23 answers

Have a Friend Who Needs Some Encouraging Words.....

Hello Ladies,
I have a friend,my husband's co-worker,who recently had a brain surgery for a tumor.She had surgery the week of Thanksgiving & the doctors have added chemo to her treatment. This morning, apparently there was more hair in the brush than on her head so she shaved it!
I was just looking to forward her a few good solutions. Helpful hints from someone that has gone thru it before.Encouraging words..... My husband asked if I would do this for her, or find an appropiate card, or gift....But I just don't think even "Hallmark" covers loosing your hair. What can I do for her, or say. I know I can't really make it better, but....we both(my husband & I) want to help in some way.
She has two daughters & is a single mom (even thouh she does have close family) I wondered if we could do something with them to help mom....any suggestions?
I always know where to go now for advice, the mamasource mom's have been so helpful in the past...Please give me a helping hand in helping a friend....
Thanks in advance.....L.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

She probably not going to feel too good over the holidays. Maybe you could offer to bring dinner over for her family on xmas eve. I am assuming with close family, her xmas dinner will be covered. You could also offer to go do some xmas shopping for her if she still has things she needs to buy.

1 mom found this helpful

One of my favorite gift ideas for baby showers, and it applies here too, is a gift card to www.Safeway.com. One less stop to make, and her groceries can be delivered right to her door. You can offer to be available to receive and put away the order(s) when it(they) come, so all she has to do it pick what she wants and Safeway will do the rest. You may want to drive her children to various places, or offer to arrange drivers, (other moms with children in the same activities). If her children need help with homework, offer to be available by phone or in person, if/when she just can't wrap her brain around 'new math'. I believe the gift of friendship and time will be the most meaningful and welcome.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Ideas to help out a single mom fighting an illness:
~frozen meals
~invite her and her kids to dinner at your house, low-key, comfortable. Dinner and maybe a board game...
~buy a house-cleaning session or two with a local service
~get her a "can't put it down" book for her to read when she feels up to doing a little something and is sick of TV
~order her a subscription to Netflix for 6 months
~ buy her a journal with inspirational quotes
~call her a couple times a week and ask if she is up to coffee/tea and don't talk about the sickness unless she wants to. Sit in the sun if possible.
~ Ginger tea helps with an upset stomach. Buy her some or make it fresh from ginger when you visit
~ Take her out for a pedicure and massage.
~Hug her
~ Ask if she wants to get 2/3 other women together for a book club (choose inspirational books) once a month.
~ Pray for her
~ Tell her you know it might feel weird, but you are happy to come help with laundry, homework, mopping.
~Offer to help her sort through the nightmare of paperwork that comes with this type of illness and insurance
~Offer to go with her to the chemo, bring trashy girl magazines and take the quizzes together while you are waiting

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


My sister is going through chemo now for leukemia. Check out this webpage... I ordered my sister a hat and had it sent to Stanford and she was so grateful. You might want to order her a nice hat and give it to her with a card. I found with my sister than laughter is wonderful so weekly I send her a card or two just to keep her laughing.

Also, I would say just be there for her to talk... that should be a big help.

I wish your friend the best.

1 mom found this helpful

A tie dyed bandana. I make & sell them, actually.
My girlfriend is on her third round-I am so sorry for your husband's co-worker, and no husband support to boot.
Also, it is sometimes difficult to EAT on chemo, so yogurt, pudding mixes (the good ole fashioned kind you make with MILK ON THE STOVE, and boxes of jello, too.
And prayer, lotsa prayer.
And HUMOR, she needs to laugh.
My sister is living with a brain tumor, she had surg, radiation and chemo-our living miracle. She knows mucho about tumors of the brain.
she runs a support group online. If I can be of any more help, just let me know. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

Why not pick up dinner one night a week? Single mom with nausea and fatigue could really use it.

1 mom found this helpful

You dont say how old her girls are but perhaps you could set up a day with them to cook up a bunch of their favorite recipes and freeze them in single-meal portions for their family, with recipe labeled on top of the ziploc bag (so they can see when it's stacked in the freezer) and cooking directions on the bag. If you do just 6 recipes 4 times each they'll have 24 meals in the freezer.

Don't avoid her, talk with her, laugh with her, cry with her. Each person is different, some need to laugh more, some need more shoulders to cry on, but everyone needs to be acknowledged and cared about. They don't say humor is the best medicine for nothing, just make sure it "fits" her (as she may still be mourning or angry)

Just a corny idea I just had. Maybe everyone could "donate" one lock from your heads (guys, girls, long, short, various colors!) and put them all together and say something how you all wanted to help so you all gave her a lock of your own hairs and look what we got you! (long, short, dark, light, all mixed together!)

1 mom found this helpful

HI L.-
That is a tough one. FIrst, really be proud of your friend and her true beauty. Shaving your head, especially for a woman where the culture is hair driven, is a really difficult thing. Make her a card that says Bald is Beautiful. Because it really is. Want to have some fun, do a girls make-over day with her and her daughters- and focus all your efforts on the eyes and lips. Forget the hair, your own included. Paint her nails, rub soothing oils into her skis (head, neck, etc). Just spend time with her and love on her. OUr outer appearance is so frail and ever changing, but the eyes, the windows to our soul, can change even the shabbiest person to gorgeous in no time. If she is really focused on her hair being gone, perhaps take her out and do some scarf or fun hat shopping. And encourage her with words and actions alike. Also, let her know that while you can't possible comprehend what she is going through, you are there for her. And tell her how beautiful she is and help her girls to tell her, too. True beauty is on the inside anyway! If she gets to where the jokes are ok, you can just say that at least now she has cut down her morning prep time and you are totally jealous that she no longer has to blow dry or worry about shampoo.... I think the overall message is to let her know that losing her hair does not change her beauty nor who she is. It's just like getting a make-over after so many years. It's a new look. And keep her heart as light as you can. That will encourage her to be strong as she goes through all of this.
Hope this helps

1 mom found this helpful

I have a friend who died of cancer not too long ago. when she lost her hair, she used to wear wigs. I was at her home one day and she walked downstairs without the wig or a scarf and was embarrassed. I wear my hair very short and told her how beautiful she was without her hair. Hair does not make the woman. I tried to convince her to wear her shaved head but, she wasn't having it. I even told her that I would shave my head bald in support. She laughed and refused. However, when her hair started growing back after that round of chemo, she did wear her very thin short boy cut and showed me with pride. One thing that I learned from her was that when she was ready to talk about her chemo or baldness or anything related to the cancer, then she talked. Other than that, I was just a normal friend dealing with her as I always did. I did not let the cancer rule our interactions. If you are friends, then maybe you could do a day out shopping for "hair accessories" that would help her feel more beautiful. It could be scarves, earrings, makeup, wigs, etc.

1 mom found this helpful

Hello L.

You are such a great human being for reaching out to her and may God Bless you for it.

I just recently had a hysterectomy and even though I am married I had no support whatsoever with husband, but that's another story. What I want to tell you is ways you can help your husband's co-worker.

Some friends/co-workers cooked meals for us and some even came to help with the household chores. It was so wonderful to know that there are people out there that really care and are willing to help.

My surgery was nowhere close to what she may be going thru, but I really appreciated the help and just the fact of knowing that people cared about me made me feel better.

Let her know you are there for her and her kids, she may be shy in asking, you may want to bring a dish to start up with and then offer, taxi services (this one was a big one for me, needed help transporting my kids), grocery shopping, or just plain old company with a good cup of tea/coffee.

God Bless and have a great holiday season.

1 mom found this helpful

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