When Was the Last Time You Asked Anyone for Help?
When was the last time you asked anyone for help? I’m not talking about asking your 6’7 son to grab something off the top-shelf, but really asking your family and friends to help you along your road to wellness? I’m going to guess that a large percentage of you reading this haven’t sought any type of real help like asking a friend to make a meal for you on chemo day or asking your sister for a ride to the 52 days of radiation you need to shrink that pesky tumor. For some reason when we are given the diagnosis for cancer and the road map that goes with it, we seem to think we can still do it all. You think that you can do the laundry, vacuum, drive to appointments, go into work on your regular schedule. Right? I know that I certainly thought that I’d be able to live the same life with cancer as I did without and did I mention that when I was diagnosed my baby was 21 months old? Who was I kidding? I couldn’t keep up with raising a family, teaching fitness classes and being present in my life without a nap a day! So for the first 2 years of my five year cancer journey I didn’t ask for help or take people’s offers to help-out.
Finally, I stumbled upon the thought that people really wanted to help and that I wasn’t a burden or an inconvenience to them. I also realized that I couldn’t do everything, my husband was spent and we were hungry. I began asking by creating a meals chart on the website LotsaHelpingHand.com. I emailed my friends the link to my page requesting a meal every Wednesday since that was my long, tiring chemo day. People signed up for all 6 months of meals within a day! Wow, those offers were sincere and I wasn’t burdening anyone, but blessing them with the chance to help me the way they wanted to during those first 2 years. As time passed, I asked for rides to chemo, radiation, baby-sitting, helping me decorate for Christmas and any other task that I knew that I physically couldn’t do. My friends now consider the time helping me with my needs as a great way to catch-up on life. So, the next time someone says “what can I do for you,” take them up on the offer. And that goes for you caretakers too. Spread the wealth of care-taking and let others give you time for you, because if you’re not good to yourself then you’re going to become an angry, martyr. Just Ask!
Jen Gambardella Puglise
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