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25 Ways to Support an Ovarian Cancer Survivor

by on June 8, 2012

One of the items in our goody bags from the race was a list of ways to support an ovarian cancer survivor.  I think it’s a pretty good list and I’d like to share it.

Now, if I had a scanner I’d save myself some typing.  But I don’t, so old school transcribing here I go…

  1. If in treatment, accompany her to chemo.
  2. Help her with a wig purchase – or buy an extra wig for her.
  3. Walk the dog.
  4. Buy her a gift card from the health food store.
  5. Sign her up for grocery delivery. (This service is available in many areas from different stores.  Peapod by Giant is available many places in the mid-Atlantic and Chicago area.  Wal-Mart and Safeway offer similar services in other areas.)
  6. Set up a website for her at www.mylifeline.com.
  7. Arrange for a house cleaning service to come in.
  8. Visit for a few hours and give her caregiver a break.
  9. Help her create a binder of all medical information.
  10. Don’t ask, “How are you doing?” every time you see her.
  11. Buy her a music CD or iTunes gift card.
  12. Buy her fashionable scarves and hats.
  13. Select an inspirational book and read it to her out loud.
  14. Take her to see a funny movie, or to have her nails done.
  15. Schedule friends to assist with house cleaning tasks.
  16. Deliver a frozen meal that can be easily cooked. (Don’t forget breakfast.  One of the best things our family got when my dad was in hospice at home was a bag of bagels and a couple tubs of cream cheese.)
  17. Accompany her to a Nicki’s Circle support group (this one is Denver specific but I’m sure you could find a similar support group in your area).
  18. Help her make phone calls.
  19. Help her find alternative and complementary therapies.
  20. Look past her diagnosis and see her shining soul.
  21. Arrange for spontaneous fresh flower deliveries. (FTD, ProFlowers and Red Envelope are all good national options.)
  22. Accompany her on a short walk.
  23. Send her a card/e-card every day or week during treatment. (I would say a snail mail card because who doesn’t like mail.)
  24. Help her plan a schedule of visitors and assistance. (Perhaps using a public Google Calendar for all those participating.)
  25. Listen to her struggles and offer hope and encouragement.

List courtesy of Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance.  Italics are my additions.

I think the only thing I would add given how many younger women with kids not much older than my Sweet Pea who I saw wearing survivor shirts would be to entertain/pay attention to the kids.

– Marcy

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