5 Reasons Why I Accepted Help During Cancer

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After being diagnosed with mesothelioma and undergoing a long surgery, I wanted to do it all, but I just couldn’t. Family and friends stepped in to help.

cartoon image of blogger and mesothelioma survivor, Tamron Little

I’ve been there plenty of times when I felt as if I didn’t want to ask anyone for help.

When I was first diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma 16 years ago, I felt as if I needed all the help I could get. I was a new mom, new wife and knew nothing about the things that were ahead. I’m not going to lie — there were times where I thought I could do a certain thing on my own. But it turned out I couldn’t, which made me and my husband frustrated.

I remember after I came home from the hospital after having a 10-and-a-half-hour surgery and a week hospital stay, I couldn’t do my “normal” routine. I needed help bathing, sometimes walking, getting in and out of bed, etc. Things that may seem so little to others was hard for me. To top that off, I couldn’t care for my five-month-old like I wanted to.

I truly thank God for my husband because he stepped up to the plate tremendously. He was my caretaker, as well as being super dad/mom to our son. My husband would change the diapers, bath, feed, get up in the middle of the night —­­­ you name it, he did it.

I would have been a fool to not allow my husband or family to help me during the time I needed them the most.

Help can come in many different forms and avenues. To accept help it’s important to be open minded and remember that the person who is helping you are assisting you with something you can’t do or may have a hard time doing. Also, your family member or friend who may he helping you to make things easier for you as well.

Here are five reasons why I decided to accept help during my cancer journey:

  1. You were not made to do this alone. People are in your life for a reason and those who care enough about you to lend a helping hand when you need it genuinely love you.
  2. It can be vital to your healing process. Accepting help should release some stress off of you. We all know that stress can lead to some unwanted symptoms.
  3. It may decrease stress. When you have one less thing to worry about it decreases your stress level. Knowing that something is already taken care of reduces your stress level. In my experience, it reduced my stress levels a lot and eased my mind. Just the mere fact of knowing I didn’t have to worry about it mattered so much.
  4. It strengthens your relationship with your caregiver or family member. In my experience, receiving help caused me to be humbler. I learned to respect the ones who helped me more and saw a side of them I hadn’t seen before.
  5. It creates gratitude. You never know what something is like until you have experienced it. I thanked those around me all the time. I know that I may be a little high maintenance at times, so it takes a special person and a whole lot of love to help me out. I’m truly grateful for my husband, family and friends who lent a helping hand while I was dealing with cancer.

Help can be someone praying with you, sending you meals for the week, assisting you with your day-to-day task, running errands, babysitting or even just keeping you company and talking to you.

Maybe you’re reading this and you’re thinking, “I don’t need any help I get this on my own!” Put your pride to the side and accept help during this journey. You don’t want the day or time to come when you would have wished you could have accepted help from someone.

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