For my instructable I will be doing a combination instructable on how cope and spread love. I want to be able to offer people a way to cope with cancer because it is a deadly disease and it is always better to stay positive and work through the problem at hand in a healthy way. Also, I want people to spread more love to others and a good way to do that is through gifts. There will be people who are alone and with no support system. The best thing to give a person comes from the little things.
This is a disclaimer: Learning how to cope isn’t something that will be done by everyone in the same way. People deal with life differently and I can only give suggestions on how I was able to cope with fact my father had cancer and how I dealt with it once my father passed away. There isn’t a right or wrong way to deal with losing someone that you love but hopefully this will help someone understand that treasuring the moments that your loved one has left and facing the situation is one good way to cope. Please remember that regardless how much it hurts finding the strength to stay positive is important.
I used to make my father care packages all the time after he was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and was always in the hospital. He would be so excited to see what I made for him. In the care packages I would include items that he liked such as fresh fruits, favored waters, new coffee mugs, hygiene products (since he took his hygiene extremely serious), and sometimes accessories like earphones so he could just listen to music. My father would really enjoy when I let his grandkids create the care packages for him when and it would contain pictures that they drew for him or get well cards that the kids made.
It was always nice to give care packages to my father but I always wanted to get one to some on the people I met during my fathers stay in the hospital. I would always meet people who were going through their disease all by themselves. They would never have anyone come visit while in the hospital and it was obvious that their support system was very limited. Cancer is a painful reality to cope with especially if you have to face it by yourself. So, the care package that I am making will be donated to a local hospital for a cancer patient who doesn’t have a strong support system.
A care package is a symbol of love. You never know when you won’t have a loved one around anymore so showering them with love especially when they are dealing with a life threatening disease is only a small gesture of the things that can be done to show them how much you love them.
The first way that my family learned how to cope was through prayer. My father was a preacher in his younger years and taught us to always keep our faith regardless what we go through. My family has always been really spiritual and we found that even at the darkest time in our life we decided to put our trust in God to help us through. It takes a special type of person to deal with a situation that they really don’t have any control over and just let it go but that is what we had to do to be able to cope with what was to come.
It is way hard seeing my father go through all the surgeries, weight loss, break downs, and pain but it was out of our hands. Through the seven long months that my family took to understand that this was all the time we had we kept of faith. With the faith that we had it didn’t hurt as much to see our love one pass. We knew that he was in a better place and that he wasn’t in pain anymore. That fact alone, knowing he was no longer hurting, comforted us.
The next step is really easy and shouldn’t be very costly. Once you have chosen to cope and keep your faith show your loved one how much you love them. The best gifts come from the heart so it shouldn’t cost too much money to please the person you are making the care basket for. For my care package I spent a little over ten dollars and that was to get everything I needed. So go to the store and pick out items that you know you loved one likes. As I said before, one of the items I chose to pick was fruits since my father wanted to start eating healthier due to is recent lung cancer diagnosis. I would always make sure he had his favorite fruits like strawberries and cantaloupe. I would cut up the strawberries and cantaloupe into small bite size pieces for him right before I was to deliver the care package to him. I would put the fruit in a small coffee type of cup that was included also as a gift.
My father loved coffee and I had never seen him go a day without at least two cups. He collected coffee cups that I would give him that either I decorated or bought that had meaningful quotes on it to read. For this care package I got him a cup that read “live in the moment”. Life is precious and you never know when it will be someone’s last day so you never want to take the moments you have left for granted. Cherish the times and live life to the fullest extent.
I also got would include favored waters as a gift because my father didn’t like plain water but loved flavored water. When he found out he had cancer and started doing chemotherapy he would mostly drink water and had little appetite to eat real food. I think the flavor of the water was a way to encouraged him to gain an appetite for the fruits that he loved. So on some days when he wouldn’t eat I would just bring him a case of favored water and fruit because after he started drinking the water he would ask for me to make him a fruit basket.
The third step would be to not waste time. Don’t get mad about the small things anymore especial if there isn’t a lot of time left. What will end up happening if you decide to be angry at the person (in my case) for not quitting smoking then you would regret it later. Time is not on your side once you hear that a person close to you has a disease like cancer so don’t focus on what they should have, would have, or could have done better to prevent it. I mean it has already happened so stop focusing on things that you can do nothing about.
At some point most people look for someone to blame when bad things happen but it is better to look passed that and just love. Love through all pain. You will waste more time searching for someone to be mad at. It is ok to be upset about the situation but coping is learning how to come to terms. Nothing last forever just be mindful that being upset and staying upset is not worth the time you have left to just make memories and reminisce on old memories.
The next step for the care package is to include sentimental items. For instants, I took a lot of picture of my family with my father when we found out he was sick. We are not a big family but we are extremely close and regardless my father always made it clear that we needed to stick together. I wanted to capture every happy moments because I wouldn’t be able to get those moments back. I always included pictures of my father and his grandkids. He loved his grandkids so much and wanted to be able to see them grow so the pictures were heartwarming for him to see.
Next step is to coping remember the good times. Think back on a time where you and your loved ones had just were able to enjoy yourself. Even if it was something as simple as a birthday party that you had where you all had a good time. Think of those happy moments. For example a moment that I will never forget is when I had my daughter and after I found out my father had cancer and he came to the hospital to meet my daughter and just for that moment I forgot about everything that was wrong. I took pictures of him holding her not sure if this would become the last time he was able to. My daughter was just a newborn and it was sad to think that she would never get a chance to know him. She would never understand how much he loved her and all she would ever have is memories of him.
Next step for the basket is to arrange your item nice and neat. The basket should be a good size so all items will be able to fit inside without looking cluttered. The main thing to do when you have big items is to get a bigger basket. I got my basket for my care package from my local Dollar Tree for just a dollar. You can decorate the basket as you please but I never do for the simple fact that I am not very crafty. I would recommend using ribbons and it would be a nice idea to use craft paper to cut out shapes of cancer ribbons so they can be placed around the sides of the basket that you are using. Another nice idea if you are making a basket for a loved one is to cut out picture of family member and place them around the basket. I would suggest using a glue stick instead of regular glue when placing the item so that it doesn’t get really messy.
Another step that is important to do when coping is spending as much time with your loved one as possible. When I found out that my father had cancer I was always by his side. I went to doctor appointments with him just to be supportive. We would even just stay home and watch basketball even though I wasn’t a big basketball fan. It didn’t matter I wanted to just be with him while I could. I knew that there would be days ahead that I wouldn’t be able to be there and I knew he needed family at this time in his life.
Also you need to be supportive of your love ones or anyone that has to deal with this type of disease. This is stressful to know that you are slowly dying and having people around that love you and support you makes all the differences. It give them a reason to live knowing that they are living for someone that they love. It is so easy to give up on life when you know that your time is limited but that’s why support is extremely important for the person who is fighting the deadly disease.
When giving that care package to the person you made it for it is always go to surprise them with it. I love surprises and it is so meaningful when the person doesn’t know that they are receiving a gift. I would always surprise my father with his care packages. His face would light up as soon as I was walked in the room with it.
The last next is to love. Love everyone even if you don’t know them. Love is a form of healing and as I been saying throughout this instructable it is good to spread love unto people. At this point of someone’s life they are going to need love to fight. Fighting cancer is an ongoing battle that people unfortunately lose more often than win. Fighting with love is the only way that you can win even if you are still losing.