Problem 1: My friend's grandma(who lives with her family) has been diagnosed with lung, throat, and gum cancer. I'm friends with my friends mom as well, and she said that there is no hope of beating the cancer. My friend has no idea, she still believes that the doctors can eradicate the cancer. What can I do to help her, both now and when her grandma does die?
Problem 2: SInce Houston is close to the coast, we are at risk for a hurricane. How the heck do I make my friends/family care about preparation? We waited until Rita was 24 hours away before making any preparations 2 years ago. See my point?
:pray: for a solution,
Problem #1: I think, right now, the best thing you can do is be available for your friend. Let her know that you are a shoulder to lean on and an ear to talk to whenever she wants to or needs to. Maybe she'll want to talk about being afraid of her grandma's death, maybe about the cancer or the treatments, maybe she'll want to talk about some good memories, or maybe she'll want to talk about something that has absolutely nothing to do with "dealing" with the cancer. It doesn't matter, just be there for her and listen...don't push anything, she'll let you know what she needs.
And for you--this sounds like you're close with the family and will probably be an upsetting situation for you, so find someone to talk to yourself. Including us here at KH!
You mention that you know the Grandma's cancer is terminal but that your friend does not...maybe you should talk with the mom about that. I think it's the mom's place to inform your friend, you shouldn't be burdened with that.
Problem #2: Hmmm, I dunno really. You could go about organizing an emergency kit yourself to satisfy your own mind though.
I solved the problem by moving to Arizona - and wouldn't you know, 2 Pacific hurricanes drenched us the first year here!! But we didn't have full blown hurricanes.
I lived through Alicia in '83 and swore I would NEVER go through another one. Rita was a mess (I had already left) - I knew a lot of folks who sat on the highway for hours and hours in that one, and Houston itself saw little-to-no hurricane activity in Rita. That just makes people let their guard down, and when another Alicia (or Allison - just a tropical storm but what incredible flooding!!!) comes, they won't be ready.
Make a pact with yourself to get out of Houston when a hurricane starts making it's way there - leave anyone who won't go. Houston is not New Orleans - it won't be the same disaster that was Katrina just because it isn't the same geographical problem. The worst part (after waiting for the storm to pass) is being without electricity for days or weeks in the worst time of the year for heat and humidity. (you could invest in a good generator now for that eventuality)
re: emergency preparedness
Since I live in the suburbs of the Nation's Capital (Wash DC) there is lots of talk about being prepared for some sort of emergency, be it hurricane, or attack.
The most reasonable advice I've seen from the "experts" includes: have at least 3 weeks of your prescriptions at hand. have cash (hidden) so you don't have to depend on ATM's. make an emergency kit of food/ water (enough for each family member for 3 days) and one of batteries, flashlights, bandaids etc. Have recent maps, and look up alternate routes out that don't include major interstates. Have a radio + batteries or one of those hand crank radios you can get at camping supply stores. Have a plan for your pet.
having some sort of plan will ease your mind.
and about your friend's g/ma- I'm so sorry- just hang in there and be there for your friend...
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