Ministering to a Breast Cancer Patient | Walking Worthy: Ministering to a Breast Cancer Patient

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ministering to a Breast Cancer Patient

Many want to spring to action in the wake of a friend or family member having cancer. I strongly remember wanting and needing to do something. I would like to share with you some ways to minister to a cancer patient and their family.

Send a Card of Encouragement
My mom received so many cards from people telling her they loved her and were praying for her. Her cards were a constant reminder that she was not alone. She displayed her cards as a constant reminder of the encouragement held within each card. Do not ever underestimate the power of sending a card of encouragement!
Bring a Meal
Food is always a blessing to a cancer patient and their family. You could coordinate food for the family after surgery or chemotherapy. My mom underwent several surgeries for her type of breast cancer. I flew home to help my dad during every surgery but one. After a long day of surgery, the last thing you want to do it figure out what to eat. Taking a meal is a huge blessing to the entire family.

Things to remember:
Chemo changes your taste buds: Many of my mom’s favorite foods no longer tasted good to her. You never know what a cancer patient might be able to eat. I suggest you visit with a family member and get some suggestions.

Use Disposables: If several families are bringing meals, help the family by bringing your meal in a disposable container.

Use online tools: There are several online tools to help you plan meals for a family. These tools take on all the work of coordinating meals. Some tools I found were Take Them A Meal, Meal Train, and Caring Meals.

Visit the Patient
Often my mom was not well enough to go to church, or participate in family activities. So a personal visit was always encouraging to her. Please, call before you stop by. You never know how a cancer patient might be feeling or if they are presentable for company. So call and let them know you are coming! 

Love on their Family
Cancer affects the entire family. There were so many people who loved on my mom by loving on me. The day after I found out my mom had cancer, a woman set me down and talked to me about my mom’s cancer. She shared with me what was about to happen. She asked me questions. She continually checked up on me and my mom through her battle with cancer. My mom was so worried about me during her battle with cancer. I know it was a huge encouragement to her that someone was loving on me and helping me process everything that was happening.

Another way friends loved on my family was coming to the waiting room when my mom was in surgery. It always felt like Dad and I sat there forever. It's so nerve racking to sit in the waiting room and think about your loved one undergoing surgery.  All you can do is sit there and wait. One of my mom's friends came and sat and visited with my Dad and I during several of my mom's surgeries. She always brightened our day and helped pass the time with us.

Offer to Help
Maybe they need a ride to chemo, or help with their house. Maybe they need someone to go get their medicine or go with them to the grocery store. If the patient is a mom with young children, she might need childcare or a play date during her chemo appointments. Offer your help and keep offering.

When someone close to you tells you they have breast cancer, remember that there are many ways that you can minister to them and their family! Join me next time for some of my mom's favorite gifts and books during her battle with breast cancer.
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