Can Cancer Care Packages Help A Friend?
One of the questions I heard most from family and friends during breast cancer treatment was,
“How can I help?”
I think they were as shocked as I was over my Stage 3A hormone receptor breast cancer diagnosis.
My husband, three-year-old and I moved across the country 4 days after my initial diagnosis. Plopped into a rental home in Durham, NC and started our much-anticipated new life with cancer. When I looked around at the unpacked moving boxes, I honestly had no idea what I needed.
My friends did.
Cancer Care Packages to The Rescue
Little surprises delivered to my doorstep. Each one different, thoughtful and needed.
Do you remember care packages? Maybe a box of things you got at camp? I was a dance camp goer. More a kin to band camp than regular sleep away camp. I’d go away for a month at a time. Boston, East Lansing, Winston-Salem.
I also went away to high school. My first year outside of Boston at Wallnut Hill School for Arts. The year 1985. As my daughter would say now, “The olden days.”
We lined up to use the pay phone in the dorm. I hand washed my tights and leotards for endless days of dance. Every weekday my anticipation rose with each step I took to the mail box cubbies under the administrative office. Getting mail was a big thing. It was a surprise. I felt grateful each time I opened a letter. If I received a care package with snacks from home or a mixed tape from a friend, it was a REALLY good day.
It’s the same way I felt when a box or envelope appeared on the front porch of our blue rental home in Durham. Each one announcing someone was thinking about me. Hoping to lift my spirits and spread a little love with a Cancer Care Package.
It certainly did.
Examples of Cancer Care Packages
One of the moms from Redwood lacrosse days knitted a scarf to keep my shoulders and head warm.
One of my friends from Denison sent a super snuggly blanket and fun piece of jewelry. She said, “Everyone needs something sparkly.” My daughter and I both wore it around the house. I wasn’t getting out much, but it felt good to look good. (Blanket listed in Resources below.)
Another Denison friend sent a beautiful Christmas cancer care package. A candle for us and more importantly, a huge stuffy bear for my daughter. She still breaks into a run and charges the bear for a hug every time she sees it. She named it Jelly.
A friend from LA gave me her Tibetan healing bracelet. And later sent two charms for my altar. One says, “Protection” and one says, “Healing.”
A friend from my women’s group sent a “Peace, Love and Smudge” kit with Palo Santo or “holy wood” to burn and cleanse my space. She included a pocket-size bear totem that I carried around for strength and healing.
(Wood listed in Resources below.)
A friend from another women’s group hand-made face oil, which I used on my bald head along with lotion, an eye pillow and a Tibetan healing bracelet.
(Tibetan Healing bracelet listed in Resources below.)
At the end of treatment, two of my lifelong friends sent a tray, a sort of display dish. Sounds strange until you read the inscription,
“Though she be little she is fierce.” by William Shakespeare.
I cried when I read it. I’m 5’ 1’’. It says it all.
(Tray listed in Resources below.)
How Cancer Care Packages Helped
The point of this list is not to say, “Wow look at all the stuff I received or how many friends I have.” It’s the opposite.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved receiving these cancer care packages. But what I loved most was receiving the good vibes. Vibes of love. Vibes of friendship. A boost to my healing. And knowing someone was thinking about me and sending that energy on my behalf to the Universe.
They walked with me.
These thoughtful cancer care packages gave me bursts of energy when I needed it. It was a virtual hug delivered to my doorstep.
If you’re looking to support one of your friends or loved ones going through breast cancer treatment, a cancer care package might help. Even a text with a simple, “I’m thinking about you and sending ♥.” Or a call on the way to work. Your friend will pick-up if she feels like it. Hearing your voice will be awesome.
Hope this helps you or someone you love.
[Images sourced on Pixabay if not my own.]
Here are links to the wonderful things that showed up on my doorstep:
Snuggly blanket – Tepi Natural Throw – From Crate and Barrel. We all love this blanket. Feels super high-end without the cost.
Jelly Cat Bear for my daughter
Tibetan Healing Bracelet – If you’d like one of these, please contact me here.
“Peace, Love and Smudge” kit with Palo Santo Wood – I could not find the one my friend sent, but here is a link on Amazon to the wood.
Tray with inscription – “Though she be little she is fierce.” ~ William Shakespeare.