For Newly Diagnosed Cancer Moms

I’ve been asked a lot over the last 16 months for advice on what is helpful when someone’s child has been diagnosed with cancer. I’ve some up with a list of things that were helpful and just good to know for us in the beginning. These may not work for everyone but, I do know that just knowing something…ANYTHING in the beginning is helpful.
img_78311. Books-honestly I didn’t have the time or brain energy to sit and read a book…This is odd for me because I am a total bookworm but, my brain just couldn’t. I did do a little 5 minute devotional book my friend got me but any reading I did was kind of mindless reading like the Hunger Games or a fiction mystery. I think a short daily devotional like Gracelaced would be perfect. People brought us a ton of magazines and I never opened any of them. I did do the adult coloring books a lot. Stuff that doesn’t require a lot of brain power was good for me.

2. Amazon gift cards are good. Parents can get anything she needs delivered to the hospital or at home without having to go out in public. Cafeteria or gift shop gift cards are amazing. There’s also a Kroger, CVS, and Starbucks right up the road from Children’s in Dallas so those gift cards are great….if it’s a different hospital…find out what’s close and go from there.

3. Again, Children’s specific but…get a $20 weekly parking card. WAY cheaper than paying daily and you can share the card with visitors and family.

4. Emergent C is your new best friend.

5. For chemo diaper and skin rash, Phytoplex Z Guard diaper cream-it has an orange lid on Amazon…also Aquafor for mouth sores and dry/chapped skin.

6. Get a Vogmask online. They’re cloth and have a vent in them so their faces don’t sweat. You can clean them easily and they come in a small size with a strap to keep it on. We ordered two so we could always have a clean one.
img_03367. Stuffed animals are a no no because SO many hand touch them. So tell anyone wanting to visit or send things that blankets and stuffed animals just aren’t a good idea. Thanks but no thanks.

8. Get an extension cord because the outlets are in weird spots and get Glade plug ins for the hospital room to make it smell less like a hospital

9. The air on the oncology floor is double Hepa-filtered so Chapstick and lotion are your friend.

10. Pjs that either button up or zip up the front are great for chest port access.

11. Ask for a social worker ASAP and get set up with financial aid, any and all grants/scholarships/ aid you can apply for, and if needed he social worker can set up a room at Ronald McDonald House.

12. Get notebook to write everything down in. A binder is good too (BE BRAVE BINDER SHOUTOUT). I asked for an info sheet on every drug she got and I got a copy of her blood work numbers everyday. I also wrote important stuff on a calendar so I knew when she got her last dose of each chemo, X-rays, etc

13. If/when you go home-pack an ER bag and just keep it in the car with anything you need for a night in the ER/an unexpected admittance from the ER.

14. If/when the child starts to get restless legs, pain, or can’t sleep-ask for massage therapy!!

15. Quarters are good too because there’s vending machines and the detergent in the laundry room is 25 cents.

16. Accept help. And to think of practical things people can do to help-mow the yard, feed the dog, clean the house, bring dinner, give gift cards, etc.
I’m sure there’s a ton more but, these things were invaluable for me to know in the beginning.

‘What’s speaking to me’ Wednesday 

So technically, it’s Thursday but, I started writing this when it was still Wednesday so I’m going with it. One of the reasons I wanted to start the blog was inspired by the idea that I could take a list of things that have struck a chord in my heart throughout the week and share them on Wednesdays. It doesn’t necessarily pertain to Sophie but, part of the mission of this site is to share what the Lord is doing in me in the midst of Cancer so Here goes…

  1. Christy Nockels 
  • I have recently become OBSESSED with all things Christy Nockels. I heard her sing and speak at a women’s event a few weeks ago and I just fell in love with how absolutely precious she is! She has a heart for sharing Jesus through every aspect of her life and its infectious! I’m just enamoured. 
  • Christy has a podcast that is just….real. It’s called The Glorious in the Mundane and I have found so many little nuggets of truth in her posts! She shares real stories that have happened to her and how she’s applied the Gospel to them. I’ve found myself going back to Season One (it’s currently on season two) and I’ve been listening from the beginning. In Season One, Christy spends time with ‘famous’ believers like Ann Voscamp, Bob Goff, Matt Redman, and my personal favorite, Beth Moore. Today I was listening to the episode with Beth Moore and she said something that just stuck in my head. She said ‘Don’t just do what you think you’re good at.’ She was talking about the talents that God has placed inside of each of us and how we will give an account for how we used everything He gave us one day when we are called home. I think the point there is that we won’t know what we’ve been gifted with or how God will use us if we don’t put ourselves out there even when it makes us uncomfortable. In 1Peter 4:10, we are called to serve others with the gifts the Lord has blessed us with. Don’t know what your talent is? Ask God to reveal it to you! Just ONE example of how this incredible podcast has made me think.
  • Christy also has a new CD out-I said I was obsessed. I’m obviously in a very trying season with my daughter’s cancer fight. I find myself crying over any and every sweet moment that I experience. Let’s just say I sob during this entire CD. Be Held: Lullabies for the Beloved is one of the sweetest and most inspired compilations of songs. Christy very obviously put her heart and souls into this album. She even recorded an entire track of her speaking powerful scripture out loud, then she had it woven into every song on the CD to sound like a violin in the background. So when you listen to these songs, you’re literally having scripture spoken over you. I just find that incredibly powerful. I’ve been playing the entire CD on shuffle at night in the hospital over Sophie’s bed. There’s one song entitles ‘Head to Toe (The Armor of God Song’ -real,life ugly cry sobs happen when I play this song for my daughter. The lullabies aren’t just for your children either. It’s so important that we, especially women, take time to listen to the truths of who God says we are. We are beloved, valued, worthy, pure, loved, important…we are literally worth sacrificing Jesus for. 

2. Priscilla Shirer 

  • I have A LOT of downtime on my hands right now and I spend A LOT of time in my car driving to and from Dallas twice a week. I’ve been on a podcast kick lately and in addition to my Christy Nockels obsession, I also looooove me some Priscilla Shirer. If you don’t know who that is, ‘you gonna learn today!’ She is the daughter of the Dallas Cowboys chaplain and Pastor of the massive Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Tony Evans. She was in the movie War Room and has authored some incredible books and Bible Studies! 
  • Priscilla’s podcast is called Going Beyond and it’s actually only 7 episodes entitled Resolutions for Women and it’s from 2014. However, it’s still relevant 3 years later and so so good! Friday, on my way home from Dallas, I listened to one titled Surprisingly Satisfied and it spoke directly to my heart. In fact, it spoke to me so much-I’m working on a post specifically about it. Stay tuned for that. To just give you a preview of what inspired me- in the episode she talks about how we shouldn’t be so focused on being so ready for seasons of our lives to end,  even the hard ones, because we will most definitely miss the blessings and the lessons God has for us in this specific time. So good y’all, SO GOOD. Stay tuned for my take on that in more detail soon. 

3. Ann Voscamp on Facebook 

  • Listen. This wasn’t supposed to be just a list of women that I admire but, I guess it’s turning into that because each of them has posted or shared something this week that has touched my heart. Ann Voscamp posts something on her Facebook Page literally everyday that hits me right between the eyeballs. Today was no different. It doesn’t even need an explanation….I’ll just share the graphic she posted…. 


If you aren’t following Ann on Facebook-you are missing out on a great opportunity to have some light shined on your day. It’s not always warm and fuzzy feel good light. Some days it’s hatch revealing light that shines one a dark place in your heart and brings it out into the open. I would LOVE to be able to write like that. 

4. Last but not least….Beyoncé 

  • Ok so Beyoncé didn’t technically do anything that spoke to me this week. I mean don’t get me wrong, she’s fabulous but, we lead very different lives. It was a saying I saw this week that caught my attention: You have as many hours in the day as Beyoncé! 
  •  Let’s be honest- Beyoncé can afford waaaay more hours in her day than I can but, the idea behind this is what caught my eye and started my wheels turning. 
  • Think about the women that influence you or have influenced you in the past. I have a great list started above of women that have influenced me just in the last few days! Beth Moore, Ann Voscamp, Christy Nockels, Priscilla Shirer…I could add more obviously but, the point is there are hundreds-if not thousands of influential women all around us. We don’t have to look on E! or the cover of a magazine to find them. There are great women in our churches and in our families, in your office, or sitting next to you at soccer practice. The GREAT thing about every single one of those women….we all have 24 hours in a day. What we do with these hours is 100% up to us. The enemy seeks to make us think that we are too busy to be influential. We are too tired to make a difference. He wants us to feel that way…and we let him win all the time. 
  • That’s where Jesus came in and still comes in for us every single day. Exodus 14:14 tells us that The Lord will fight for [us]; [we] need only to be still. You don’t have to be a blogger, author, renowned public speaker, or ordained theologian to be influential. You don’t have to have an hour of complete silence in your kitchen for quiet time. You don’t have to add to your ever growing to do list. You just have to be still for a moment. Do you drive to work? Pray or listen to a podcast. Do you shower? Pray-spend time with Jesus. Do you spend hours scrolling your Facebook? Put it down for a few of those minutes and start reading a Psalm a day. Those little moments start to build big things in your heart and eventually it just fits into your already all consuming schedule. You don’t have to be Beyoncé, you just have to be willing to spend a few minutes a day talking to the One that thinks you are worth more than gold. That hole that tells you you’re too tired and too busy can’t be filled with anything but Him. Let Him into that place and watch what starts happening to your busy and tired days. 

This turned into a post about super awesome women and I’m so glad it did! These women have ministered to me this week and I don’t know any of them in ‘real life’. Technology has its faults but, bringing believers together in many many ways is one really great perk! I hope you found some encouragement here today and I TRULY hope you’ll follow some of the links I posted and let these amazing women speak truth and life into your life too. Make time for yourself- you’re important, you’re valuable, and you’re worth every second. 

Have a great week!