STORIES FROM YOU
Jenny Singer: ESL Educator, Mother, Wife, Daughter, Friend, and Supporter/Caregiver. This fantastic friend shares her answers to InKind Space’s 5 Questions.
WHO DID YOU SUPPORT?
I supported a woman who has been my close friend since high school and was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time in her life at age 46
HOW DID YOU SUPPORT THEM?
Initially, I helped by informing some of our friends of her diagnosis. She wanted certain people to know, but, not-surprisingly, did not relish the idea of repeatedly retelling the details, upsetting as they were. As her treatment began, we made a tradition of having a nice dinner out with a small group of close friends on the evenings before a chemo appointment. This was a lovely distraction from the inevitable dread and anxiety of going through each treatment and its aftermath. o I also accompanied my friend to a chemo and a radiation treatment. My hope was that, even though the physical and emotional suffering were ultimately her own, I could be a sounding board for her fears as well as help with the little practical matters, and in these ways perhaps make her experience a little easier.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR A CAREGIVER/SUPPORTER/ADVOCATE/FRIEND?
I think in the face of bad news, sometimes people worry so much about doing or saying the wrong thing that they don’t do or say anything at all. My advice is to push through any awkwardness you might feel and get involved. You don't need to have answers to the big questions or be a stand-up comic, just being available to help out in any way you can seems to be appreciated-and it feels good, too!
SHARE A MOMENT OF LEVITY DURING THIS JOURNEY.
Has to be the dance party to celebrate the end of treatment! Lots of over the hill folks (myself included) getting down to a mostly 80s playlist. Good times!
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
It’s not exactly a motto, but there’s an old Yiddish saying which translates as “This too shall pass.” I find it comforting when times are tough.