Laurianne's Hope

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Special People

I told you the other day about a book called Mom's Cancer. I also told you about an article in the U.S. News and World Report. I would like to talk to you today about two very special people I have "met" related to these two things.

The first person I "met" was through the Mom's Cancer blog. Her name is Lynne and she made a comment that she has been following Laurianne's Story and also has non-smoking related lung cancer. Laurianne is one of the youngest she has heard of with non-smoking related lung cancer. Lynne sells artwork that is really beautiful, so I want to put a plug in for that. If you want see some really beautiful work, you should look at her New Leaf store (You can also visit her New Leaf blog to view her work.) Lynne and I have been emailing each other, and I encourage you to visit her blog and find out more about the struggles she is going through and give her an encouraging word.

The second person I have emailed recently, based on the U.S. News and World Report article is Lori Hope. Lori was interviewed for that article. I told her I was happy she gave that interview because people automatically assumed that my sister was a smoker. My sister was not a smoker. She may have tried smoking in her teens, but I am sure there are a lot of non-smokers who can say that. Lori is also a lung cancer survivor and the author of Help Me Live: 20 Things People With Cancer Want You to Know. If you go to her website, you can read some of the things she suggests for people who have friends or family with lung cancer. They include:
  • "It's okay to say or do the 'wrong' thing."
  • "I like to hear success stories, not horror stories."
  • "I need you to listen to me and let me cry."
  • "Asking my permission can spare me pain."
  • "I need to forget and laugh."
  • "I need to feel hope."
  • "Telling me to think positively can make me feel worse."
Lori also has The Compassionate Communication Campaign's Acronyms for Healing:
L isten without judging, interrupting, or feeling like you have to say something.
A sk permission to give advice, to visit, to tell others of your friend's problems.
U nderstand that your friend is especially sensitive because of her or his trauma.
G ive it time if your friend doesn't feel like talking or visiting now.
H umor helps almost everyone cope. Funny movies and books can help.

L et go of the myth that everyone dies of cancer; keep hope alive!
E mpathize by trying to remember a time when you were terrified.
A nalyze your audience to determine what your friend needs and enjoys.
R un interference; keep toxic friends away from the person who's suffering.
N o horror stories ever! They kill hope; people want to hear success stories.

L ove her and show it by considering her needs rather than your own.
O ffer specific help such as picking up groceries or his kids, or doing laundry.
V alidate him by telling him that his feelings, even negative ones, are normal.
E xercise caution by letting her bring up the subject of her health; she may want to forget.
I think this book would be helpful to a lot of people. Sometimes, a person just doesn't know what to say or do when they find out a friend or relative has cancer. So they do the worst thing -- ignore them. Even if you don't ignore them, you might still be able to benefit from this book. From what I have read on Lori's website, it sounds like it is full of good advice from the cancer survivor's viewpoint.

Even though my sister isn't here anymore, I plan to read her book as well as Mom's Cancer. I will give you an update on them after I have read them. I know Mom's Cancer doesn't relate to my sister's situation, but as is becoming my mantra, no one deserves lung cancer.

Lung Cancer AwarenessPosted by Lynda (Laurianne's Sister) :: 11:57 AM :: 3 people are more aware