Know someone with cancer? Want to help them? Whether someone has cancer, or needs help for another reason, you can have a big impact without knocking yourself out. Reach out to an elderly neighbor, a sick co-worker, or someone you know going through a rough time. You don’t need to know the person well, or the details about their situation. The type of cancer doesn’t matter if you’re offering to be a driver. What type of cancer?—If you don’t mind me asking. That falls under the category of nosy. It’s about you fulfilling your need to know. If asking allows you to better serve, ask. If (like driving) it doesn’t matter if the person has a cold or cancer, it makes no difference, so let them guide the conversation. You may even want to offer to stay quiet during the drive. some days I’d talk with my driver, other days I’d just close my eyes and soak in the silence. Depending on my driver, some could pick up cues, others couldn’t. Some understood when I asked for a break from questions. Others filled the quiet moments with chatter, comforting themselves. Just be aware. Sometimes you know who can best serve you. If you have two people who offer the same job, and one is a better fit for how you’re feeling, honor that. But also be aware that some days that specific person may not be available, and you’ll need to adjust to a new type of help. Key words: Adjust and Help. You adjust. They help.
Caregivers, offer what you can do: take their trash cans out – or bring them back in. Bring them their mail. Run errands. Rides to the doctor. . . I’d have people say, “If you need anything, let me know.” I’d let them know, only to learn they didn’t drive beyond a ten-mile radius, or didn’t cook. These same people who offered “anything” could have said, “I don’t drive, but I know someone who can. I’ll ask them.” Or, “I don’t cook, but what are you craving and I can order for you, and bring it over.”
What can you do to make a difference?