Since I first wrote this blog post last year, I’ve had a dear friend get diagnosed with cancer. Thanks to what I learned by writing this blog, I was able to set her up with a cleaning session from Immaculate Clean, which she appreciated so much. I think it is worth reminding people of this amazing service offered by Immaculate Clean, so please share this info!
It’s Pinktober®, aka Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Founded in 1985, this campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer has been tremendously successful, at least from the standpoint of making the color pink synonymous with breast cancer. Think about it— these days, we all immediately recognize the meaning behind a pink ribbon, a pink 5K t-shirt, and even pink football cleats worn by an NFL player. Well-played, Pinktober marketing people, well-played. Hopefully, all the awareness spread over the past 34 years has saved many lives by encouraging women to get mammograms and leading folks to donate money toward finding a cure. All of that is important, truly good stuff.
But, having known some amazing women who have battled breast cancer and other kinds of cancer, I think I can safely say this: Awareness is cool—but action is cooler. A woman in the midst of undergoing cancer treatment is already WELL aware of it, thank-you-very-much. All of the pink balloons and pink socks in the world are not going to solve her immediate concerns that come from being thrust into an unfamiliar world full of doctors and pharmacists and life-or-death decisions, overwhelming fears about the future, and stresses about day-to-day issues that healthy people take for granted. Her thoughts at this time may look something like this:
What is going to happen to me? How is this treatment going to affect me? Is my insurance going to cover all of this? What if treatment doesn’t work?? What if the cancer comes back? I’m sick and the treatment is making me feel even worse; how am I going to continue to work and take care of my kids? How am I going to find the energy to cook meals for my family? How am I going to clean my house?
That is a lot to deal with, but, honestly, some of it should not fall onto the cancer patient’s shoulders at all. These women have to focus so hard on kicking cancer’s a$$ that they shouldn’t be burdened by concerns about things like cooking meals for their families or cleaning their house. My personal view is, if you really want to support a friend or family member who is facing a cancer battle, you should think about ways you can ease the burdens of daily life so they can concentrate completely on the one thing that matters: getting well.
This may mean offering to bring them a meal, buy groceries for them, walk their dog, or drive their kids to soccer. Anything that seems “routine” to you is probably something that they could really use some help with. Another thing you can do—and this won’t cost you a thing—is tell them about a fabulous program called “Cleaning for a Reason.”
The Cleaning for a Reason Foundation provides free house cleaning for women who are going through cancer treatments. Immaculate Clean is a proud and active partner of the Cleaning for a Reason Foundation, committed to helping women in the local community during their time of need by providing free cleaning services. The way it works is rather simple: A patient who is undergoing cancer treatments can register via the website at cleaningforareason.org. Based on a participating cleaning company’s availability, they will receive a total of two free general cleanings.
It may sound like such a simple thing, but in reality, to be able to give a cancer patient the gift of a clean home does much more than just ease a little of her workload. The peace that comes with a clean, uncluttered, fresh-smelling environment can do wonders for a patient’s spirit! It’s better for her health, too!
So, whether or not you’re wearing pink, I’m going to encourage you to spread some awareness about this important free service this Pinktober®, and take some action to help a cancer patient you may know in a meaningful way!