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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.
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?
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 ...
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.