I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Some Ways To Be Supportive To Those Who Are Battling Cancer and Other Illnesses

My friend was just diagnosed with cancer. I am going through the stages that a person who knows someone going through this might go through. I am just leaving the initial shock and anger stage, and I'm beginning the feeling helpless stage. I am trying to think of ways I could be helpful to this person, particularly, and to people in general who are either battling a serious illness, or to those who love someone who is battling an illness. I don't have the power to make her illness, her fear, go away. But maybe I can help her to feel that she is not alone, or help keep her spirits up somehow. While I search, I'll share with you all. I'll add as I find stuff, but here's what I've got so far:

Angels For Hope - An online organization that, through the volunteer efforts all people over the United States, sends crocheted angels, butterflies and smiley faces to those who need hope. I participated in this program for a while, crocheting and mailing angels. Anyone can request that a crocheted item be sent to someone, anyone can volunteer to crochet items, money or items can be donated to AFH, etc. Everything is free of charge. The volunteers use their own yarn, postage and mailing supplies.

Head Huggers - An organization I discovered when doing a search for chemo cap patterns. This organization makes and distributes hats to those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy, brain surgery, burn wounds, etc. There is a terrific page that lists patterns for hats that are crocheted, knitted, or sewn. You'll find that here.

My Chemotherapy Wig - I found this website while doing a search on what would make an appropriate gift for a person with cancer. This will link to a page specifically on appropriate gifts, but there may be more helpful information there as well. I have not read further at this point.

My Life Line - What a cool website! This allows people with cancer to set up a web page where they can update family and friends as they go through cancer treatment. As the person's page is updated, each person on their email list is contacted. Friends and family can leave messages and pictures for the person, too. There is a ton of information about different types of cancer, and some inspiration and humor in there, too. Very cool.

The Human Tribe Project - This is a website designed mostly for raising money for those undergoing some kind of crisis (mostly health) in their lives. The person in need, or a friend or family member, can set up a "tribe." People can then request to join the tribe (no charge.) Members can donate money to the person, or can purchase "team tags" (like dog tags) that have the name of the project and the initial of the recipient on them. Most of the money for the tags goes directly to the recipient, some goes to the website. Members can leave messages and blog posts as well. Money collected will be sent monthly to the recipient, and helps to offset the cost of treatment or whatever the recipient needs.

Of course there are loads of ways to donate money to raise money for research. My neighbors, Kiki and Brad, for example, are very active fundraisers for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They help organize events such as this one:

ATTENTION ALL OF YOU WITH KIDS—bring the entire family out to see this talented and energetic young bunch perform a blend of popular tunes for audiences of all ages. Pizza, soda, popcorn, snow cones, prizes and more! All proceeds to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. $2 admission at the door.

Saturday, April 24th

Goff Middle School Cafeteria
35 Gilligan Road | East Greenbush2:00p.m. – 5:00pm

Read about Brad's fundraising efforts here: Brad Wagner

I plan to look for emotional support resources, and will post some links as I find them. Any suggestions are appreciated.

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