When my friend and I were talking about how to comfort a woman who was faced with cancer, she reminded me of a customer request to title their comfort gift "to our Warrior Princess". We both thought this was the most lovely title to bestow on anyone struggling through the challenging fight we are talking about today in this series on Bringing Small Comforts. At many points during cancer patients fight with many things, the pain, the meds, the treatments, the after effects, the surgeries, the physical changes,the doctors, the why-me question and what's happening to their families and the household . After any and all of this any woman is going to feel like a Warrior and likely hasn't felt like a Princess since she heard the word cancer. Today's idea of organizing a Warrior princess party is simply to remind her that you admire her Warrior strength, will be her loyal army when needed, and through all this she is still the Princess you know and love. A small group of her closest friends, done simply, and on her schedule. A Warrior Princess party may sound frivolous, but I think bringing in the troops so to speak and surrounding her in frivolous fun and love can only make your princess have some really good giggles. And feel your love.
I am going to assume when writing about this delicate subject that you know your friend best. This subject has generated a great deal of response so I know it is one that is close to your heart or that you recognize it will be at some time in the future. This series Bringing Small Comforts will be covering alot of topic and ideas, I have over 12 series already so please understand every idea is not for everyone or every situation. Some handle their cancer very privately, some are very open. But I do know this, you really can't make a mistake when you set out to bring comfort in any form.
Timing is everything in organizing a Warrior Princess party. In order to do so, you have to have a very close friend or family member to alert you to best timing during an unpredicable schedule of good and bad days. A partner or daughter to call you and say "I think she could really use some company and cheering up". Some would need it at the very beginning, some during the treatments, others when they complete the final treatment. So the beauty of this Warrior Princess party is you really only have to have a few things ready beforehand (the tiara and the pearls), the ice cream and cake at the last minute. Keep it low-key, the group small, like a few friends just popping in for a short visit, then really do keep it short (unless she is having so much fun she begs you to stay), then come in with all the fun and frivolous ways to make her feel like the princess you know her to be.
I have shown several things that I think make for a Warrior Princess party. You may add or embellish, but I urge you to keep it simple and heartfelt. A fun and delicious cake, multiple flavours of ice cream, chocolate sprinkles and sauce, bananas and whipped cream, chopped nuts (I think this just became a Banana Split party-which would work too) . This is not the time for anyone to say they are dieting. You must find a sparkly tiara and wand for her to wear while she is surrounded by her royal subjects (fun ones you find at the dollar store), and my last suggestion, something I would want to glamorize any bed confinement. A gorgeous and long set of fun pearls with an attached tag reading "If Carrie Bradshaw can wear pearls to bed, our princess should too!". When it's time for her to be tucked in for the night, leave her a lovely stack of pretty princess-theme cards with individual messages telling her why she is your Warrior Princess. Tie each envelope in pretty ribbon and a small bow. Considerately leave them on your way out so she can enjoy them at her leisure over the next few days.
On a practical note, this isn't the time to walk in looking for dishes and glasses at a household trying to stay together, so box up your own, a bunch of votive candles, some beautiful china, your best silver, flowers if you like, sparkly crystal.....make that champagne flutes........I almost forgot the pink bubbly. You must bring some champagne even if she can only enjoy a few sips. It will help to loosen up the rest of you as well. If your get-together it is a bedroom setting because she is most comfortable there then bring along a portable card table and a pretty tablecloth. One more thing, bring a camera and then send her the photos in a small album. I know she will be smiling in all of them.
Top photo from unkown source/2nd photo from Kate French ~ Sarah Kaye/3rd photo by Hammick ~ Sarah Kaye/4th photo from unknown source/ Bottom photo by Tim Evans Cook ~ Sarah Kaye