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As someone with cancer, a carer, or a bereaved person, you need the people around you to be supportive and understanding.
Here on the Online Community, we’ve heard lots of sad stories about people whose friends and family have not been very supportive – those who’ve made insensitive comments or simply stopped being in touch.
But equally, we also hear lots of positive stories about those who’ve really come through for you when you needed them the most.
This could be practical support such as cooking extra meals for your freezer, driving you to appointments, or picking the kids up from school. Or, it could be emotional support – being a good listener, sitting with you while you’re feeling terrible, or texting and calling regularly to see how you’re doing.
Today, we’re asking – what’s the best thing that someone has done to support you? Who has really gone the extra mile to reach out to you? Let us know in the comments below.
Macmillan is trying to encourage people to do more to support someone they know who's been affected by cancer. We’re providing lots of ideas for how to be supportive if someone you know has cancer.
Read more on our Community News Blog.
Join our Online Community to talk to other people affected by cancer.
After my first chemo when I was so unwell one of my daughters set up a 'make a meal' rota for us, after each subsequant chemo we were brought a cooked meal everyday for a week, it was fantastic and helped us so much. Also some extra meals were cooked and put in our freezer for those 'bad days'. We were given an anonymous gift of £200 as finances are always tough at these times, another friend sent me a card every month throughout my treatment and another either called or text me every day for 6 months. Overwhelming.
My parents weren't able to be with me so they preprepared about 50 "treat "envelopes. There was one to open each day that I was in hospital which contained things like toiletries, novels or puzzle books. There were also ones to open when I got back from my daily treatment. They contained items like inspirational notes, jokes, scratchcards, and IOUs for pressies and days out when I was better.
My friends made sure there was always something cheerful for me when I opened by email inbox every morning. Some of them never missed a day all through the months of my recovery. There were funny clips from YouTube, music tracks and some very rude jokes. What cheered me up most was when they reminded me of shared memories from happier times. This got me through many a tough day.
i holiday in a caravan every year with my husband and dogs always out of season so we can go on all the beaches i sent an email saying we would nt be doing so this year as i had breast cancer,the people who own the caravan emailed me back to say ,they were going to keep the caravan free for one week in october,or a week in march which ever we prefer ,free of charge and hoped that i would breeze through treatment ,and that a week at the seaside would be a tonic for me ;i very touched by this ,
I also rushed my young pup to the vet the day before my lumpectomy as she appeared very ill she was examined by the vet nothing was found wrong,the vet asked if there was anything going on out of the norm i explained i was going into hospital and why the vet decided my pup had picked up the stress of the situation ,i thanked her and went to the reception to pay the vet had put no charge after spending 15 mins checking over i was again very touched by their actions
My little sister took my boys away for a week in the Easter holidays. It was a lovely break for them and meant hubby did not have as much running around to do in the days after chemo that week.
friends and family have sent parcels, cards and flowers at various times during my treatment, keeping me smiling.
I had two very good friends who took on looking after my horses and ponies, some of who are elderly and need a lot of care, and would not take anything for doing it. I could not have got through this without them. Also one of my cats became very ill while I was having treatment, and my vet was just marvellous, and did home visits free of charge and would collect her for treatment and bring her back afterwards. It restores my faith in human nature.
The neighbour i only knew to say hello to came round at least once a week to see if she could do anything for me & stayed to have a coffee & keep me company & her & her sons made sure i went out to lunch with them everyweek & from that one act of kindness we are now firm friends & still have coffee & a chat most weeks
When I was diagnosed my Husband and Daughter's fell apart. I was shocked as it was as if I was written off, and not going to make it. They seemed to be grieving, even though I was still around and being very vocal about it too. I wasn't ready to give in to the poor prognosis, and was determined to beat this disease.
My Clinical Nurse Specialist told us about a support group that she runs, and it meets every alternate month. Luckily it was arranged for the week before my chemotherapy started, and just after I'd had the results of all my investigations for staging. The group is called Oesophagoose, and was formed to spread the word about Oesophago-gastric Cancer.
My Husband and I were made very welcome to the group, held in our local Maggie's Centre. Because my type of cancer is more prevalent in men, most of the carer's are ladies, and Ray was the only man in the carer's group that day. They really put him at ease, and gave him hope that everything was going to be OK.
I was with a large group of men who had all had their chemotherapy, and surgery. They were very encouraging and I felt even more positive than I had previously.
My Husband went from not wanting me to tell people, and treating me as if it was something to be ashamed of, to talking to anybody who was willing to listen. It made it real to him, and since that day he has coped admirably, and been a wonderful carer. I couldn't have got through the treatment and surgery without him, and my recovery is down to him.
We still attend the support group to pay forward the wonderful support we were given, and I cannot thank all those lovely ladies enough for looking after my Husband and being so kind to him.
One of my closest friends called in to see me the eve before my first chemo and handed me a huge hamper basket. Inside was magazines, tissues, lip balm, hand cream, moisturiser, ginger sweets, chocolate, chewing gum to name just a few things! She had searched on the interent for all the things that help you get through chemo! It made me cry!
At the end of my chemo she took me for afternoon tea at a posh hotel for a special belated birthday treat for me. It was just what I needed too.
And then the eve before my mastectomy operation she brought another hamper round with magazines, chocolates, I-Tunes voucher, and fruit all ready for my stay in hospital. It was so lovely and such a kind and thoughtful thing to do.
She has been my rock though this ... been a great friend, having my children while I've had appointments and just always been there through the tough days and the good days. We have cried and laughed together over the last seven months since I was diagnosed and I feel very lucky to have her as a friend.
It's times like this you realise who your friends are. And I feel so lucky to have had such great support from my mummy friends. They have helped with school runs, the kids clubs and been amazing support to me and my family. My biggest thing through out my treatment was to keep things as normal as possible for my children and with all their help they made that possible.
And my mum. My lovely amazing mum. She stayed with us through out my treatment and surgery. Helped with the kids, cooked, cleaned, entertained the kids and let me rest when I needed too. I know its been tough for her seeing her daughter go through this but we have stayed strong for each other.
I will be treating them all once I have finished all my treatment to say a massive thank you for all their help because without them I couldn't have got through it all!
Wow, you all have some amazing friends, relatives and neighbours. These are some really nice and cheering comments to read on a Monday morning - thanks so much for sharing!
Cancer is a terrifying word, but I can see how it affects the person and those round about, I've been both. Its a time when you lose friends and gain new ones that you never knew existed, people who open their hearts to you and are by your side maybe not physically but emotionally. I lost people I thought would be by my side throughout, people that I loved and trusted for many years, but I was also lucky enough to welcome people into my heart that were only ever occasional friends, how I underestimated their love and how I now cherish their friendships. Don't judge those who say a harsh word, or who's behaviour towards you changes, they are also trying to cope with this trauma and life is too short for hurt and anger, we here all know that. Lets celebrate what we do have, the here and now, and lets love with all our hearts, that's the gift I gave my mum and that's the gift I received from my friends during my cancer treatment. Sadly my mum lost her battle, but I have the here and now, and I'm going to enjoy it however I can.
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