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Calling All Good Samaritans...


9-10-06

So many people have asked what they can do to help. We are at a loss what to tell them when they ask, since directly appealing to others for any real help goes against the natural grain of independence. It's not easy to realize that Jaymun's diagnosis has now required us to rely on other people from time to time. It's a hard blow to our pride, in some ways. Our daily lives aren't the same anymore and we've had to adjust just about everything to accommodate our new way of dealing with family issues.

For starters, I was always a stay at home mom. It's been that way since we had our first child, Benjamin. My days have always been wrapped up in taking care of our children full time. And now my world as I know it has pretty much been taken away from me. I can't be home to supervise anything, to take care of the hundreds of details, to oversee anything that is directly related to our children. I can't make their meals, do their laundry, help them with homework, read them bedtime stories or hug and kiss them throughout the day. It hurts tremendously to have that world removed from my daily life. The hospital has become my new residence.

Dave's world has changed dramatically too. He was the provider for our family (still is) and he's used to throwing himself wholeheartedly into running his company. Now he needs to be home most of the time to take care of our children. When he's not at home, he's at the office trying to manage the bits of his business here and there that he can - but it's not the same, not even close.

As for the entire family, we're trying to get through all of this the best we can. I'd be lying if I said it was easy - this is by far the worst thing that has ever happened to us. It's a real bombshell and we're still trying to figure out the best way to handle the million things that crop up constantly. People have been sympathetic and kind. They offer to help in whatever way they can and we appreciate their gestures. There have been some generous people who volunteer to make meals sometimes or watch our children on occasion. People have sent cards letting us know they are thinking of us - even that gesture is uplifting when you're going through a tough time like this. I'm not sure why some people come through in tough times and others don't. I'm grateful for those that do - grateful that they look past their own awkwardness and just do what they can to make our day a little easier.

I do have one way that everyone can help: check out the Team in Training link. One of Dave's clients is running a marathon on behalf of the Leukemia Society-and they're doing it in honor of Jaymun. I think that's such a lovely gesture, such an inspiring thing to do, especially when I've never even met these people. You'll be helping a great cause and it'll make you feel good too. This is really too important to just sit back and do nothing. One day leukemia might affect someone in your family and you'll be glad you helped support this research in the past. Sorry, but I don't have time to be ultra polite and beat around the bush. Kids are struggling with this disease right now and it's a shame to ignore that fact.

The biggest expense we have right now besides the obvious huge hospital bills (thank God for insurance, says Dave!) is Dave's gas driving back and forth to the hospital. If you want to help, that's one very important way - we've had some really nice people already give money for that expense and I'm grateful. But it's going to be a long-term expense and so gas cards or cash for gas is always welcome. Also, meals are wonderful. Dave doesn't usually have time to spend on making evening meals at the end of the day and I'm obviously no help in that area, so food is definitely another way to help. If you want to help in this way, please contact our church and they can give you the number of my friend Melodee who is coordinating the meals for us. (I don't want to list her number here on the Internet.) Sending cards is another thoughtful thing to do. Check the contact link on the top of this site for our mailing address.

I read every one of your cards and thank you for your thoughtfulness!

The best thing I can say is, when someone is going through something like this, they probably aren't going to reach out for help - they're too busy trying to cope. People who are in the middle of serious circumstances barely have enough strength to stand upright some days - they are consumed with just trying to understand how to deal with the shock. They (and I really mean we) are busy processing some intense feelings of raw pain. Don't wait for them to come up with a list of helpful suggestions - it probably won't happen. If there's some way you can make their day easier, than just jump in and do it as long as it doesn't intrude on them. Lastly, it really is okay if you don't know what to say to us-we understand that words fail sometimes. And honestly, a simple hug does wonders!

This is pretty lengthy so I'm going to stop. Just keep praying for us. Everyday is a new challenge and we appreciate all your thoughts and prayers.

-Jennifer

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