No one ever thinks it will happen to them or someone they love; inevitably it does. That IT for my family was CANCER. Rewind ten years ago, at a time when I was going through my own struggle; infertility. We had been trying to get pregnant for about 3 years and during that time suffered a miscarriage. Between doctor’s appointments, work and home life, there was little time for much else. Until, I received a phone call from my aunt, relaying the news no one wants to hear; she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I will spare you the details of being Triple negative and what that all means and the back and forth trips to Houston to confirm her diagnosis.

What mattered in that moment was that we, as a family, would be there for her and at that time, her 16 year old daughter.

My aunt was single mother, working in the medical field as a CRNA, which required early mornings and late nights. It was going to take all of us to support her; and support her we did. From doctor’s appointments to meal prep to house cleaning to overnight sleepovers, we were there. There in a way that she needed, but did not have to ask because we knew what she needed without her ever saying a word.

Fast forward 10 years and my aunt has recovered from Breast Cancer twice, has endured a double mastectomy, a failed mastectomy in one breast then a second mastectomy and now physical therapy. And she made it; she made it with the help of friends, co-workers and loved ones.

Here are some ways you may be able to help your loved one or even a beloved friend undergoing cancer or a health battle:

  1. Preparing Ready-Made Meals that are easy to heat up.
  2. Offering home cleaning services from washing dishes and laundry to cleaning bathrooms and changing bed linens.
  3. Providing rides to and from doctor’s appointments.
  4. Assisting with yard work or household repairs.
  5. Sitting with them to provide company and comfort so they are not alone.
  6. Creating a fundraiser, participating in a walk/run on their behalf or volunteering to help others going through similar circumstances.
  7. Praying for them and with them.
  8. Being a shoulder for them to lean on, cry on, yell or laugh with when they are down.
  9. Entertaining or babysitting their children, taking them to school or on outings.
  10. Providing assistance after surgery, picking up prescriptions or groceries and household items.

These are just some of the ways we supported our family during their time of need. There are many more ways in which support can be provided; but most importantly it is necessary to be there with them and for them.

*This is for all of those who have endured or supported someone through an illness. Lauren Wiatrek, we are here with you and for you.

Janina Roberts, M.A., LSSP, a Licensed Specialist in School Psychology married to her college sweetheart, Allen, Sr, for almost 14 years. She is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and Trinity University. She and Allen have two children, Allen, Jr. (7 y.o.) who is very active in sports and a loving gentle soul and Aelicia (2 y.o.), who is very independent and a spit-fire. Janina is what some would call a military brat who moved frequently. She was born in Louisiana, moved to Las Vegas, NV then Abilene, TX where she graduated high school. Janina is currently pursuing her Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership while also working full-time. She is avid party planner especially her kid's birthday parties and loves eating ice cream from Amy's. On the weekends you can find her at the track field, at basketball and football games cheering on her son, AJ.

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