I can relate. After watching my mom (ovarian stage 4) endure 7 years of surgeries, radiation, chemo, ambulance rides to ER, I promised myself I wouldn't do chemo if diagnosed with cancer. But, at 44, cancer announced itself. And, I had o rethink my position. It is scary to comprehend everything at first. Just listen and let her know how much she is loved. Remind her that she is still young and has so much to live for. You are in my thoughts & prayers! Hang in there!
- Indianapolis, IN
- Member Since May 2013
Their Diagnoses (1)
- Family/Friend: Breast Cancer
- Patient Info: Newly diagnosed (has not begun treatment), Diagnosed: almost 4 years ago, Female, Age: 59, Stage IV, HER2 Positive: Don't Know, ER Positive: Don't Know, PR Positive: Don't Know
- View this journey (3 Experiences)
how do i help
The others here have made very good points so I won't repeat what they've said. I will offer that she may be looking for you to acknowledge that the treatments may be harsh at times and offer her empathy. When I was first diagnosed and terrified of treatment that's what I was seeking. The last thing I wanted to hear from my family/friends who weren't going through it was that it wouldn't be that bad. I wanted them to say yeah, you are going through some awful stuff and I will do anything I can to make it easier. It was reassuring when medical personnel and other patients told me it wouldn't be too bad, but I wanted my friends and loved ones to validate my emotions and not minimize what I was contemplating going through
I know you don't know me yet, however, I'm going to chime in. I do regular "updates" to people in my life and do a lot of writing (yes there is a book in the works). Here is a cut and paste from an update I wrote in December. My friends were grateful for the list and it generated a lot of good honest conversation. The first one about the storm has a special place in my heart and a very tender heart-warming story (let me know if you're curious). I hope the list offers some comfortable and/or comforting options for the giver and receiver.
I frequently hear that people don't know what to say. Thought I'd jot down some options that, at least sound and feel okay to me.
I'm here for you till the storm calms.
Would you like visitors?
Do you want to do something?
It there anything in particular you would like me to include in my prayers? (Patience, tolerance and resilience will be my answer)
How is today?
I'm sorry you have to learn about this.
How is your body and/or mind handling the last treatment?
Do you want to talk about what's going on?
I don't like/hate to see you have to do through this.
Do you feel supported?
Do you feel heard?
Are your side effects managed as best they can be?
Do you feel like you're getting good care?
Are the people at the clinic respecting you?
Sounds scary to me. It is scary for you?
What's on your list that needs to be done?
I'll bring a meal.
I don't know what to say. Please know that I care.