When you hear the words, ‘It’s cancer,’ from someone you care about, you know at once that the life of your friend or loved one has been turned upside down. At that point you want to be supportive, but how can you understand what they’re going through, at least enough to know what he or she might need?
That’s the purpose of this two-part series. It’s designed to help you know how to give support and compassion with some specific action steps and practical support that will help you show love in the day-to-day details surrounding this issue.
Marissa Henley is a cancer survivor who writes and speaks about faith, friendship God’s character and suffering. She’s the author of the book, ‘Loving Your Friend Through Cancer.’
On October 25th of 2010, the day before her 34th birthday, Marissa, a mother with children of 6,4 and 18 months, received her biopsy results. The doctor told her that she had a rare and aggressive form of cancer known as angiosarcoma.
After hanging up with the doctor, she did what she doesn’t recommend. She typed her cancer into Google and learned that the five year survival rate for people with angiosarcoma is about 30%.
Marissa began crying out to God to preserve her life, to allow her to live at least those 5 years, be able to see her children grow up and for her daughter to be able to remember her.
She went through a long treatment journey that lasted several months. Also, because her cancer was rare with a poor prognosis, she was treated in Houston, Texas. She’s been cancer free since July of 2011.
On this edition of Crosstalk you learn…
…that within hours of her diagnosis, people began helping Marissa. What should our first steps of support look like to someone going through a cancer diagnosis?
…about Marissa’s surprise birthday party!
…what she means by ‘determining your circle’?
…how to avoid saying the wrong things.
…what curious questions are compared to caring questions.
Part two tomorrow will look at the spiritual, emotional and logistical needs and more.
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