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My life did a complete 180 recently, when I was diagnosed with cancer.  All of my social activities have been cancelled until the first round of chemo and radiation are complete.  In late June, the doctors will tell me what the next step will be, sort of like one of those treasure hunts on TV where you sweat and strive to get somewhere just to be told that you need to sweat some more to get to the next location.
During this time, several friends from church have brought over meals for us.  I'm very thankful for it, and I don't want to complain, but some of them didn't ask me what my side affects are, and the meals are something I can't have.  Radiation irritates the lining of my throat.  Pepper is painful.  My taste buds have changed.  Pizza tastes like plain tomato paste.  But we came up with a solution to my "there are poor children in Africa that would love to have a meal like that" guilt trip.  We found frozen entrees of macaroni and cheese.  Now, when a friend sends over Mexican food, my husband and son can enjoy their wonderful home cooked meal, and I can have something that is easy to swallow.
Yesterday, I noticed another need that probably doesn't occur to anyone.  I know I didn't think about it when I was bringing meals to sick friends.  My husband ran out of paperback books.
My husband has to wait for me to get my procedures done.  Some days, we have three or four doctor's appointments in one afternoon.  It gives him hours and hours of reading time.
On the way home from my appointment, we stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few things.  They had a bargain bin of books.  When my husband saw it, he started digging through the pile like a dog smelling the scent of a ham bone.
So, if you are trying to be kind to someone with a serious illness, I'd like to ask you to do two things.  First, ask about their dietary needs before you offer to cook dinner for them.  Second, stick a paperback book in the bag, too.

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