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Friend just diagnosed with cervical cancer - can I help?

(5 Posts)
RunJHC Mon 29-Nov-10 21:42:18

A friend of mine has just been diagnosed with cervical cancer and told she can't have any more kids sad. She's 34 and has one DS with special needs, has had a miscarriage whilst trying for a second so has just had awful luck.

Just wondered what I can do if anything to help her. She works in the same building as me so I can meet her for coffee regularly. Should I try to take her mind off it? But feel like if I talk about what I've been up to I'll be rubbing her nose in it (healthy DS, trying for second etc). I saw her for the 1st time today and gave her a big hug which nearly made both of us cry.

Also her treatment (probably chemo) will be at a hospital near my work so I could probably keep her company if that would help.

Any ideas/suggestions would be great from people with more experience with cancer.

Thanks

readywithwellies Mon 29-Nov-10 23:13:50

My cousin had breast and brain cancer, she died leaving two young dcs.

IME just be there, ask her what she needs - this may change over her treatment.

Keep talking to her about normal stuff - the world does not ground to a halt because she is ill, help in practical ways (ask permission first).

If you are worried about mentioning a subject, avoid it and ask her about how she feels at an appropriate, non-emotional time.

BelaLugosiinStripes Tue 30-Nov-10 20:48:48

Hi
Jo's trust is for women who have cervical cancer and anyone who is supporting them. There is a forum which (a) gives you some idea of what they're going through (b) may be useful for your friend.

I think you're being consideration and helpful, keep being there for her

KurriKurri Tue 30-Nov-10 21:55:43

I'd take her lead in terms of what she wants to talk about, let her know you are there for her whether she wants a shoulder to cry on, or a chat about 'normal' things.

IME the things you want to talk about change as you go through treatment, and things you may not be ready to discuss at the start, you may wants to talk over with someone later. Cancer treatment tends to be quite a long haul, and you go through different stages. MacMillan do a good booklet on How To Talk To People With Cancer, which might be useful.

Ask her if she'd like company at chemo - I started off wanting someone with me, but after the first couple wanted to be on my own - mainly because it's not that pleasant for the companion to sit and watch if they are close to you. And also sometimes you need to discuss quite private stuff with the nurses. But certainly ask everyone is different.

Support from family and friends is a great thing when you are sick, and I'm sure the fact that you are so caring will be a great boost for her - I wish her lots of luck in her recovery smile

RunJHC Tue 30-Nov-10 22:15:14

thanks everyone that's so helpful. i'll definitely send the details for Jo's Trust on to her - it looks great. she has her first appointment with the consultant tomorrow so will see what the treatment involves and like you say just be there for her whatever she feels like doing/talking about.

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