Small changes that helped me manage everything when the cancer bomb exploded into my family.

Small changes will make a HUGE impact on your ability to manage everything when you’re helping your loved one battle cancer.

Simple changes can make a HUGE impact when you’re helping a loved one battle cancer. It’s the little things that matter when you feel like you have to be Game ON every second. These tips had the biggest impact when we were struggling to manage everything. Getting this stuff under control resulted in more motivation to keep fighting… #fuckcancer #manageyourlifetoo #praying for a cure #smallchangesmakeabigdifference

Are you helping someone you love battle cancer?  Are you overwhelmed and exhausted all the time, but it doesn’t matter because you have to keep going?

Update:  If you have no idea how to deal with all this cancer business, we can help you formulate a plan to tackle the immediate issues… finding the best care, talking with your insurance company, finding resources that will actually help, and dealing with the fear, anxiety and overwhelm of this whole situation.

We can’t control the cancer, but we CAN show you how to manage this crisis.   And it’s 100% Free.

You can get the Cancer Combat Plan FREE here…

I get it.  Things get really intense almost immediately once cancer explodes onto the scene.  And life doesn’t stop because your stress level has skyrocketed and you have no idea how to manage everything.

Start with a deep breath.  You’ll be surprised how much that helps.

Now, let’s figure out a way to get through today.

When my dad was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer in 2017, I had NO IDEA how much both of our lives would change.  I had just started a brand-new career (after 18 years!), I was a new wife, and stepmother to four amazing teenagers and within a few months of that, I became my dad’s primary caregiver.

That’s a lot of hats.

My dad was in the fight of his life and he needed a HERO.

Someone who could rise above all of the obstacles and figure out how to get things done despite the exhaustion.

There was NO WAY I could fail my dad.  So, what I needed was a plan.

The key to getting through this is to make things as easy as possible.  Small changes make a HUGE difference when it comes to battling cancer.

Small Changes That Help Manage Everything


You absolutely CANNOT do everything.  You just can’t.

Life gets super overwhelming once cancer drops in and the “load” you are carrying is always going to be changing.  One week seldom looks like the week before but every single week is PACKED with a thousand things that have to be done.

  1. How do you figure out what’s important?
  2. How do you identify what you can let go?

Everyone talks about prioritizing but, figuring out WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT is actually pretty hard.

Some things automatically rise to the top.  Cancer for instance just naturally dominates first place.

But there are “smaller” issues we can’t ignore either.

  • You’ll need clothes (and so will your family) so you’ll have to figure out a system for laundry.
  • You’ll probably still need to work.
  • How are you going to make sure to eat decent meals? You can’t keep your strength up if you’re eating McDonald’s every day.
  • And I can promise you that if you don’t make stress relief a priority, it will really affect you.

 Start by Making A List

Write down everything you need to figure out in the span of a week.  Everything

1.  Start by looking at next week.  What do you have going on?  Are there any small changes you can make to tweak things. 

  • Appointments
  • Treatment
  • Travel for Treatment/Dr. Appointments (our treatment facility was 2 hours one way requiring tons of travel and overnight stays)
  • Time with Family
  • Kids Soccer Games
  • Work
  • Laundry
  • Meal Planning
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Cleaning
  • Stress Relief
  • Bills

2. Once you’re done with your list. Number each item according to its importance. 

#1 is most important.

For example…

  1.  Treatment/Dr. Appointments
  2. Travel for appointments
  3. Time with family
  4. Work

Develop a Weekly Plan

Now that you have figured out your priorities, we need to establish a FLEXIBLE plan for the week.

Note:  The plan has to be flexible.  Cancer is unpredictable and you literally never know what’s going to happen next.  (If you’re one of those people who plans everything out to the second and can’t move on until every box is checked off… This is probably going to hurt a lot.  Look at this as a chance to grow and do the best you can.)

I found the best way to handle this was to have a loose plan.  There are things that have set times and are less flexible (like appointments), but most things can change.

Meal Plan for the Week

For my family, this is mainly packed lunches for school (we buy snacks and juice boxes in bulk at Sam’s Club) and pack sandwiches as the meal.  And dinners.

  • Grab a sheet of paper and choose specific dinners each night of the week.
  • Make dinners 15- 30-minute meals or less. Check out Pinterest for a gazillion ideas(and Follow Me while you’re there!)
  • Consider any hectic nights and make those nights REALLY EASY.
  • Do you have a crockpot, Air Fryer or an Instant Pot? USE them to make your life even easier!

Meal planning step by step can be found here…

There are 2 MAJOR steps to Meal Planning

  1. Planning the Meals.
Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
Crock Pot Chicken, baked potatoes and Carrots Steak, Rice, Salad Spaghetti and meatballs, salad Hot dogs, Mac and cheese and green beans. English Muffin Pizza’s Cheese Quesadilla’s Taco Salad
  1.  Getting the ingredients in the house!

If you don’t actually get the groceries, it doesn’t matter how great the plan is!  You have to do the grocery shopping so you actually have all the ingredients you will need.  Once you’ve done that…

You can move the meals around as you need to based on what’s happening during the week.

For example:  If your daughter’s basketball game runs late and Steak and Rice is too complicated.  Then you can throw together the Cheese Quesadilla’s that were scheduled for Saturday and make steak that night instead.

 Stock up on Paper Plates

If your house is like my house then one dinner will leave you with an entire sink full of dishes that is overflowing onto the counters.

Paper plates create less dishes for you and make clean up after dinner a breeze.

If you want to save the time you have for the things that are important to you, the things YOU WANT TO DO… serve dinner on paper plates and toss the pots in the dishwasher.

Super Easy Clean-up.

Order Groceries Online

If you live in a remote area, don’t worry.  I live on top of a Catskill mountain, miles from the nearest store and out of range of any grocery delivery services (except for Amazon).

However, I can still order the things I want online so they are ready for me to pick up at a certain time and save myself a TON of time.  And, I can pick out my own meat and vegetables too (because I want too!).

Most grocery stores have the option where they will do the shopping for you.

Talk about a HUGE time saver, it will save you a TON of time (and a bunch of money and possibly a few pounds because you won’t be subject to M&M’s and other random purchases as you walk around the store) to have someone else put that order together for you.

Even if you’re like me and you prefer to pick out your own meat and produce.  You can now breeze through the meat and produce aisle and grab what you want and then pick up the bags that someone else put together and BAM…

You’re done.

With these small changes, you’ve saved yourself at least an hour (or two) if not more roaming around the store.

List Your Bills on One Page

When all of this started, it never occurred to me how drastically everything would change.

Things that you naturally do all the time get missed and you won’t even realize it.

When my dad first got diagnosed and we were running around trying to make sure everything was set to start treatment…

Every bill that I owed was either late or completely forgotten. My husband and I spent the next month trying to catch up and figure out what was paid/not paid so we could get back on track.

We created this page to help us track everything quickly and easily.

This way we knew what was/wasn’t paid and what was coming up.

As you pay things for the month you can check them off, so you always know where you are at.

Small changes = huge impact.

Always Have a Bag Packed

The overwhelming stress that cancer brings is a pretty consistent feeling that doesn’t ease.  Cancer is stressful from start to finish.

So, when emergencies happen they can be really scary and leave you totally frazzled.

I don’t know about you, but those moments are not the moments when I am able to think clearly and pull everything together…

Like the time, I brought my dad to the Sloan Urgent Care and we ended up staying down there for a week and a half and all I had were the clothes on my back.  (facepalm)

After that, I always had a bag packed and ready to go with everything I might need for a few days just in case.

My bag always had:

  • Phone Charger
  • 3 Pair Socks
  • 3 Pair Underwear
  • 2 Yoga Pants
  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • 3 T-shirt’s
  • Notebook
  • Pen
  • Q-tips
  • Cash or a Credit Card
  • Mascara
  • Face Wipes
  • Dry Shampoo

If we needed to go to the emergency room or leave for the City quickly, I could throw my laptop in the bag and be ready to roll at a moments notice.

Cancer changes everything.  And managing everything can be pretty intense.  You need small changes that make a HUGE impact so you can focus on the important stuff… Like helping your loved one win the battle.

P.S.  If you’re drowning in all this cancer business, and you have no idea where to start…  The Cancer Combat Plan is a step by step guide from someone who has struggled through this and found ways to manage the chaos, the stress and the overwhelm.   

Things feel better, and more in control when you have a plan.  So if you’re looking for action steps, resources, and strategies that will help you manage this crisis, we’ve got you covered. And it’s totally free… 

You can get the Cancer Combat Plan for free here…

Related Post:  How I Help My Dad Battle Cancer (and Manage My Life Too!).

 Simple changes can make a HUGE impact when you’re helping a loved one battle cancer… #fuckcancer #manageyourlifetoo #praying for a cure #smallchangesmakeabigdifference

 Simple changes can make a HUGE impact when you’re helping a loved one battle cancer… #fuckcancer #manageyourlifetoo #praying for a cure #smallchangesmakeabigdifference

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