to give back. It will makes you feel better; and it will help someone else in return. In the end, we are all in thi thing called life TOGETHER<3
Let’s normalize asking for and accepting help! No matter the age… sometimes we just need an extra hand, and that’s okay! Caregiving comes in different forms. Maybe it’s someone offering a meal, a ride, or to help put your shoes on your feet, asking and receiving help is OK, and doesn’t make you any less strong or less human
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of @CaringBridgeOfficial , June 7 is recognized as World Caring Day. I am so honored to be able to continue to share my story in hopes of helping another family get through another day!
On the #WorldCaringDay I challenge YOU to identify all the amazing caregivers in your life! Give them a hug, let them know you CARE and share your caregiver story at www.worldcaringday.org.