Editor’s note: The following story comes to us from Karen’s friend Donna, whose friend underwent cancer treatment. This story shows that the best gift of all is to just show up and be with your suffering friend.
After finding out I had cancer, my friends stopped by with a cancer treatment basket filled with items that I might need during chemotherapy. They checked on Pinterest to find out what people need as they go through chemo and included those items in the basket. My basket included things like hard candy, a water bottle, lip balm and a blanket. They also included other “just because” items like magazines, notes of love and support, and a truly personalized gift: a plush toy owl, because I collect owls.
My friends could have shown up with rocks as far as I was concerned because just simply showing up meant so much to me. I knew I was loved and cared for. I knew I was not alone. Not only did they bring me the basket but they insisted on going with me to my first chemo treatment. Initially I said no because I didn’t want to burden them. Man, am I glad they insisted.
They held my hand when I was scared. Their jokes kept me from having anxiety attacks. When I was
tired, they sat with me, reading magazines, their quiet presence an immense comfort. And they also went with me to my doctor’s appointment to find out the results of the treatment. Although going through cancer was my own journey to make, the road was far less bumpy because I had great friends who helped me travel it.
Photo credit: Brianna Privett