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How to Support a Friend going through Chemo (for FREE)

How to Support a Friend going through Chemo (for FREE)

So your friend or family member has been dealt a pretty crappy hand of cards. Whether it's their first time riding the C-train or they have been through it before, having friends and family there for support makes ALL the difference.

Still, it can be a little confusing and easy to feel helpless when trying to work out how best to help your loved one. So! We have put together a list of easy things you can do for FREE that will make all the difference in their day.

Poetry Pals - A dear friend of mine had this sweet tradition during my chemo days. For every chemo, I'd get to choose the poem theme, whether it was a wild weekend bash or my fave comfort food, and she'd craft a poetic masterpiece. (Scroll to the bottom to see a hilarious story about my stem cells!)

In the end she wrote over 20 poems! Now, not everyone's a poet extraordinaire like my mate, but hey, there's the internet for that! Discover a lovely, humorous, or heartfelt poem and shoot it their way. 

For me, they were always something to look forward to at the start of something not so exciting. 

Pretty pictures - Another friend would email me a bunch of pretty pictures every morning. Some of them were landscapes, some beautifully designed products, fashion photography, travel shots and or yummy architecture. (Scroll for sample of excellent images.) Figure out what your mate loves and make their eyeballs happy. 

Get crafty  - get out the crayons, texters and a bit of old school cut and paste. After I moved home to deal with cancer #3, I received a parcel of bunting covered in photos of my London friends. Who's heart doesn't feel warm and fuzzy when you receive something hand-made in the letterbox. 💌

Music - Music makes the world a whole lot better. 🎶 It can lift your mood and also transport you back to happy memories. My brother made me a playlist with songs from childhood movies, teenage party hits and songs he knew I'd love. 

But if you don't fancy yourself a DJ, guess what? We have been collecting and curating a playlist that you can forward straight on to them! Listen along here. Nothing says I am thinking of you like sending a mixed tape. 

Organise the chaos - If you love a spreadsheet and are blessed with an organised brain, perhaps you can use your powers to help your mate. One of my best friends drew up my chemo roster and had everyone book in a date to pick me up and take me to the hospital. 

Running Errands - School pick up, a tray of lasagna, mowing the lawn, mopping the floor, completing a grocery shop, doing the laundry. All little tasks you can tick off their list to free up some time for rest and recovery.
HOT TIP: You can be a little pushy with these. Instead of asking 'Do you need any help?' try saying 'I'm doing the mowing tomorrow afternoon, if you're not sleeping - I'll come around after and do yours too!)

Research - I knew NOTHING about cancer when I was first diagnosed so I spent an obscene amount of time on the google machine the months after. Everything from my cancer, treatment, side effects, wigs, supplements, and most comfortable pyjamas. It was exhausting and often fairly scary. Offering to do the research and come back with simplified answers is an incredibly helpful way to say I love you. 

Jokes, Memes and GifsAny hit of dopamine is welcome when you spend your days in bed or doctors waiting rooms. Text through a funny joke, meme or gif (the daggier the better!) and give them the gift of a giggle. Remember - even though they're going through something serious, they are still the same person and they will still laugh at that completely inappropriate joke. 



Walks - If your loved one is feeling up to it, take them out into nature for some fresh air and a good little gasbag. Friends, nature and exercise are a super elixir for serious mood boosting. (FYI - probs won't have the energy to walk as fast as Kath and Kel)


Be a Chemo Buddy - Cancer land can make life super busy with doctor appointments, treatment, scans and tests. So maybe move the catch up to the chemo chair. Just being there while they are receiving their treatment, to be a shoulder to cry on or a friend to chat to. It can make a session so much easier. 


(My friend Vic - chemo buddy and poet) 

By my friend Vic  

There once were some cells
Living deep within Em
Happy young cells
Named Bob, Bert and Flem

Just doing cell things
In the usual way
But things would be different
Not your usual day

They were pulled in a rush
From the groin they called home
Just sucked out and counted
And they weren't alone

Millions were pulled
And shoved in jar
Healthy young cells
From limbs near and far

They were kidnapped and frozen
And kept in the dark
The poor little guys
Their future looked stark  

They sat and they waited
Till one day it just finished
The ice age was over
The cold all diminished

The warmth flooded in
The light it grew bright
Then down through a tube
They continued their plight

Down a thin tube
And into the blood
Back into Em
Back with their bud

They were finally home
But oh what a mess!
The place had been ruined
Not kept at its best

So Bob, Bert and Flem
With the rest of the gang
Set about putting
Things together again

They fixed that girl up
All the damage was gone
Not a piece was left ruined
No filth lingered on

Now the work is all done
Em's back to herself
Thanks to Bob, Bert and Flem
She's a picture of health!


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