thorny rose encircled by hands giving and receiving flowers

We invite you to be a part of a support network that we’re setting up for our dear friend Casey as they start chemo meds to manage their autoimmune disease. The first month can be rough as the body adjusts to the medication, with symptoms likely to include nausea, dry and irritated skin, increased photosensitivity, immunosuppression, and fatigue. In order to help them make it through this first month, we’re setting up a schedule of different types of support and we hope that you’ll be a part of it, in whatever way works for you!

There are tons of ways to plug in: signing up for the meal train, getting groceries, doing laundry and tasks around the house, and keeping Casey company for easy outings or low-key hangs at home, depending on how they’re doing. They also really appreciate messages, texts, and love notes slipped under the door, flowers, art, tasty treats, photos of your pets or kids, or anything that lets them know you’re thinking of them and doesn’t require a response. Feeling sick is the worst - but it’s more manageable when you know your friends have your back.

And in return, one thing Casey is the absolute BEST at is recommending media to their friends. Need a good audiobook, podcast, youtube channel, or show to suit your particular mood? They’ve likely got just the thing you need. 

Thanks for being part of this support network. We’re all stronger when we have one another's' backs, and getting more organized about supporting folks in specific ways through tough times is one of the best ways to practice that. 

A note about COVID safety, especially in this moment when Casey’s immune system is especially low and we’re experiencing a surge: please wear an N-95 or KN95 in the house, and wash your hands as soon as you come in the door. If it’s possible to take a rapid test beforehand, that would also be much appreciated. If you have any symptoms, please take a rain check. 

And if there are folks who are masking in public and following a stricter COVID protocol generally, Casey would LOVE to have some folks to hang out with unmasked. If this may be you, get in touch with them to explore options! 

Below are more detailed descriptions of ways you can support, and links to sign up for specific times and dates. (You can text Casey about on-the-ground stuff, like when you plan to show up to their house. In an effort not to inundate them with too many texts, direct any bigger questions to Brendan at 413-459-6870.)

Meal Train
You can sign up for the Meal Train here and learn more about meal preferences and drop off instructions.

Amazon Wishlist
You can check out Casey’s Amazon Wishlist here. These items will help them manage symptoms and side effects of the medication. 

Ongoing Tasks: you can sign up for all the following things here
Please sign up for as many things as you’d like to - the sky’s the limit. If you have further questions about how to do the task you signed up for that aren’t explained below, feel free to reach out to Brendan at 413-459-6870. 

Also keep in mind that Casey probably won’t be up for visiting with every person coming by the house over the next few weeks - they might even be sleeping or resting while you’re there doing your thing. Please don’t expect to hang out unless you’ve checked in with them in advance and made a plan. Leaving notes is always welcome!

Grocery Shopping
Casey will make a list of the groceries they need. To pay for groceries they use their EBT card, so arrange to come by the apartment first and pick it up before you head to the store. Feel free to float the grocery bill yourself, if that’s a way you’d like to contribute! Otherwise, coordinate with Casey.

House Cleaning
The common spaces are the main ones that need a good spiffing, including the kitchen, living room and bathroom. If you’re in a real cleaning mood and want to do more, check in with Casey and see what’s helpful! Cleaning supplies can be found under the kitchen sink! 

Recycling and Compost
These can be set out on the curb on Wednesday nights or Thursday morning. Check to see if it’s a paper or plastic recycling week. Trash can go out to the dumpster behind the house any time!

Dishes Help
Dishes can pile up and become overwhelming, so we’re hoping to find people to come through once every 2 - 3 days. Put away clean dishes, wash dirty ones, give the counters a quick wipe, just generally help things stay at a manageable baseline. All cabinets are labeled to make putting dishes away easier! 

Litter Box - Daily
Just a quick daily scoop of the divine Cowgirl’s divine poops. Litter box and poop bags are in the room off the living room. Once scooped, poop bags can be taken to the dumpster out back.

Litter Box - Deep Clean Once a Week
Dump out entire box of litter, use wipes next to box to give the plastic a good clean, sweep the floor around the litter box, and add new litter to the box! Garbage bags are under the sink and the broom is to the right of the refrigerator. 

Hanging Out/Easy Outings
It’s hard to predict how much energy Casey will have on a given day, but they would love to have some low-key hang outs with friends to stave off the feelings of isolation that can easily pile up while feeling sick. They’d love to plan anything from simple easy outings to just hanging out watching something on the couch. Of course, plans are subject to change, but making them is always a good idea! When in doubt, always reach out! 

Putting the garden to bed
Casey has a small garden in the yard, and would love to find a person (or a few!) who’d like to help tuck it in for the winter. Text Casey about this to coordinate.