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    luvmysis asked a questionNon-Hodgkin Lymphoma (NHL)

    My sister was just recently diagnosed with lymphoma, she hasn't started chemo yet, what can I do to help her? I'm afraid of overwhelming her

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    • nobrand's Avatar
      nobrand

      Some really great answers here so far. You know, it's a hard answer to give you, luvmysis, because it depends on your sister. Having this diagnosis in and of itself is very overwhelming, so I'd offer support when you see a need for it. Keep doing the things you have always done as a sister, and let it be known that you can do more when she needs it.

      I'd also say, if she likes Facebook and the like, show her this site. I think it's been really helpful for me in my new journey with cancer.

      over 4 years ago
    • Bashiemn's Avatar
      Bashiemn

      Some things I wish my sisters had done (or done better):

      Bring meals or groceries. I had other friends and family on ocassion drop off meals- like once a week. But my sisters never did, never brought groceries to help or anything.

      Call me each week to see if I needed rides to any appointments. Whether they could bring me or not. If I needed rides and they couldn't bring me, I wish they had offered to call around an find someone. This became a big stressor for me because I wasn't able to drive for a while and it was overwhlelming to have to call around and ask for rides. I did set up a "Care calendar" on another website, but sometimes no one signed up to give me a ride and I didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't need the extra stress.

      Continue to ask me if I needed rides or bring meals or give me some kind of help after a couple of months. When I was starting to get better, and thescan results were coming back with improvement, my sisters (and many others) stopped offering to help. I also went back to work part time, because I couldn't be at home any more. It was EXHAUSTING to work and still go through chemo, but most people didn't/don't realize that I still could have used some help. There are days when I come home from working 1/2 a day at work and I can't get up off the couch.

      Ask me how I'm doing, and LISTEN when I need to cry. Let me walk about it... My sisters both avoided the conversations because (I assume) it was too difficult for them to hear.

      My older sister calls me about once a week now and asks me how I am... and tells me she loves me. She took me to a couple of appointments in the beginning of treatment and brought her family to visit me a couple of times, but in general that is it. Luckily for me, this is more than she has been a part of my life in the last several years, so I'm thankful for that.

      My younger sister lived with me through most of my treatment. She took me to a couple of appointments in the beginning, she planted some flowers for me this spring so I didn't have to, and she offered to cook me dinner a couple of times (though she burnt what she was making and I couldn't eat it, unfortunately). She also made my life a lot more stressful and was very short with me. She stressed me out more than helped me. I love her, but it was really hard on me. She has moved out recently, and hasn't spoken to me since. She also basically gave me the cold shoulder quite often.

      Remember that your sister is going through something very hard. She will be stressed out, tired, overwhelmed, angry, depressed, fearful, scared, etc. Let her experience her emotion. Comfort her, tell her you love her, help her see the bright side of things and be optimistic (though not overly - yuck). Ask her what she wants or needs. Offer to paint her toenails, take her to her favorite restaurant if she is up for it, take her to a movie, etc. Do not, under ANY circumstances, yell at her. Talk to her about what is going on in your life too. Those of us going through this still care about our friends and family and want to know what's going on...

      Good luck!
      Jennie

      over 4 years ago
    • ibcword's Avatar
      ibcword

      No matter what or who helps out, I found having a central place for a listing of what was happening and when. We picked up a large flat desk calendar and hung it on the wall. The daily squares were large enough for multiple notes. Everything went on it, Dr appointments, meals being brought were listed with names and items brought, and also noting symptoms or side effects from treatment. If someone wanted to bring meals, we could easily state what days were needed by looking at what was already happening. I used this to track thank you notes, look back to get all my mileage for tax purposes, etc. My family enjoyed having this available too because they would know what was going on without having to ask. I also felt more in control, like I had a plan, moving forward. Especially during chemo brain moments when I would forget things. I hope this helps.

      over 4 years ago
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    luvmysis posted an update

    My sister was recently diagnosed was lymphoma I am planning on being her caretaker when the time comes but in the meantime what can I do for her?

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