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Some advice needed for a dear colleague


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I teach at SDSU in Brookings, and I have a colleague who is brilliant, funny, and has been battling NSCLC since January of 2005.

I saw him and his wife at a holiday party. I have advised them to go to this site in the past, and she told me that she visited there on occasion. He, however, rarely likes to talk about it - though he has, willingly, told me his story, and willingly took the url to this site.

Anyway, when I saw his wife at the party, I was just so, so saddened by how tired she was. I made a comment about how he doesn't like to talk about it..."I know, he never does," she said. "I wish so much it could have been me, because I think I could hold up better than he does," she said.

Oh you guys. This just broke my heart. Doc wants to do another round of chemo in January...he wants to start back to work. She is exhausted, and overwhelmed.

Do you have any advice for what I could do for them...or even more specifically, for her? My mom, as the primary caregiver for my dad, always had us around, and we were always able to gauge her. This woman just seems like she could go to bed and sleep for a month. I am not close to them by any means, but I would love to help.

Any ideas?


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You can maybe order one of Andrea B's lung cancer awareness bracelets for her and mail it to her with a little note that you are thinking of her and are there to talk, with a reminder of the lchelp website address. It will show her you are thinking of her.

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Do you live close enough that you could run a dinner or two by? Do you think they'd be receptive to that? Stuff that freezes is always good, and stuff that makes good leftovers....

Or drop off some cookies or something fun and snacky--especially now at the holidays when they may have folks around.

Or.... they have those blanket kits at craft stores these days, that I don't think you even have to sew to make. Maybe you could make one for each of them? Something snuggly and warm to let them know they are thought of. I know someone made one for my friend, Bob, when he was doing chemo and he just loved it.... And his wife Jennie snuggles it now that he's gone.

Those are my ideas. It's awesome that you are doing this for them, Jen. I'm so glad they've crossed paths with you so that they know they aren't alone.

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Is she doing all the chores that he was doing when he was well?

I got a bathtub pillow and some nice bubbles etc. from a friend that came from The Body Store. A homemade gourmet meal brought over was nice. Friends came to clean up my yard for me...overgrown and out of control. A gift of a keychain with the Lord's Prayer stood out among the $$$ donations from my colleagues. A pedicure was nice along with a piping hot cup of good coffee. A good neighbor volunteered and followed through with taking care of my lawn mowing and snow removal.

Jen, just one little effort on your part can mean so very much to let her know they are loved and not alone. Very good suggestions from all above.

Let us know what you decide.

Cindi o'h

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How about A Lung Cancer Taste of Hope Cookbook also. The meals are quick and easy. maybe a Lunch together and talk to her one on one to see if there is anything they may need? Just thoughts. Prayers for all.

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Hi Jen, I know people have good intentions, but sometimes- from the perspective of the person with lc - it doesn't feel so good to have folks asking all the time.

My hubby and I teach math at the same small college. I wish I could take him with me to every test and doctor visit, but whenever we are both absent everyone knows. We are then flooded with questions about my health when we come back. We both just hate it. Answering their questions only aggravates our anxiety.

So I go to some tests and doc visits alone. And yes, sometimes those visits have unexpected scary results. Then I have to drive the 80 miles home over windy mountain roads alone, sobbing, and packing down the chocolate. :D It's not right, but this is what it has come to.

Anyway Jen, I hope this helps you understand a little of what your colleague may be feeling.


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You know, the thing I used to enjoy most when Dennis was ill was when friends would just call and say they wanted to stop by to visit ME!!! I would always manage to take the time to just sit down and unwind with them and hear what was going on in the world, other than cancer. I found the time relaxing and quite refreshing. My mind was actually transported, if only for a short while, to a land filled with nice thoughts and good wishes.

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At this point, this is what I decided. I am a beader myself, so I made her a bracelet with Jesus and Hope on it, and I made a tray of cookies to deliever. I also have a Christmas card with words of hope and peace.

When we get back after the holidays, I plan to make the meal....you all gave such great ideas. The meal will be a nice thing when he is going through chemo and trying to work.

I just got off the phone with her...when my kids wake from naps, we will head over.

Thanks for all the great ideas!

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I am concerned when people do not want to talk about it. I feel that they do not believe that they can be cured. It’s an attitude problem. If you could get to someone close to him that would give him encouragement. Maybe if you gave them some web address that would take them direct to some good survival stories. It’s worth a try.

Stay positive, :lol:


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