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Seeing family friend tonight, who has recently been diagnosed with breast cancer, and I'm scared I may say the wrong thing.

(19 Posts)
Pinkchampagne Sat 23-Jun-07 17:41:26

She is a good friend of the family who found out just a few weeks back that she has breast cancer & is to have a masectomy on the 5th July. They wanted to come over & see us before she goes in for her surgery, so is staying with my parents & I am going round there tonight to see them.

I am feeling a bit worried about saying the wrong thing though. It is natural to say "Hello, how are you?" when you see someone, but I feel that may be the wrong thing to say knowing she is far from well right now.
She may want to try & forget about it all this weekend. I am just a bit worried about doing or saying the wrong thing. Do I mention it, or do I try to avoid the subject totally?

KbearBrockovich Sat 23-Jun-07 17:44:35

I think not mentioning it would be weird and I also think that straight talking might be better than fudging the issue with small talk. Gauge your questions around her answers - you will soon sense if she'd rather not talk about or whether a good chat and maybe a cry might help her alot. It's a tough one ...

BecauseImWorthIt Sat 23-Jun-07 17:45:30

Just say - " hello - I was so sorry to hear your news, how are you feeling?" She will kknow that you know and it gives her the opening to talk about it or not. There would be nothing worse than all sitting there trying not to talk about it though.

beansprout Sat 23-Jun-07 17:46:30

I ask how she is and take your cue from her. If she wants to talk about it, then ok, if not then that's fine too. You won't be the only person there so don't feel responsible for how the evening goes!

paulaplumpbottom Sat 23-Jun-07 17:46:39

Try not to act weird about it, not saying anything would be weird. Be supportive but don't treat her like she is going to die next week

HonorMatopoeia Sat 23-Jun-07 17:50:19

I've been in a similar type of situation and just took her to one side and asked her if she wanted to talk about it or not just yet. She was really grateful that I didn't tread on eggshells and treated her like I always did. Mind you, this does depend on your friend. Would you normally be forthright with her or is she sensitive?
Oh, and it's worth saying I didn't say all that to her the very second we met up,I did leave a suitable interval!

Pinkchampagne Sat 23-Jun-07 17:51:14

That was my thinking, that it would be odd not to mention it at all because it is obviously a very big thing & she is soon to have her masectomy, but at the same time I was thinking that maybe she has come to see us to just get away from it all for the w/e. I don't want to upset her at all.

Pinkchampagne Sat 23-Jun-07 17:53:47

She's a pretty strong lady. Her DH & her children are taking it all quite badly, but she seems to be being very strong atm. She also suffers from Parkinsons, so has had a lot of ill health recently.

HonorMatopoeia Sat 23-Jun-07 17:57:15

Will there be an opportunity for you and your friend to go out on your own at all? If her family are understandably upset about it all at the moment then she may appreciate a couple of hours to discuss how she's feeling. I know my friend didn't want to (as she saw it) 'burden' her family with her worries, so used to unload on me and found it very therapeutic.

Pinkchampagne Sat 23-Jun-07 18:00:25

My mum is organising tonight as some social event round her house, that is the problem. Her DH will also be there, and like I said, he is taking it all quite badly, so I don't want to say the wrong thing & cause any upset.

HonorMatopoeia Sat 23-Jun-07 18:02:19

It may be worth just setting up a future night out then, his feelings must be all over the place at the moment and it'll be hard for him to be in a social situation too.

Pinkchampagne Sat 23-Jun-07 18:04:14

Maybe I will get the opportunity to have a bit of a chat with her on her own at some point of the evening.
I don't want her to think I'm ignoring the fact that she is very ill, or that I'm not thinking of her, because I am, very much. At the same time, I am worried that she just wants to try & have as nice a time as possible, and put it to the back of her mind this w/e.

Pinkchampagne Sat 23-Jun-07 18:06:21

They live quite a way from us (a good 4 hr drive), but she really wanted to come down to see us before she goes in for the surgery.

HonorMatopoeia Sat 23-Jun-07 18:08:30

I hope you get a chance to chat, maybe you could arrange a weekend to go and see her after thesurgery this would give her something concrete to look forward to too. Hope all goes really well for you and her

Pinkchampagne Sat 23-Jun-07 18:13:07

Thank you, HM.

A weekend sounds like a good plan!

Thanks for your advice. I will let you know how it goes tonight.

paulaplumpbottom Sun 24-Jun-07 14:15:27

How did it go?

Pinkchampagne Sun 24-Jun-07 15:40:46

It went ok in the end. She spoke about it a little, but for most of the evening she was trying to enjoy herself as much as possible.
She admitted to feeling quite positive, but said that she was the only member of her family who was.
Her DH didn't leave her side all night & at one point he had tears in his eyes, so nothing was mentioned in front of him.

They are such a lovely family. I really hope she will be ok.

Pinkchampagne Sun 24-Jun-07 18:46:19

Hoping to get to see her again tomorrow at some point.

paulaplumpbottom Sun 24-Jun-07 21:56:24

I'm glad it went ok. Try to stay positive and upbeat for her.

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