Tuesday, February 16, 2010

sometimes I try to be a nice person

So a couple of months ago I decided I was tired of obsessing about all of the things that were wrong in my life and decided I wanted to put some good vibes out into the world. So I signed up to be a Chemo Angel.

'WTF are you talking about now, Amanda?' I am sure you are asking. Well, I read about this organization a few years ago - basically they recruit people to be "Angels" to patients throughout the country who are undergoing chemo. You can either be a Chemo Angel, which means you send cards and little gifts to your recipient at least once a week, or be a Card Angel, which means you send at least one card a week to your recipient. You can't write anything negative, so I thought this would be a good exercise for me - to, for once in my life, be more of a "glass half full" instead of "glass half empty" kind of person.

Because my life is crazy enough as it is, I signed up to be a Card Angel - I didn't think I had enough time to buy and ship gifts every week. A few weeks later I was approved and recieved my recipient's info a couple of weeks after that. It is all very private so I won't give you any information about who I have, but I will say that I requested to NOT have a child - I just didn't think I could handle that, especially if he/she didn't make it.

So what the heck do I write about? Well, each week I buy a cheery/funny card and then write a one-page letter about my life, my job, my family, my dogs, potty training, the weather, the boat - whatever. It felt kind of strange - like, why would anyone even want to read this stuff? (Of course, I think the same thing about this blog.) They tell you that you should never really expect to hear back from your recipient, but if you want to include your contact info, you can, just in case they want to contact you.

Sure enough, a few weeks later I heard from my recipient's spouse. He/she contacts me fairly regularly with updates on my recipient's health and what is going on in their lives. He/she told me that my letters and cards have really been helping - and in fact, when this week's doctor report looked like chemo may be ending soon, I was told that my recipient asked what would happen to me, and that he/she would miss my correspondence, and hopes I will continue keeping in touch.

I feel lucky that I got someone whose spouse decided to contact me, to make me feel like I was actually doing something helpful. It was a great way to start out in this program, and I definitely think it's something I will continue to do.

If you're interested - www.chemoangels.net


lgaumond said...

You are a far nicer person than I will ever be. That's wonderful, I've never heard of hat organization.

Maybe when your pen pal gets out of chemo she can join the BBCS. Is she allergic to Chinese food, too?

lgaumond said...

THAT. Although I'm sure there probably are hat organizations.

Amanda said...

Lisa - there is that red hat organization that ladies join when they turn 50. That is something I am really looking forward to. And unfortunately my pen pal lives far away, so he/she can't join the BBCS!

Audrey said...

Wow...that really is wonderful. I admire that you decided to do this!

Lora said...

did you talk about this here before? or maybe did we talk about this in an email? Or maybe I know someone who does this, but this is so amazing, and I want to thank you (again?) for being such an inspiring and wonderful lady.

Amanda said...

Lora - I don't think I've talked about this here before - but maybe I did! Either way, thanks!

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

What an amazing, amazing thing to do!