The Importance of Reaching Out to a Sick Friend

My cancer treatment was filled with both good and bad days. I would say that a majority of my days were good, because I was able to stay positive and could do small tasks throughout the day. However, when I had bad days, they hit me like a ton of bricks. I didn’t feel comfortable in my own body, my meds constantly made me feel sick, and I felt isolated and alone. None of these feelings were fun for a 19-year old college student to face.

On these bad days, I would hide away from my family, trying to get through the next minute, hour, or day. I would greet sleep with gratitude, hoping that tomorrow would be easier. In most cases, I would wake up feeling better. However, holding on to a positive attitude got tougher as I completed more rounds of chemotherapy.

Looking back at my whole cancer experience, one day really sticks out. It was a Friday, sometime after my fourth round of chemotherapy. I was feeling especially sad, frustrated by my situation and wishing to be anyone else in the world. My fingers burned from neuropathy, I was nauseous from my meds, and my body felt weak. All I felt up to doing was curling up on the couch to watch TV, waiting for time to pass. I tried not to look at my phone, because scrolling through Instagram and watching Snapchat stories reminded me that I was missing out on normal college life, adding to my sadness. I would definitely categorize this as a “bad” day.

After enduring a majority of the day, a letter arrived for me in the late afternoon. Inside was a heartfelt note from all of my college friends, telling me that they missed me and that they had enclosed money to treat me to a spa day. Immediately, I broke down crying. It was such a thoughtful gift, and it meant the world that my friends had come together to support me with such a kind gesture. Honestly, that envelope could have just held a letter that says “we miss you” and it would have reduced me to tears. This gift completely changed my mood, and helped me stay headstrong while I faced my next round of chemo. I swear that I didn’t stop smiling for a week straight. It was a great reminder that had a great support system and that my friends were always there for me.

The lesson here is that sickness is unpredictable, and you never know when a friend is going to have a bad day and need extra support. The fact that they even thought to send something like that was awesome and I was so happy to hear from them. To this day, it amazes me that the letter arrived on a day when I needed it the most. I’m writing this blog post in the hopes that this will inspire someone to reach out to a friend that needs support, even in a small way. Texts and letters of support can really make a persons day when they’re facing sickness.

Much love to all my friends who showed me endless support during my treatment, I couldn’t have done it without you!