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Very scared of losing her

(14 Posts)
Cymbeline Wed 19-Aug-09 21:40:41

I'm sorry to offload here. I don't know where else to do it, I need to write it down.

My best friend has just been dx'd with cancer - it's already quite bad, the prognosis isn't great and I don't know how to prepare for the possibility of losing her. sad

Has anyone lost a good friend this way, who would be Ok to run me through it a bit...I'm sorry to ask but am really struggling here, can't seem to get on with anything much, can't sleep. And it isn't me who's got to deal with it first hand.

How do you cope??

Cymbeline Wed 19-Aug-09 21:52:08

. sorry

am regular here btw, just don't want to be seen iygwim

cathcat Thu 20-Aug-09 00:35:07

I'm so sorry about your bad news and for your poor friend. I have not lost a friend (well that is not true, but they were sudden deaths sad) I did lose a parent to cancer quite recently. I don't know what to suggest but if you want to chat that is fine.
Hopefully someone else can offer good advice soon. Hope you get some sleep tonight x

OrangeFish Thu 20-Aug-09 00:50:18

How do you cope? My answer would be "you just do", as simple as that, you don't have a choice. However, in my experience, I may add that by helping her to cope you may be helping yourself to cope. Be strong for her, she needs you.

Cymbeline Thu 20-Aug-09 08:13:29

Thanks guys. I know...I have to deal with it and I will, she doesn't know I'm this upset...and I don't want her to.

It doesn't seem that real right now but the idea that she might not be here in a few years is terrifying. Worse for her, of course sad

cathcat Thu 20-Aug-09 10:35:32

How old is she Cymbeline? Do you live near her? She probably wants you to carry on as normal - treat her like you always did. What I mean is, if her life is going to become a endless round of doctors, pills, appointments, worrying she probably wants you to come round with wine chocolates and tell her the latest gossip. She will know you care and love her, you will find the best way to cope with supporting her and helping.

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 20-Aug-09 10:39:59

I am so sorry to hear this. I do not have any first hand experience of this. But, do not be afraid to hug her, and tell her how much you love her, and tell her partner/children too, let them know you are there for them and do not be afraid cry when you talk to them (unless of course the children do not know the severity of her illness).

Do you have any support of your own? DP/DH, other family members, other friends who know her who might understand what you are feeling?

JRocks Thu 20-Aug-09 10:40:21

You need to take it a day at a time, as cliched as I know that sounds. Don't think too far ahead if you can help it, and take your lead from her. As the others have said, treat her as normal and make sure she knows how important she is. You will cope because you will want to make things easier for her. Don't forget though to accept other support for yourself from friends and family.

Best wishes to you both

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 20-Aug-09 10:44:00

(when I say no first hand experience, I mean of friends. I have lost my mother to cancer. I coped because I had no choice but to cope, but I did struggle to not show my mum how desperately upset I was. I tried very hard, but there were times when I just hugged her and cried my eyes out and so did she I needed her to know she would be missed but that was probably very selfish)

PavlovtheForgetfulCat Thu 20-Aug-09 10:45:08

Oh, and if she has a macmillan nurse involved, you can access support through him/her I beleive, and also find ways to help her. I think the support is for family and friends, rather than just family.

Cymbeline Thu 20-Aug-09 12:37:40

Thanks, all...Pavlov, I am so sorry about your Mum sad

Unfortunately we live a very long way apart. So I can't just hug her, or go round on the spur of the moment - much as I would love to.

I keep sending stuff throuhg the post, emails, stuff i've heard about different options for her etc (she said it was helpful, but I don't know if that is her trying to make ME feel better iyswim) but it all feels so useless.

I'm lucky enough to still have my mum and she is a good listener - but she's never even met my friend. She just listens to me, which really helps.

i just can't imagine my friend not being there. We've been in touch all the time, since we were both about 18-20, a few fallings out, and a few visits here and there...but mainly by phone etc.

It might not come to that (please God) but I'm trying to prepare somehow I suppose, to get that out of the way so I can be positive in the meantime.

Cathcat - early 30s sad It's so, so terrible.

Onlyjoking Sat 22-Aug-09 10:00:29

I think it will be helpful for you to get some support so that you can support her best you can, Macmillan and cancerbacup are both very good at info and support.
I think you have to be guided by your friend, there will be times when she wants distractions from cancer and other times when she will want to talk about it, there will be lots of people offering distractions but less people who will allow her to talk, we found that lots of people said things like if you stay positive you will beat it, not very helpful when my husband and I knew he was going to die, made him feel like he hadn't been positive enough.
I found the Macmillan online forums very useful and it was good for me to be able to have space to talk about things that I didn't want to worry Steve about, mumsnet was very useful and gave me a lot of support throughout his illness and death.

Cymbeline Sat 22-Aug-09 17:43:37

Thankyou OJ, nice to see you as well, how have you been?
I'm grateful for your perspective. It is so hard to know what might help and what might not. I guess I'll let her take the lead.

NanaNina Tue 25-Aug-09 19:40:39

Cymbeline - So very sorry to hear about your friend. My very very best and closest friends died 14 years ago but it is still clear in my mind as is the aftermath of her death.

I agree with OnlyJoking. In these awful situations, many people don't know how to react and say unhelpful things like "Oh yu'll be fine" or worse still start talking about some friend who "beat cancer" by eating 2lbs of carrots a day or something ridiculous. I'm not saying to be too mournful but I think with close friends you can be honest and yes allow her to talk about how she feels - no matter how painful that is for you. You can cry together - nothing wrong with that. My friend made me promise to tell her the truth about test results etc and I always did that. I tried
to be cheerful when with her in hospital and
then cried all the way home.

She may need to talk about death or her fear of dying and you need to be able to allow her to do this without being overwhelmed yourself. Yes I agree you can't burden her with how upset you are - she will know anyway but it doesn't hurt to be honest.

I wouldn't try too hard to think how you will cope if she does die, time enough for that if it happens. You have enough on your plate just now dealing with what IS happening.

And look after yourself - be kind to yourself
and get support for yourself from your family/other friends.

You sound like a lovely friend and I'm sure you are appreciated by your friend.

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