• What do friend and family go through?

    Asked by Cate on Thursday, February 9, 2012

    What do friend and family go through?

    My mother was diagnosed with cancer when I was three years old. I consider myself unbelievably lucky that 26 years later she is happy, healthy and considered cancer-free. As an adult, I work with an organization that helps friends and family provide emotional and financial support to those coping with cancer. I want to give as much support and help as possible to these families, but I feel that having been so young when my mom battled cancer, I don't completely understand what friends and family are dealing with when a loved one is diagnosed. I'd like to be able to better help these families so I'd love some insight into what the process is like for loved ones of those fighting cancer. How did you find out that your loved one had cancer? Did they tell you or did you hear it from a medical professional? Where did you turn to for advice when you heard this diagnosis? Thanks in advance for your feedback!

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • NanciHersh's Avatar
      NanciHersh

      Those are great questions Cate... when I was diagnosed the first time with BC 9 years ago (then again last year) telling my children was a top priority. My cousin Ellen wrote a story for me to tell my two young children which I later illustrated and we co-published. Its called Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: When someone you love has cancer... a hopeful, helpful book for kids. Many people come up to us at our book signings and talks and share stories either about using our book to tell their children, and also many like yourself have different memories of having been told- or not which was very hard for them. I would love to hear more about your organization and see if we can help each other. Thank you for posting this.

      over 5 years ago
    • susie81610's Avatar
      susie81610

      There are many stories on peoples post you could read also. Good luck.
      Susie

      over 5 years ago
    • mitchell1159's Avatar
      mitchell1159

      Your story is very moving Cate and I am happy to hear how lucky your mom is. I have been battling my cancer for several years now and things have taken a turn for the worst. I would very much like more information regarding the organization you work for as I am in search of financial support for my family as times grow increasingly tough for us. Thank you very much for your help.
      Craig

      about 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      Unless a friend or relative has a medical power of attorney for the patient, they should never learn that their loved one has cancer from a medical professional....that is a serious breech of ethics and illegal to boot. You said you worked with an organization to help friends and family provide emotional and financial support...support for themselves or for the patient? In my experience what is the most helpful support for family and friends are practical things like assisting with transportation, providing care give respite, providing domestic help (cleaning, cooking, errands, etc.)

      about 5 years ago
    • Cate's Avatar
      Cate

      Thanks so much for the responses guys! They are incredibly helpful, particularly hearing your comment about a breech of ethics NancyJac. That's a really great point and didn't occur to me at first.
      I work for GiveForward (http://www.giveforward.com/) and we provide fundraising pages for out-of-pocket expenses. The pages empower friends and family to donate and give financial and emotional support to their loved one who is surviving cancer. The money can be used for whatever they need, whether it's covering co-pays, paying for transportation to and from treatments or even a cleaning service so the family can focus on healing.
      One of the biggest hurdles I've encountered in getting the word out about GF as a resource is the fact that cancer survivors have so much on their plates already, that telling them about GiveForward is just one more resource in a flood of other information they receive. I want to try and find a better way to contact the loved ones of cancer survivors to let THEM know about the options they have to help.

      about 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      I don't want to sound indelicate here....but unless I am misunderstanding you, I think a lot of cancer survivors and their friends and relatives might find what you are doing to be indelicate. I'm afraid I don't understand why a person would go through a 3rd party organization like yours to pay money for what their loved one needs. Maybe it is just me, but as a cancer patient/survivor, I would never dream of putting up a web page to solicit money from my family and friends. And I would be most annoyed....no, actually I would be down right XXX...if some stranger contacted me about my loved one's cancer. I would be even more XXX if as the cancer patient if somebody were going around talking to my friends and family about my cancer. I would also never give money to an online organization I know nothing about. Too many of them are flat out scams. Not saying that yours is, but I would still give the money directly to my loved one that needed it. What would be the advantage of going through a 3rd party like your organization?

      One of the things that both cancer patients the most is the feeling of a lack of control over their own lives when they are in treatment for cancer. Allowing somebody to set up an online page to tell the world that I have cancer and need money is a flagrant invasion of privacy. This is just my opinion on this of course, but I think it would be a point of view that you would need to be sensitive to.

      about 5 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      OMG....I just looked at your site. This is profit making organization (you keep 7% of the amount donated). And you list the top fundraisers, like it were some sort of competition or something. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be rude, but I'm finding the whole concept to be really tacky and rude at best, and smelling like a scam at worst.

      about 5 years ago

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