• Friend Support

    Asked by Sanskrit on Monday, April 19, 2021

    Friend Support

    Besides active listening, what will my friend need or want from me as I support her through the journey of chemo. and radiation?

    3 Answers from the Community

    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      Wow. I think you have to really listen and take your cues from her. When my neighbor had BC she wanted company, she wanted friends to come sit and visit with her. I, on the other hand, did NOT. want company. If people came to see me I would always feel like I needed to put on my best front, and sometimes I just did not have the energy, much less the desire, to do that. Everyone respected my request, but they found ways to let me know they cared. They brought meals and scheduled the deliveries for when my husband was home so if I was feeling punky, I didn't have to be involved. Sometimes they texted me to tell me they were going to leave a latte on my front porch! (loved that) - little things that let me know they *knew who I was and what I liked.* They also lent me movies, they knew I would be spending a lot of time resting, and I love old movies.I had a friend who knew carnations are my favorite, so she sent them every once in a while. Everyone offered rides and if I needed one I would certainly ask (I did once). But, most of all I was grateful that no one looked at me with a sad face. I needed people to be positive around me - and they were.

      16 days ago
    • Teachertina's Avatar
      Teachertina

      You are a great friend to want to know how best to help. Hopefully you know her well and have some ideas about what she would want. Don’t be afraid to ask if you aren’t sure. Can you be her go between to sort out too many well wishers? My husband did that for me. He scheduled visitors for my best times, wrote down callers so I could call back when I felt like it, gave updates on my condition, accepted meals as needed and so much more. Everyone means well, but sometimes it’s just too much. I did NOT feel like seeing anyone for a while! I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and really appreciated getting a card or flowers. Find out what she needs and try to give positive encouragement and support. Sending you both hugs and well wishes!

      16 days ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      I’ve nothing to add to the excellent advice already given. MarcieB’s advice about not having a sad face while looking at the friend resonated greatly with me.

      I will add that if your friend wants to talk about her fears or anger (or any “negative” emotion), listen to her and don’t try to get her to see the bright side — at least not at first. If she seems very depressed, she might seek counseling, if she’s not already doing so.

      She’s got a great friend in you. I’m glad you found us. Friends of cancer patients also need support. We’re here.

      16 days ago

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