Mary, who recently had a mastectomy, said that when her husband and adult daughter first heard the news that breast cancer had returned 20 years later, “it was like they had received a death sentence.”
When your main supports have the wind knocked out of them, what do you do? Just at the time when you need them, they are out of commission—hit hard by the news, which sounds like a death knell. Mary was shaken and aggrieved by the re-occurrence of breast cancer (in her other breast), and her family was traumatized.
This is the time to call in the emergency supports—the friend who is a nurse, the friend who is a therapist, the friend who is a hospice volunteer, the friend who is good in an emergency. The whole family needs support, each one probably needing something different.
Ask for help. Build a team that is larger than the close circle of your nearest-and-dearest.
Your main supports need some care and tending so they can get back on their feet and support you. People love to help, but they do need to be asked. Ask.
You yourself would be happy to help a friend. Your friends are happy to help you. Your friends love you.