Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Coordinating help for a loved one

I've sung praises of our network of friends many, many times in this blog. They were our lifeline during my treatment last year.

However, one of the huge challenges we faced was keeping everyone organized. Did I need to book a volunteer driver for chemo, or did someone offer to drive me? Had someone already said they would pick Malcolm up at daycare? And who was making dinner?

Remembering it all, even in the iPhones age was tough, particularly once chemo brain set in.

Eventually, George took on the vast majority of the organizing, along with being my caregiver. Frankly, it's too much work for one person to be expected to do. He did it without complaint, but it worried me that he felt he had to shoulder so much.


Today, I received a message from a friend, who knows a woman who is just beginning the whole cancer treatment gong show. She thought I might be able to offer her support. She sent me a link to her friend's story on CaringBridge.

I clicked, and holy crap, do I ever wish I'd known about CaringBridge last spring!

You can set up a site, where you can connect with family and friends, keep them updated on your health (it's open to people with medical issues of all sorts). It's all in a protected space, with privacy settings, no ads.

Clearly, I don't have issues sharing information in a public format. But here's what really interested me: they also have a calendar you can set up (or a loved one can on your behalf).

Fill in what's needed and when, and your friends and family can pick the tasks they're able to take on - cooking, getting you around, providing childcare, feeding the cat, etc.

How did I not hear about this until now?

What you can do

So, if you know someone who needs this sort of support, tell them about CaringBridge, or better yet, set up a site and calendar for them.

And if you're feeling philanthropic, head to the CaringBridge donations page.

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