Community Views: Appreciating the Ways Others Show Up For Us
Lung cancer treatment can be lifesaving, but it is also challenging. You may experience fatigue, discomfort, and nausea, among other symptoms. Lung cancer also brings a mixture of emotions – relief that treatment is behind you, fear that it might come back, and sadness about how your life is different. Having friends, family, and caregivers show support can make a huge difference along the way.
We wanted to hear more about the ways others have shown up for you on your lung cancer journey, so we turned to followers of our Facebook page. We asked community members to tell us: "What’s one thing that a loved one or caregiver has done for you that has helped?”
There were more than 50 comments. Here is a look at some of the things our community members shared.
Lending a listening ear
When you are facing lung cancer, one of the most helpful things friends and family can do is simply listen. Whether you need to vent about your side effects, cry about your worries, or just talk about something other than cancer, having people hear you without interruptions or judgments can feel validating.
"Listen without trying to solve. Just listen. Then hug."
"Listening without judging."
Having family rally around you
Lung cancer affects the whole person. When you are living with this disease, you may find that your family is your strongest support network. Their love and support can make all the difference, even if it is just by calling to check-in or spending quality time together.
“My sons, just by loving me (and me loving them), help.”
“My daughter. [Not just] one thing...she did everything!”
“My sister came for a month to help me through my chemoradiation. I am so grateful she was able to do that.”
“My daughter-in-law would FaceTime me every day with my new grandson. That little boy was and is my reason to keep going. He's 5 now, and I'm in remission.”
“My daughter comes almost every week and spends the night. I love it with just the 2 of us visiting.”
"All my family was there for me every step of the way."
Friends who pitch in can make a big difference
Cancer can impact many relationships, but the friends who stick around when times get tough are worth their weight in gold. Even the little things, like showing up with coffee and cookies, can make a tough day feel better. Good friends can also be a good distraction and help you feel like you did before cancer became a major focus in your life.
"He's there for everything, every appointment. Some are very long days and he hangs out. My driver, my food guru, exercise buddy, best friend. I know I don't tell him 'thank you' enough! Thank you, Jack!"
"My friend Karen washes my hair."
Showing up as an "exercise buddy"
Treatment for cancer can be exhausting. Chemotherapy and radiation can reduce your energy, and you can experience fatigue. The good news is that exercise can help you manage your fatigue. It can seem like a lot of effort to get up and get moving, but if you do, you may feel better. And exercising with a friend can be fun. Of course, check with your doctor first, and listen to your body.
“Exercise together. We go to the same gym and do different exercises 5 times per week.”
Thank you to everyone who shared their experiences and thoughts about lung cancer and what makes them feel better during treatment. We appreciate your honesty and willingness to share.
Do you find that staying zen through your lung cancer diagnosis has helped you in your journey?