Ways to Support a Friend Afflicted With Breast Cancer
About My Favorite Friend
Jossie R. Fung, a mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, and my favorite friend, is a beautiful spirit who loved God, and others as she loved herself. She always made time for people and embraced them with open arms, heart and home. Yes, she was the Queen of Hospitality, preparing meals that looked and tasted as if they were from a gourmet cooking show.
Jossie, born October 26, 1964, lived a vibrant life that, for many of her friends and family, ended too soon on December 3, 2010 after her body succumbed to the second invasion of breast cancer.
How We Met and What I Discovered
One of Jossie’s favorite quotes was, “He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love." – Song of Solomon 2:4, NIV. Jossie was a Bronx resident for many years before moving to Queens. We met in 2005 at church, Crossroads Tabernacle (Bronx, NY), and became fast favorite friends.
Because Jossie was so joyous and lively most of the time, it easily and often stayed in the recesses of my mind that she was indeed afflicted with the dreaded big “C”; and thus, in my attempts to be a better friend in understanding her and what she was going through, I discovered a few things that can also assist you in providing support to a loved one who may be having a similar experience:
- Ask Questions – What can I do? How can I help? Is there anything you want or need? You will never truly know what a person is feeling or thinking, desire or need if you don’t ask them directly.
- Be There –Be available for appointments, to visit, and to listen with no judgments about what comes forth. Demonstrate unconditional love through the stages of the process. Jossie wanted me to spend more time with her, so I would sleep over occasionally. We were like two giggly school girls whenever we got together; laughter is healing and makes for a merry heart.
- Less Pink – Although pink may be the designated breast cancer color, persons experiencing it do not want to be identified or defined by the disease. Be more creative and thoughtful when buying gifts. Don’t think pink!
- Read Articles/Books – Do some research to gain insight about what to expect and how to cope with what you are dealing with from all perspectives involved.
- Visit Websites – OncoLink was the first cancer information website on the Internet, started in 1994, and remains one of the largest.
Celebrating the Spirit of My Favorite Friend
Relationship Seasons of Love
My sister-friendship with Jossie is one of the relationships that I celebrate and pay tribute to in my book, "Relationship Seasons of Love." But it's nothing like showing love and appreciation to loved ones while they are still among the living to ensure that you are not left with feelings of regret.
I am grateful for the joyful memories of the times Jossie and I shared together building a great relationship. I encourage all my readers to treasure your friendships as the gifts they are and remember love is an action word.
Jo Anne Meekins
Inspired 4 U