A cancer diagnosis changes life – forever. Here are some of my tips for supporting someone you love with Cancer. How well do I know? Pancreatic cancer quickly took the life of my husband and partner, Dr. Philip Fritchey, who was a Master herbalist. Phil’s gift for wildcrafting medicinal herbs and plants and how he deeply understood the healing power and energetics of natural medicine…are the products that launched Sunshine Botanicals and set our brand apart from other skincare brands. My amazing father lost his leg to bone cancer and had more skin cancer surgeries than I can count… he was a powerful man and handled so much with tremendous grace, and I seemed to follow in his footsteps. I have personally survived multiple skin cancers and Moh’s surgeries. …to say I understand this raging beast’s physical and emotional impact is an extreme understatement.
The irony of all this was that my passion for corrective skincare had me studying aesthetics and skincare at a very young age. In my heart, God had a plan for my life, and I watched it unfold right before me. My healing path positioned me to share what I learned to help others and bring the incredible power of plant medicine into healing and corrective skincare – it was part of the master plan. Repairing the damage to the skin caused by chemotherapy, radiation, and other cancer treatments is a mission to me, and helping others restore a positive self-image and sense of joy is what it’s all about! We all have some experience with someone with cancer. They might include your neighbors, friends, colleagues, and family members. Do you find yourself wondering, “What else can you do to help them?” I want to share some ideas that might help you help someone you know, and below are some points to consider before you reach out to someone you know who has cancer:
Process your very own feelings ahead of time. Discovering that someone you know has cancer can be difficult information to hear. Allow yourself time to recognize and deal with your own emotions concerning the diagnosis before seeing them. By doing this, you can focus on them.
Learn about the diagnosis. For several reasons, your loved one may not wish to speak about the information. Repeating the same information to different people can be physically and psychologically tiring. If possible, the person’s spouse or a mutual friend might have the ability to give you the essentials. Please write it down and repeat it to them to ensure you have the correct info. If details are unknown or not shared, do not push.
Think about it from your loved one’s perspective. Bear in mind a time when you were terrified or felt ill. What did it feel like for you? What were you willing to talk about during your difficult time? How did you wish to be treated? You may also want to prepare yourself mentally for modifications in their appearance. Fatigue, loss of weight, and hair loss can occur in cancer and/or the adverse effects of cancer therapy. Begin with “It’s good to see you” rather than discussing their physical situation.
Did You Know?
Although each person with cancer is different, here are some essential tips to help you show your concern in the most supportive ways…
- Before doing anything, ask for consent. Ask first, whether it is dropping by, asking questions, delivering meals, or giving recommendations. Tell them that it is okay to say no.
- Make plans. Do not be afraid to make plans for the future. Making plans provides them with something to look forward to, mainly because cancer therapy can be lengthy and very tiring.
- It’s all about flexibility. Make simple plans to change in case they need to reschedule.
- Laughter is the best medicine. Laughing together is so important. A light discussion or an entertaining story can make their day.
- Make time for a check-in phone call. Allow your loved ones to understand when you will be calling and allow them to recognize that it is OK not to answer the phone.
- Many people find it challenging to ask for assistance. Still, they will likely really appreciate you making the first move to assist. You would be amazed how wonderful it would be to help provide for youngsters, prepare a meal, or assist with home chores. If they decline your offer to assist, do not take it personally; there may be other opportunities for future support.
- Do not allow their condition to get in the way of your relationship. Don’t treat them differently just because they have a cancer diagnosis – it does not change who they are.
- Talk about things besides cancer! Ask about passions, hobbies, and other interesting topics to keep them focused on the good things in their lives. Individuals experiencing treatment require a break from discussing the disease.
- A family member will undoubtedly post updates to an individual’s social media pages or send group emails. Stay current with these updates to ensure they do not repeat experiences or information multiple times. These updates are additionally an excellent means to begin a discussion. This is SO important and helpful…
- Do not be afraid to talk with them. It is far better to state, “I don’t know what to say,” than to stop calling or visiting out of anxiety.
- Bring small gifts that can lift their spirits.
Loving things to say to show your support:
- I’m sorry this has happened to you.
- If you ever feel like chatting, I’m here to listen.
- What are you thinking about doing, and also exactly how can I help?
- I appreciate you.
- I’m thinking of you.
Never Say This!
- I know just what you should do.
- How long do you have?
- I’m sure you’ll be fine.
- I know just how you feel.
- Don’t worry.
Everyone is aware that nausea and hair loss are part of the process, but most people are unaware of how their skin (especially the face) will change. While undergoing chemotherapy and radiation (and even afterward), the skin is extremely dry and dehydrated due to the barrier function being impaired by the treatment. I created a simple solution that can support them during their recovery time. A soothing anti-inflammatory serum is a perfect replacement for their traditional product that can leave their skin irritated. As their skin may experience red, peeling rashes, and their skin may become extremely fragile and develop sensitivities to products that used to be part of their daily skincare regime. A rich, gentle moisturizer or balm is necessary for healing and protecting the skin. The skin is also highly prone to sunburn, so a gentle moisturizer with a purely physical sunblock is crucial.
Remember, the idea with oncology skincare is to heal the skin, not treat cancer. Here is my recommended skincare routine for clients battling cancer:
Dry, sensitive skin is prone to eczema, itching, and irritations, leading to chronic inflammation conditions oncology patients may experience. Our unique blend of Lavender Hydrosol, Calendula CO2 extract, and Comfrey root extract has a warm, soothing, buttery feel that will restore dry, inflamed, and stressed skin.
Colloidal Silver and Lemon Balm are the essential ingredients in this skin-soothing skin mist. Colloidal Silver destroys P. acne bacteria on the skin and numerous other pathogens living on the skin’s surface. It helps heal burns, wounds, eczema, and a host of bacterial and fungal-related conditions to help clear and balance the skin.
This multifunctional serum is especially indicated for compromised skin conditions and helps heal skin recovering from radiation and chemotherapy treatments. Cool, fresh, and oil-free, this soothing serum may also be used as a daily hydrating fluid to help restore the skin’s natural barrier function and help fight breakouts and irritations.
This elegant skin fluid is a superfood for the skin. It is packed with fast-absorbing Omega-3, 6, & 9 essential fatty acids, antioxidant-rich botanical extracts, and potent anti-inflammatory benefits to repair, nourish, and rejuvenate aging and stressed skin. Cooling botanicals relieve redness & leave skin feeling calm & nourished with nature’s most effective anti-inflammatory & skin-repairing ingredients.
Total Eclipse blends the benefits of a moisturizer, foundation, skin repair, and environmental protection – all in one chemical-free formula. This weightless beauty balm is formulated with potent antioxidants and micronized zinc and titanium oxide that will protect healthy skin from the ravages of harsh environments without any carcinogenic chemicals.
Oncology Skin Care – Simplified:
Bear in mind that you can connect with a person in many different ways, depending upon exactly how they wish to communicate. If you do not regularly see them, a phone call, text, card, or video call can show you care.
My passion is your Solution,