Quad Cities, IL/IA

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Dealing With Illness


By Mary Huebbe, Marketing Consultant, Ridgecrest Village

Cancer is a thriving illness that still has no cure. It seems everywhere I turn someone is being diagnosed with a different kind. Everyone handles it differently and it affects everyone differently. So how do we support someone when they are diagnosed? What are the right words to use to help them with their fears and concerns?

To start, one of my answers would be “You can’t,” there is not a correct or standard response. Talking to one of my friends here at Ridgecrest who is going through this, she said, “It felt like my life just stopped, I couldn’t breathe and as everyone was telling me everything would be fine, I was telling myself, this is the end!” Our first thoughts are of the past, when cancer was first discovered. No treatments were available; nothing could stop or slow it down. An oncologist was not even thought of.

The good news is, we now have oncologists who continue to work with many different doctors, scientists, and chemists from around the world to study the anatomy and physiology, as well as other fields to help increase our understanding of cancer. They are the driving force that works hard to find a cure. In the mean time, they have found ways to slow cancer down, as well as to put it in remission. This is the reason we should all have hope and not fear so much.

Our job would be to listen, to be there when they want us to be there. Most importantly though, we need to give them the space and time when they do not want us to be there. Illnesses are really an internal fight within ourselves; no one else can feel what we are feeling. Everyone feels it differently. One person might want someone with them at all times, while another would prefer to be alone. Both choices need to be respected. That is what makes it hard on us “outsiders,” because our need to fix and help kicks in the minute we think someone we care about is ill.

Having a community is probably one of the most important things needed when someone is ill. When you move into a facility, most want to feel part of a family. We all struggle with different events and losses in our lives, but being in the right retirement community gives us faithful friends who are here supporting us and loving us through it all; always offering support and encouraging words. In my opinion, that support and love can kick cancer’s butt!

To learn more about a lifestyle of fulfillment at Ridgecrest Village or to schedule a complimentary luncheon and tour, contact Bob or Mary at 563-391-3430.

Photo credit: Cathy Yeulet/iStock