Giving Hope Through Chemo Care Bags
Many illnesses and diseases make people feel helpless. But, within each situation is an opportunity to heal, learn, and grow.
Cancer is one illness that carries a lot of emotional baggage and fear with it. Often, it is hard to know what to say, what to do, or how to offer help and support when you find out someone has cancer because with the news comes the uncomfortable reality that we are not eternal.
Recently, I was added to a group that was looking for donations for chemo care bags to gift to patients who are undergoing chemotherapy. This endeavour was sparked out of tragedy, loss, and the feeling of helplessness. I knew in a heartbeat that I wanted to help.
I began by looking back on my own experience with cancer. I remember feeling so scared from the moment I found out, to laying in a hospital bed the night before surgery, to heading into the cancer clinic for the first time, and everything in between. Luckily, I'm strong-willed and giving up was not an option.
While gifts do not make the fear go away, there was an indescribable amount of hope that rippled through me just by knowing and feeling that I was supported. From visits from friends and family, to encouraging messages, to phone calls, to friends driving numerous hours to come see me, to thoughtful gifts, to supportive messages from far-off acquaintances, to people just coming to sit with me/us through the hardest parts--none of the support went unnoticed.
I received fuzzy socks, bubble bath, and blankets to bring me comfort. I was gifted magazines to distract me and more stuffed animals than a twenty-something girl could ever need, but loved every ounce of thoughtfulness. And, OH the flowers! But, these thoughtful gifts were also reminders of all the people who were rooting for me.
There are many wonderful people and businesses who donate their time, goods, and services to uplift the cancer clinic patients on a regular basis. I was lucky to be able to attend and benefit from these donations and they were much more impactful than anyone could ever imagine. From free makeup classes to learn how to draw on my eyebrows, to free hats to cover my bald head, to free pizza on Wednesdays, and free ice cream on Fridays. These donations are some of my most uplifting memories of the cancer clinic.
When considering what I wanted to donate, I reminisced about all of the people, experiences, and things that had an impact on my healing journey. I reflected upon what brought the most healing, impact, and insight along the way. Then, I considered what I had wished I would have received. Now, I know that the most powerful aspects of healing I have discovered on my healing journey are about mindset, emotional expression, and waking up to the opportunity of healing that lives within the illness.
Here is what I chose to donate:
20 Your Inner Compass That Could children's picture books.
Inner Compass Academy Mindful Reminder Magnets: Scars can heal and reveal who you are.
Danielle Laporte Truth Bomb cards.
Inspirational decals by Grounded Goodness.
Why did I choose these items?
Well, I wanted to remind these people who are undergoing chemo that they have the power to heal. It is my hope that these messages will spark insight and hope within the people who need it most.
Often, people who are scared and desperate for healing put a lot of power into the hands of the doctors, which makes sense considering they are the experts. This is something I feel that I did when I was sick, and luckily I was given a promising diagnosis from the get go. However, it is important to remember the power of believing in our own healing, regardless of the diagnosis or the prognosis from the physician. After all, doctors are human, just as we are, and they do not know everything, nor can we expect them to. Miracles and spontaneous remissions happen ALL THE TIME. Believing in the power of one's own ability to heal and wake up to the learning within the experience is crucial. This is something that now, as a Self Awareness Educator, I believe is absolutely imperative to healing.
In my case, we did way more than surgery and chemotherapy to induce healing. Behind the scenes, my mom and I learned BodyTalk Access, used it daily, had regular BodyTalk sessions, and did everything in our awareness to aid in the healing process. When I was on the verge of emotional implosion, my mom asked me to write a letter. (I was the queen of holding my emotions in at the time). Although I'm sure I did not appreciate the lengths my parents went to at the time, I sure do now. My mom took it in her own hands to do whatever it took on our end to ensure the most difficult experience we may ever have to go through went as smoothly as it possibly could.
It has been almost a dozen years since that cosmic hammer experience that opened my eyes, my mind, and my heart. In the years gone past, I have unraveled many powerful insights and learning along the way, thanks to a multitude of incredible teachers, healing, and support, which I wrapped up into a children's picture book last year. Your Inner Compass That Could teaches people of all ages that we all possess an inner knowing. I knew in an instant that I wanted to gift these books to the patients in the cancer clinic who are searching for understanding and inspiration.
When people find out they have cancer, there is a never-ending array of thoughts and emotions. From confusion to devastation; from anger to sheer terror; to worry and overthinking; to feeling betrayed by your body. Sometimes in the midst of all the emotional overload and mental overthinking, we forget how truly magnificent our bodies really are. Sometimes, we need a reminder. Sometimes all it takes is one eye-opening statement, one hug, one brand new insight to turn everything around. Miracles happen all the time. Don't forget to believe in them, but more importantly in yourself.
For those of you who have friends, acquaintances, or loved ones facing illness, do your best to support those who are going through a tough time in whatever ways you can. A text, an email, a coffee, a conversation, a book, a fresh perspective, or your time can go a long way in lifting someone up who desperately needs it.
What would you donate to a chemo care bag?