Rebel strong: Supporting our sisters through a cancer diagnosis
Posted on January 26 2020
We at Rolita Couture believe that as Rebels, we should be supporting our fellow sisters through the easy and rough times. This means celebrating our successes and holding their hand when things get tough. We want to create a safe space where it’s okay to be a real person. One thing that is so tough to talk about but affects so many of our sisters is being diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is something that touches so many of our lives, and when we get the news someone close to us is diagnosed it can be hard to find the words to say to support them. We decided to collect a few different ways how you can support your sisters on and off the dance floor.
Model: PerryWhat do you say?
This can be the hardest part for some people, trying to find the right words to say. Some people get so scared that they will say the wrong thing they don’t reach out and say anything at all. The first thing is to process your own feelings before talking to your friend, as you want to create a space where they can talk about it without having to mitigate your feelings on the situation. Be compassionate, the situation sucks and it's scary and unfair. A little compassion can go a long way. Allow for sadness, cancer can come along with some uncomfortable topics but it's important not to ignore or trivialize them. Being uncomfortable with their discomfort doesn’t mean they aren’t experiencing it. “I’m sorry you are going through this” can mean a lot. Avoid telling them they need to be strong, allow for honesty if they are feeling tired or sad. “Whatever happens I will be here for you” tells them that no matter what stage of the process of fighting cancer they go through you will be there with them along every step of the way. “I care about you” so simple yet can mean so much.
Ways to support:
- Acts of service
This can include making dinner once a week for the patient, babysitting, helping with chores around the house, helping with pet care, picking up prescriptions or giving rides to and from their appointments. A lot of simple acts can be extremely taxing on a patient’s energy, so even helping here and there as you can will be appreciated. Make sure you schedule with the patient in advance so you can work around their schedule, and if you do make plans always try to follow through with your promises. If cooking for them, ask for any dietary restrictions first as some side effects of the cancer fighting drugs can come with dietary restrictions, or their doctor may have them on a specific diet.
These can be practical, or sentimental. Comfort items such as robes, socks, and blankets. Books, audio books, CDs and DVDs can be great entertainment when their energy gets low. Gift cards for household stores and restaurants/meal services can be a godsend, as well as gift cards for house cleaning services. Hobby kits, puzzles, and games are also nice since some patients’ treatments can mean they are sitting at home for many days in a row.
In person visitations can be something they have to look forward to! Always call before and make sure they are okay with you visiting and be understanding if your friend can’t see you at that time. Start and end the visit with a hug (of course ask first), there is a common misconception that patients are too fragile to be touched and that isn’t true! Bring pictures, activities, talk about recent news or watch a favorite TV show with your friend. Try and schedule visits not just on weekends or holidays when others will be visiting, as time can start to seem the same for a patient that is housebound. Last, be understanding if their family asks you to leave. Sometimes the patient may be excited to have a visitor and will appear a lot more energized than they are, and it’s important to respect that they may not be able to visit for as long as a healthy person. Short, regular visits can be more beneficial for the patient than long, infrequent visits as regular visits give them something to look forward to.
We are also excited to announce that a portion of each purchase of the One Love One Heart collection will be donated to the Look Good Feel Better foundation. This is a nonprofit that offers free in-person and virtual makeup application, wig/headpiece placements, and skincare help for cancer patients as well as support all over the country to combat some of the physical side effects of cancer treatment. We love this foundation because here at Rolita Couture we are so passionate about helping girls find their inner light, whether it’s getting all glammed up to do shoots, or helping girls find their confidence through our clothing and support.