5 things you can do to kick cancer’s ass

Cancer sucks. Obviously.

News flash: I’m not a scientist. The odds of me ever finding the cure for cancer are zero to none. But that doesn’t mean I’m helpless in the fight against cancer. Since I’ve spent a LOT of time thinking about this, I’m going to share my favorite ways to flip cancer the bird.

Heat packs

Cancer is a cold place to be. On top of your body being a literal battlefield of life-saving (knock wood) treatments versus self-sabotaging cells, the treatment involves pumping liquid into your veins. That liquid is cold.

Infusion centers do what they can to combat this. For example, they keep the ambient temperature a degree or two higher (that’s fun during a hot flash). They have a seemingly endless supply of heated blankets for patients to use. And there are usually one or two baskets of knitted hats that have been lovingly made and donated.

Hint: If you know how to knit a hat, you should totally donate one.

In my experience, though, the thing that patients respond most positively to are those wonderful rice filled heat packs. They are easy and inexpensive to make and have such immediate positive impact.

Feeling inspired? Here’s a super-simple tutorial to get y’all started! Go forth and warm up cancer patients in your corner of the world.

Money

The simple thing with any issue is to donate money and, frankly, ain’t nothing wrong with that approach. If that’s your thing, donate lots and donate often. In fact, here’s my research project of choice: https://www.metavivor.org/research/ Click the link. Give them money.

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Chores

Picture your house and the never ending mountain of chores. Dishes to be done. Lawn to be mowed. Laundry to wash. Dog to walk. Cat litter to change. Dinner to be made… and the list goes on.

Now picture your house and the never ending mountain of chores. With cancer. There are no magical chore fairies who show up along with a cancer diagnosis and the first round of chemo. That shit doesn’t do itself.

That’s where you come in. You can mow a lawn. You can do dishes. You can… You can.

Finding a coordinated place to volunteer can be a challenge. Do some research. Talk to the benefits coordinator at the nearest infusion center. Ask Dr. Google. Don’t give up until you find the thing you can do for the people who need it.

Here are some links to get y’all started:

Give a patient a ride: https://www.thisislivingwithcancer.com/content/need-ride-find-ways-may-help-you-get-your-doctors-appointments

Clean a room: https://cleaningforareason.org/

Mow a lawn: https://weareraisingmen.com/mowingforacure/

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Plasma

Plasma. That’s the real shit. All those awesome innovative new treatments that you hear about. That shit requires human plasma. Here’s the cool thing: unlike whole blood, you can donate plasma twice a week. For real. And you should because it takes a TON (literally) of plasma to create one treatment.

Here are some things to know:

  • The first time is a pain in the ass. Not literal pain. There’s just a lot of steps. Keep in mind that just about every regulatory government agency has some input on how plasma is collected, handled, and stored. No joke, folks. There are local regulations. There are state regulations. There are federal regulations. And, to make it even more fun, they change for location to location, state to state, country to country. In other words, the donation I make here in Vancouver, Washington needs to meet local regulations, of course, but also needs to meet regulations in small town, Germany. It’s some complicated shit and takes a minute to get through the set up for each and every donor. Don’t let that dissuade you.
  • Once you’re set up, each donation takes around an hour or two. This depends on YOU and your body. The science is the same from person to person, but your body chemistry determines the rest.
  • You get paid! No, you do not get paid for your plasma. It’s illegal to buy/sell body parts. Plasma is part of your body. However, you do get compensated for your time. I can only speak for my local donation centers, so keep that in mind. Donors make up to $400 a month. Tell me that wouldn’t come in handy.
  • You save a life. No hyperbole there, folks. You flat out save a life with your donation.

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Go shopping

As an American, the love of shopping is a matter of national pride. So, go shopping. Find a company who donates a portion of their profits to cancer research/treatment and buy things. These companies are EVERYWHERE. Here’s one to get you started: http://www.pinkribbonshop.com/

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So, go kick cancer’s ass.

 

 

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