The little things that help

A friend got in touch recently.  She had a friend whose child had been diagnosed with cancer, and was hospital. She desperately wanted to help, genuinely help.  She asked me what she should do, what had I found helpful when I was in that position.  I was so touched by her question.  It’s easy to ask say ‘let me know if I can do anything’ or say that you don’t know what to do for the best but it takes effort and thought to find out.

I relied so much on the people around me during that time.  It seems like a lifetime ago now, and also about 5 minutes.  There was the initial shock of diagnosis, which led to an emergency hospital stay of about two weeks, followed by 5 months of endless hospital appointments and worry.  Finally, a protracted, traumatic 4 month hospital stay, which ended in Fred’s death.  That would have been stressful enough, but in the middle of a global pandemic when the world was on fire, it was complicated.