Meals, Money, Mobility, Mixed Media, Marcia Carole
Today, I have finished a third card for my set of “COMFORT” cards. I have been making these cards as a way of internalizing what might be most helpful in caring for a person with cancer or, really, any difficult illness or crisis.
The “M” in COMFORT stands for meals, money and mobility. When a person is seriously ill, they may need ongoing help with meals, either for themselves and or their family. They also may need financial help to tackle mounting medical bills, special diet costs and any equipment or resource needs which have arisen from the onset of the illness. (Even the caps and wigs cost money.) The person may also need help in getting to doctor’s appointments, the grocery store or pharmacy or just a ride out to the movies.
I’ve been told most men like to try to drive themselves to doctor’s appointments, even if they are very ill and on chemo. However, they are delighted with fresh, hot meals, once they can keep them down. When I was on chemo, I was happy for any rides to the doctor; I couldn’t even seem to remember how to get there from appointment to appointment. Now, I am driving again and my appointments are monthly, so this has become much less of a need.
From my experience, having a few friends bring meals that are helpful to my diet plan, is very comforting. A number of my friends know I drink carrot juice three times a day, so they always bring me carrot juice when they stop by. Gift cards to grocery stores are great. I’ve had friends bring me to the grocery store and pay. As I have become stronger, it is no longer necessary for me to have rides, but a home cooked meal is still a blessing as I focus on diet, exercise, art making and rest. (PS If you say you will bring a meal, to the best of your ability, do it. False promises are especially hard to receive during this time.)
Giving cash, paying a utility, rent or medical bill, giving a gift card for a gas station or grocery store, are all helpful ways of serving financially and caring for a seriously ill person. One month, someone, anonymously, paid my phone bill; it was one less thing for me to be concerned about when I was thinking about how long I might have to live.
He set him on his own animal, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, and gave them to the host, and said to him, ‘Take care of him. Whatever you spend beyond that, I will repay you when I return.’ From the Parable of the Good Samaitan, Luke 10:25-37.