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AIBU to think this sounds like DS's friend has tried to stretch the truth, about her dad's cancer...

(72 Posts)
MattJoL Sun 29-May-16 23:19:31

Hi, I would rather people don't jump on me, if I sound insensitive, as that's not my aim.

DS is 12. He has been telling me about his friend's dad, for ages, and all about what has been going on. She basically told him that her dad has cancer. He has been there for her. Today, I got a call from him, as soon as he had gotten out of school; he said that her dad had picked her up and he looks really good. His friend had told him that it was this rare and very bad cancer, which he Googled and it says that it almost always results in death (I can't remember what it was called, but it's the one that is the quickest to spread). She said to him that he has been in hospital, getting every bit of treatment he can, etc. etc. so you can imagine what kind of picture my son and I had built up. DS asked her about how her dad is, the next day, in which she replied about how awful he is and they aren't sure how long he has left (DS didn't say that he had seen him). Her dad then collected her again, he asked her while he was there this time and she replied with "yeah, he is fine, he only has to take this 1 pill a day" and DS goes on to say about how he thought he was in hospital and she said "gosh, you always want to minimalise things, do you not understand how hard it is to have to take a pill for the rest of your life is"...

Hmm, it's a hard one I think. DS has been friends with this girl since he joined the school, in September, but they had gotten really close and he classes her as her best friend. It just seems a bit off to me. WDYT?

EveryoneElsie Sun 29-May-16 23:20:50

It doesnt sound credible. What does DS think?

MattJoL Sun 29-May-16 23:22:37

Just want to say, I did copy and paste that middle bit from my messages which I sent to my mum for advice, and I didn't check to change. This was Thursday.

Ifonlylovewouldsavetheday Sun 29-May-16 23:24:09

Far too early to tell, whether it is quick spreading or not, I wouldn't recommend your son call her out on it!

Witchend Sun 29-May-16 23:24:40

Well on the looking well. I had a friend who died of cancer. Even a couple of months before she died there were times she came to do the school pick up and looked "normal". We knew she had a matter of weeks to live at that point. sad

Doinmummy Sun 29-May-16 23:26:37

I'd be surprised that a 12 year old used the words gosh and minimalise

Stopyourhavering Sun 29-May-16 23:27:58

Could be renal cancer.....can look perfectly well with that although it may have metastasised ....and you can just take a daily pill with that

TheSpottedZebra Sun 29-May-16 23:28:03

Also - they're just kids. Their understanding of cancer, of mortality, of truth vs exaggeration vs working things through our loud will not be the same as an adult's. Cut her some slack!

MattJoL Sun 29-May-16 23:29:06

I think it's the fact that she was telling him how bad he was in hospital... Not that he looks fine. Also, the fact that he was near the end and now can just take a pill? Odd to me.

missbishi Sun 29-May-16 23:31:34

Looking well probably isn't an indicator. However, I'm curious about "1 pill a day". Surely there'd be more meds than that? Of course, the dad might be "minimising" so as not to worry the kids.

Could you engineer a situation where you could get to talk to the girl or even the parents? Not to call them out, obviously, just to get a general "vibe".

Ifonlylovewouldsavetheday Sun 29-May-16 23:33:40

It's likely she hasn't been given explicit information on what is happening. See stopyourhavering post.

kerryob Sun 29-May-16 23:39:54

Not all cancer is the same, my aunt had lung cancer, I saw her the day before she died and I thought she looked well. It was a huge shock when she died as I had an image in my head of what a cancer patient should look like at the end & presumed she had months as I thought she looked OK. She still had her hair despite chemo & radiotherapy and only lost a small bit of weight. So it could potentially be true

Does your ds friend have any history of lying or stretching the truth? Is the school or teachers aware? Has she told other friends?

QOD Sun 29-May-16 23:41:33

I do think it's possible some people dramatise life events
a work friends sister had the worst cancer their consultant had ever seen. Terrible it was a d terminal. Yet she ran a marathon last week and is completely cured.
she did definitely have cancer, I know that, but colleague is known to be dramatic
still was terrible that her sister and she went thru it

BillSykesDog Sun 29-May-16 23:42:05

I would be very careful about this. I worked with someone who was told he had an inoperable terminal cancer. He was referred on to a specialist hospital who offered to have try at operating (in a 'if you're going to die anyway we might as well have a go at removing it even if you die on the operating table' type way). He is now fully recovered so it does happen.

You could approach the school and tell them your concerns couching it in a 'can we offer any support' way. That way if it is untrue then it's flagged up to the school.

The thing is, if you say something or challenge her (or DS does) and it turns out to be true anybody who finds out you did that is going to thing you are a grade A pair of bastards. And even if it's not true, then that will be one seriously disturbed little girl with a whole lot of issues who needs some serious help.

If it's making DS uncomfortable I would say the best thing for him to do is gently distance himself and withdraw from the friendship.

BillSykesDog Sun 29-May-16 23:43:37

And remember Jane Tomlinson who was terribly trolled by people who said she couldn't possibly have terminal cancer because she was too well...she's still dead.

blackbirdmilkshake Sun 29-May-16 23:54:13

none of your business

GinIsIn Mon 30-May-16 00:06:36

My dad went from 'looking really well' to dead in 3 months, so it entirely depends.

steff13 Mon 30-May-16 00:16:17

My dad was perfectly fine. One day he had a stroke, the hospital did an MRI, and found six cancerous tumors on his brain. He was dead in 30 days. Before the stroke, he'd been working, riding his bike every weekend, everything he'd always done.

A friend's father went to the doctor with severe pain in his neck. The doctor sent him to the hospital for a test, and they found cancer. He was admitted to the hospital that day, a Friday. He was dead the following Sunday.

You can't always tell how sick someone is. I'd take her word at face value.

SilverBirchWithout Mon 30-May-16 00:20:36

The thing is the last conversation was in front of the Dad. The DD may have felt uncomfortable about 'justifying' how well her DF looked in front of him and it was an uncomfortable position for both of them to be put in by your DS.

I think in your position I would advice DS to be cautious what he says to his friend as his suspicions may be unfounded, but also be a little cautious about giving too much of himself emotionally just in case. (Ironically just like MN's advice about suspected troll threads)

All types of cancers are different from each and individuals can also experience different outcomes themselves. Not all people with severe life-limiting cancer look seriously ill until very near the end.

HardleyWorthit Mon 30-May-16 07:31:26

You can take 'just' one pill a day for terminal cancer.

For example Vandetanib used for treatment of late-stage (metastatic) medullary thyroid cancer.

Definitely cut this girl some slack poor thing.

StealthPolarBear Mon 30-May-16 07:34:45

Do I understand right that one of the conversations was in front of the dad?

StealthPolarBear Mon 30-May-16 07:36:13

Many people are saying there are cancers where you look and act well right to the end, would you really be driving though?

Oysterbabe Mon 30-May-16 07:37:59

I'd be surprised that a 12 year old used the words gosh and minimalise


Laptopwieldingharpy Mon 30-May-16 07:39:57

I think the right question to ask is why is she acting like this?
There is obviously something causing her distress at the root of this.
Of course it is not for your child to bear the burden of helping her figure this out and i understand you are concerned about possible manipulation.
Maybe worth letting the school counselor know? They would know if there was a serious ilness and be able to support her and have a quiet word with your son and praising him for being a supportive friend.

Cocacolaandchocolate Mon 30-May-16 07:44:51

Poor girl, scary having a parent with cancer, no matter what stage or type.

She needs some love and support

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