Just found out my best friend has cancer. Have I done the right thing?

(10 Posts)
friendinneed Thu 25-Oct-07 19:45:03

I've just heard through the grapevine that my friend has cancer. How do I help her? She's terrible at talking, hates the phone, I don't live near so I've texted to say that I know, and am here for her. Now agonising that I've done the wrong thing. If I have how do I put it right? I just want to be there for her and for her to know that I know and it's alright that she hasn't been able to tell me. Please help me if you can.

OP’s posts: |
SugaryBits Thu 25-Oct-07 19:51:05

So sorry for your friend.

I don't think there are any rights or wrongs in these situations. She knows you are there when she needs you that is the most important thing.

supperwoman Thu 25-Oct-07 19:52:17

You have done the right thing smile

One of my bf had cancer earlier this year and I bought a great book "Help me live" 20 things people with cancer want you to know by lori Hope. published by Celestial Arts. It really helped me communicate with her. There is a web site on the back www.tenspeed.com but I got my copy from Borders.

I hope she and you are ok.

friendinneed Thu 25-Oct-07 20:02:02

Thank you so much. These are all words I need to hear. supperwoman thank you for the suggestions I will definately look into them. I'm jut agonising now that perhaps she didn't want me to know because this would have been easier for her, and I've let her down by not considering this before reacting. I never learn. But I am of a school of thought that things are better out in the open, and hopefully it's saved her the agony of telling me. It's very sad, much else is going on for her but don't want to expose too much here.
Thank you again.

OP’s posts: |
chestnutty Thu 25-Oct-07 20:06:31

Fin - don't agonize over this.
Its best you know and like you said " saves her the agony of telling you".
Cancer is not beaten in a couple of weeks like fluso you were bound to find out.
You sound like a really considerate friend.

ScaryScaryNight Thu 25-Oct-07 20:07:46

When my mum got her diagnosis more than 10 years ago, she took it hard. She did not want to talk to people about it, and she did not want to tell people. It was ok that other friends and family spread the sad news.

When eventually she started coming to terms with her illness (in her case non agressive, but incurable) and ventured out, she said that the hardest part was all the people who expected her to want to talk about it.

People would come up to hear, look her knowingly in her eyes, put their hand on her arm and sincerely ask, and with pressure on each word "how are you REALLY doing Mrs Starrymum". They meant well, but it was too much for her. She just wanted to get on with her life, continue going about daily stuff, and not be reminded and quizzed by semi strangers on the street. This was what nearly brought her down, people looking at her as a cancer case rather than a human being.

Good luck with your friend. Just treat her as you always have.

friendinneed Thu 25-Oct-07 20:08:36

thank you

OP’s posts: |
spookthief Thu 25-Oct-07 20:14:08

My mum has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and has had surgery and will start chemo in the next couple of weeks. The hardest thing for her has been telling people so your friend may well be relieved that you know.

The main thing my mum wants from people is not to be treated like a sick person, not to be avoided because people don't know what to say, not to always have to talk about her illness.

I bought this book to help me help my mum and it's excellent. I'm not good with knowing what to do or say and I found it very helpful.

friendinneed Thu 25-Oct-07 20:19:07

I can't stop saying thank you. Feeling very emotional so sorry if I don't reply well, but I am so grateful for all of your thoughts it's good to get all perspectives on this

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Monsoonrain Tue 30-Oct-07 23:20:15

Maybe you could send your friend a card, there are some really expressive ones, sometimes a bit difficult to choose, you can get quite choked reading them in a shop.

My sister in law was diagnosed with breast cancer 18m ago, she is 34 and had her right breast removed two weeks after diagnosis. She had a VERY positive frame of mind, everyone fell apart around her but she insisted on everybody being strong, she shamed us all!

We did a box for her with all little bits & pieces, some books written by survivors of breast cancer (from Amazon.co.uk), angel pins (from card shop), crystals for health & love (again from card or gift shop) and I wrote a poem as I couldnt express myself to her without being upset. She said she loved it and whenever she felt a bit down or sad, she looked through her box of goodies, she said the books were a great help too.

She has just recently had reconstructive surgery and is really pleased with her new boob, she has a way to go but she's on the right track. She faced it head on and as she has 4 children, she wasnt gonna let it beat her.

Just letting your friend know you are there for her will be a massive boost, she is prob in despair and will need a lot of help, just be there for her. Thinking of you both x

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