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Should I try harder to contact my dying friend?

(14 Posts)
ADsaremysalvation Sat 12-Mar-16 19:31:35

My oldest friend was diagnosed with inoperable cancer a few weeks ago. It sounds like she only has a few months. I saw her when she was in hospital and then we had a lot of contact the week after she got home and I visited and we chatted on the phone a lot. But then she suddenly went quiet, and since then I have phoned and texted but had no response. I don't know whether I need to try harder/be more persistent, or whether I should leave her to make contact when she feels she can. A bit of me keeps fretting that maybe she isn't getting my texts and doesn't know I want to be there for her, or maybe she is deteriorating faster than anticipated. But I know this isn't about me, so I guess I have to let her call me when she wants. Or could I just call the house rather than her mobile and speak to her husband/children? Or is that a bit intrusive if she is choosing to lie low? I just don't know what the right thing to do is.

FrozenPonds Sat 12-Mar-16 19:34:31

I would call the house and speak to her family.

In the space of a few weeks she could have become very ill indeed, and it will mean a lot to the family that you are thinking of her.

LumelaMme Sat 12-Mar-16 19:35:37

I'd call the house, just to say that you're a bit worried that you've not heard anything for (however long it's been - a week isn't that long), are around if needed or can help, but understand if she is lying low for now.

What a horrible situation. flowers

CoffeeCoffeeAndLotsOfIt Sat 12-Mar-16 19:39:00

It's really difficult to get the balance right.

It may be that things have really hit home recently and she's not in a good place mentally / emotionally.

I guess I'd still text (even if it's something you saw / poem that you think she'd like), maybe every couple of days. Or you could write to her and let her know you're thinking of her.

I lost one of my oldest friends to cancer two years ago. She fought hard for two years, and during the fight she really struggled with speaking on the phone. She was 33.

Doilooklikeatourist Sat 12-Mar-16 19:44:39

I'd go round
If she's not up to visitors her DH will send you away , but at least you have physically been there and tried to see her
Text is not good enough
but I'm old

GatherlyGal Sat 12-Mar-16 19:48:58

I would go round definitely. It's easier to imagine regretting not making that effort at some future point than making it. If that makes any sense at all.
I agree this is one of those situations where you just can't rely on texting.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sat 12-Mar-16 19:56:21

I don't think you should call her husband or children and definitely don't go round.

When my dd was dying I messaged and spoke to those I felt able to and left others, some of the others then called my family and came to the hospital and it felt so intrusive. At a time where I had no control over what was happening I needed to be able to control other bits of my life and felt really resentful that yet another choice was taken away.

I would message her every few days to let her know you are there if/when she needs you and allow her to do what she needs to meantime.

flowers op, I'm so sorry, life is so unfair.

WhereDidAllThoseYesterdaysGo Sat 12-Mar-16 19:56:43

She just may not be able to reply. When I was desperately ill I had literally nothing to give. I couldn't face trying to be chipper on the text for anyone. And not being chipper felt impossible too.

What helped was people 'giving' with no expectations whatsoever. One friend brought up a cool bag full of individual frozen soup to fill our freezer, one baked a cake, one brought me an utterly gorgeous shawl for when I was well enough to sit up in bed, others sent little things- postcards, cards. Anything that gave that day a little lift and made me feel loved was wonderful.

Texts really weren't great. Sometimes in exceptionally bad circumstances a visit is what is needed.

A visit when you make it clear she's not to tire herself and that you'll clean the house, change the beds, cook or just sit and hold her hand (a biggie for me. Being bedridden is lonely even if you're not capable of much conversation).

My advice is to stick your neck out, maybe talk to her dh, accept where your friend is at energy wise and give whatever you can in times of time and love.

ADsaremysalvation Sat 12-Mar-16 19:57:10

Yes. Texting is making me twitchy. I need some good old fashioned contact, even if it's to send me away.

Charitygirl1 Sat 12-Mar-16 19:58:51

Agree - keep emailing/texting, esp to remember nice things you've done, or things that usually make her laugh. Add that you'd love to see her/call her but there's no need for her to reply. flowers

WhereDidAllThoseYesterdaysGo Sat 12-Mar-16 20:00:01

If she's not wanting visitors then I'd turn up and just give meals or whatever and go.
One friend ironed dh's shirts. She knew I couldn't get downstairs or couldn't face anyone so we left them in the porch and are did the same.
It was overwhelming kind of her.

WhereDidAllThoseYesterdaysGo Sat 12-Mar-16 20:02:12

A postcard bringing back a memory or just something you know she likes is worth a million texts.

Those breezy quick texts 'how are you. Let me know if there's anything I can do' I absolutely loathed.

Daffyduck1 Sun 13-Mar-16 09:56:44

My dh is terminally ill and we have had so many texts in the early days along the lines of the messages loathed by yesterday's above which I also hate but no visits. What I would love would be a visit to chat to close friends properly, a bag of food shopping, a hug, someone to run the hoover round, iron some school uniform, take the kids out to McDonald's for an hour. I would say go and knock on the door with some of her favourite things. If she's not up to visitors, her husband would appreciate a chat I'm sure. Don't ask if you can do 'anything ' to help. Just offer to take the laundry home to wash and iron.xx

Ifailed Tue 12-Apr-16 07:23:06

my DP died last year, in the last few months old friends re-appeared and they started talking again. There were times when DP couldn't face texting etc. I'd advise you to call round, you may get turned away, but least you'll know how your friend is doing, and she'll know you called. A written note would be lovely for her to read - maybe going over some of the good times you've shared.

Best wishes to you both.

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