When you are first diagnosed life is a blur.
You run from test to test and exam to exam and then to treatments and surgeries. If you are also a parent you have other people who count on you to show them the way. The little ones who want to know that mom will be okay while you also desperately want to know the same. Every parent’s second question after, “Will I die?” is, “What about my kids?” So you hustle everywhere trying to make certain you will live, and in the middle that first year you reach out to others who have been there. The ones who know it will end and that you will get through and you rely on their experience, strength and hope to help you through.
As time begins to slow down and treatments get monotonous or you return to your life you find everyone saying, “I had that “ or “my cousin, sister, best friend had that” and in those days you begin to be that source of strength for others and in doing so find out the great secret: It helps you to help others.
I had friends reach out for guidance for themselves, their parents, their siblings and friends.
I was introduced to and offered help to those survivors of cancer. Even my oncology nurse asked me to write something down for another patient to read.
I kept answering the same questions; writing the same email over and over, and having the same phone conversations. It made me want to put it down in words for others who might need it that might not know me
My blog, now housed on my website, began as a way to reach friends who wanted to know how I was.
Then it morphed into something more public and a place that others, sometimes complete strangers, went to find help. While my blog has a different focus now the original posts are all still there for the newly diagnosed to read. Just go back in the archives to October 2009.
Chemo, Cupcakes and Carpools: How to go through chemo with your family, your marriage, and your sanity intact and the two companion pieces: the Keeping Your Sanity Intact Organizer and the Keeping Your Gratitude Intact Journal, came from those emails. The questions asked by email in the dead of night, and answered when I woke up all made it into the book.
My daughters were 7 and 11 when I was diagnosed
So along with my own panic, fear and hope I had two little ones and a husband who wanted me to be fine. I wanted to be fine but most of all I didn’t want my kids to find their lives centred around cancer. I, with the help of friends, family and team moms, kept it all going for them. Their lives didn’t change too much even if mom was bald and feeling crappy for a time.
My books exist to help parents navigating the coexisting worlds of cancer treatment and parenting.
I have some friends, who’s kids are grown, who have also found the books helpful so the audience continues to broaden.
Take a look they are great gifts for yourself or a loved one going through treatment.
Practical Suggestions For Helping A Friend With Cancer
- Practical suggestions for helping a friend with cancer
- Eight ways to support a friend with cancer
- Sign up for our “Tips on how to treat a person with cancer”.
- Five steps to help my friend with cancer
- Different Ways You Can Help Someone Who Has Cancer
- Helping a friend with cancer: what you need to know
Talking To Someone With Cancer
- A Five point guide for talking to someone with cancer
- Six starting points when talking to someone with cancer
Angelique L’Amour was born in Los Angeles, California. The daughter of author Louis L’Amour, she grew up in the household of a prolific writer where writing and storytelling were a way of life.