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The Heart of the Author

May 22, 2018

The Heart of the Author interviews 

Marissa Henley

author of: Loving Your Friend Through Cancer, Moving beyond I'm sorry to meaningful support

Marissa's friends said all the right things and taught her how to be a friend to someone with cancer. Now she wants to help others understand how to support and help their friend.

When she was diagnosed with angiosarcoma she had to ask the doctor to spell it and Googled it because it's so rare. She felt fear, anxiety and isolation even though she was surrounded by friends. No one could truly understand how it felt to have a serious, rare disease, especially with three small children at home.

It was hard to ask for help or accept offers because she was used to doing for others and herself. Her friends taught her what to do to support her emotionally, physically and logistically. 

In her book she offers practical suggestions to helping your friend through cancer. Remember whatever needs to be done at your house probably needs to be done at your friend's house. Make specific offers and even if your friend refuses initially, she knows you are genuine and may accept help later. 

Instead of saying, "Let me know if I can do anything," offer to help with household chores, errands, meals, etc.

Whenever our friend is sick, we want to connect and say the right thing to ease her pain. But there are no magic words. She just needs you to be present. In our desire to relate, we often compare something we are going through to her situation. That's not helpful. Keep the focus on her needs.

Marissa's faith prepared her in advance. God revealed His character and faithfulness. Through the Holy Spirit, she was able to speak truth. God showed His provision and control. 

God is good, even in suffering. Marissa writes to  show others truth.