Having been a part of a dear friend’s remarkable and inspiring cancer journey from afar, one piece of advice I would like to offer up is to utilize the app called Marco Polo. Go ahead and download it now, I’ll wait...
Ok, you downloaded it, amazing! Just as advertised, Marco Polo or as my group of friends calls it, “MP”, allows for you to stay in touch with the people who matter most to you! This is a video messaging app where you can send a message to one person or you can create groups and send video messages. The best part? The patient can see all of the love and keep up with their friends without being on the spot. They can respond on their own time!
How often has your phone rang and it’s a FaceTime call and you simply don’t have the energy or convenience to take that FaceTime call at that exact moment? Or been on a group text and you feel like you have to chime in but don't feel like it? Often, right? Well MP allows you to send video messages to loved ones and then the recipient can watch and respond when they want to.
It’s a beautiful way to stay connected to family and friends in a raw and authentic way! In the case of my friend who was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, she was able to share with me and the three other friends who were already on our MP thread about her diagnosis in one message - not four individual calls to each of us. And more importantly - she did this on her own time. From there, this amazing group of college friends, we affectionately call each other “Team,” were able to rally around our friend, or as she so perfectly coined it: buoyed her. We were able to buoy her spirits with love and support all through an app. We laughed, cried, and supported her through every step in her journey. From the initial diagnosis, to having her husband record a video of him shaving her head during chemo, to us sending supportive messages before each PET scan, and sometimes just mindless and silly content for her to listen to (with no pressure to reply) while she was sitting in immunotherapy sessions or at home resting in bed.
This app has brought an already close group of college friends, remarkably closer all despite living in CA, WA, and IL. Most importantly, we supported a friend from the start of an ugly diagnosis, to coming out the other end! So with that....it's time to ring some more bells and keep the MP thread going with our warrior, Aidan!
XOXO – The Biggest Advocate for Marco Polo, Beth (and Team!)