#GenWChat Recap: Supporting Those We Love

support-groups-hands-inAnother great discussion last night on Twitter for #GenWChat where the conversation was filled with practical tips and inspiration for how we can offer the best support and care for friends and loved ones after they have been diagnosed with cancer.    Studies show that 3 out of every 4 families will be affected by this disease, which means many of us have—or will have—the opportunity to be someone’s “co-survivor.”

And, it means a great deal.  “I told a friend who went to treatment with me that we ‘have been to war together’,” said Linda Ryan during last night’s discussion.  While we talked about finding the right words and doing the right things, the big takeaway from last night’s conversation was to always keep the focus on what people really need from us—and how, at the end of the day, we can make them feel better.  “As Maya Angelou says, ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel’”, said Dr. Kathryn Pearson Peyton.

Although our conversation focused on supporting those with cancer, the tips and inspiration shared can be used by anyone wanting to help a friend or loved one through all of life’s challenges.  Some great “sound bites” from last night’s Twitter discussion:

 

 What To Do Or Say

  • “It’s important just to be there, listen with your heart and the words will come.”
  • “Listen, hold and remind her (or him) to breathe.”
  • “Offer to run errands, cook, pick up kids from school, accompany during chemo treatments.”

Bring the Joy

  • “Don’t forget to live in each moment and say ‘I love you’ often.”
  • “Let them talk, listen and be there for them.  For a moment, let them be themselves like BEFORE the diagnosis.”
  • “Call or text and send them words of encouragement or humor to let them know they’re in your thoughts.”

 Take Care of Yourself

  • “As in flight safety, ‘Put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others’.”
  • “Exercise.  Keep your body strong.”
  • “Seek support from other caregivers.”

No One Travels the Road Alone

  • “Remember the family and close friends too…it’s important to care for the caregivers too.”
  • “Cancer is a family affair that requires a team effort.”
  • “A quote from Donna Deegan:  “For every woman that is affected by something like breast cancer, a man is also affected.”

Resources, Resources, Resources
So many were shared during last night’s chat including:

Patient/Caregiver Support for Colon Cancer
Caring Bridge
23 Nice Things You Can Do for Someone with Cancer
Caregiving:  Practicing Self-Care
How Out-of-Towners Stay in the Loop
Becoming a More Effective Co-Survivor
11 Inspirational Breast Cancer Quotes
CancerCare
Breast Cancer Husband:  How to Help Your Wife
Colorectal Cancer Overview
Nutrition and Breast Cancer
Through Rose Colored Glasses

Thank you again to our wonderful hosts for last night’s chat including Dr. Kathryn Pearson Peyton, @Mammosphere; Linda Ryan, @MESTRONG1; and, Grace De La Rosa, @GraceDLR.  Don’t forget to join us next Wednesday, 8-9 PM ET/7-8 PM CT, for #GenWChat where we will provide tips for growing your business and how women can support each other in the workplace.