Manner Monday®: The Cancer Conversation – Actions that help a cancer patient on their journey

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by Carey Sue Vega in Etiquette, Manner Monday, Manners

Thanks for joining us for Part Three of our three tart “Cancer Conversation” series.  With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month; I’ve asked Janet McLain, Co-founder and Guide of Cancierge to share some helpful tips with us about getting The Cancer Conversation started. During the series, Janet is going to share tips on ‘what to say’, ‘advice to those with a loved one or friend touched by cancer’, and ‘actions that help a cancer patient on their journey’.  To learn more about Janet and Dr. Laura Miles, please visit

Here’s Janet with her advice to those with a loved one or friend touched by cancer

You walk into a doctor’s office, hear the dreaded word “cancer,” watch as the knowledgeable doctor and the caring nurses talk about your survival plan, and return home with a dictionary sized volume of information that you are supposed to mull over to answer the questions that your wilted brain might conjure. They might as well have told you that you had to climb Mount Everest without training or a Sherpa. Overwhelmed would be an understatement. This is the moment that actions speak louder than words.

A well-meaning friend says, “Just let me know what you need.” WOW…you have NO idea what you need. Your mind is swimming with so many details that it is truly impossible to know what you need. As their friend or loved one, you need to take the lead.

Here are some suggestions that were truly helpful during my recovery.

  • Be their communications liaison. Set up a caring bridge account, a private Facebook page, or a simple e-mail chain to inform the many people who are concerned about their cancer “walk about”. Sidebar…personally I am so tired of the word journey!
  • Set up a meal train. Make sure to ask for preferences. Set an ice chest outside the front door for the meals to be placed so the survivor is not disturbed if resting.
  • Purchase a meaningful gift. Scarves, gift certificate for a wig, sleep hats, funny books and cards are loving items that will be appreciated.
  • Invite your friend to do normal activities. A manicure, massage, or trips to the movie theatre are outings that are welcome to break up the monotony.

The cancer patient wants to feel and be treated as normally as possible. Just be yourself and remember to include a lot of laughs!

Wow – thanks again Janet;  this series has been amazing! I truly appreciate you sharing your gift with us and helping us to find the words and actions to help those we love navigate the process.

Do you know someone who would benefit from this post?  If so, please share it with them and encourage them to sign up to receive Manner Monday?  I would appreciate it!  And if you’re new to Manner Monday, I’d love for you to take a minute to learn more about why I started it. You can click here to read my very first post that tells all about it.

Do you have a ‘manner’ or question you would like to see covered in a post?  Feel free to send me your thoughts, I would love to hear from you.

Click to Tweet: Do you have a friend with cancer? Don’t ask what they need, take the lead & make something happen. #MannerMonday

As always;  Thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue



Do you know of a high schooler who would benefit from improved social skills, confidence (the right kind of confidence) and better manners?  We have a few options for them:

The Interview Intensive begins later in October and is for students who are in 10-12th grades.  We work on Business Etiquette skills, building resumes, and preparing students for the stressful interview process that is fast approaching.  Whether it be for a scholarship, college, or a job; we help to prepare the students so that when they’re placed in a high-stakes interview, they will have real life experience to draw from, feeling more confident during the process.  Link for more info:

As an adult, if you would like to help us during the mock interviews, please let me know, we would love to have you serve as a roll model for these students.  Your services would be needed on Thursday, November 19, from 6:30-8:30pm.  You will get to meet some amazing young people that will give you encouragement for our future!

Passport Program: 
I am still working on the schedule for the Passport Program.  As soon as I get the theater outing secured, that will allow me to plan the rest of the schedule.  In the meantime, if you know your teen will be participating, early registration is available with a $50 savings off tuition:

Word of Mouth is the best compliment you can give us.  Do you know of some who may be interested in our programs, please share our information with them.  Here is the best link to share with them, it covers everything in a nutshell:

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