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friends dh diagnosed with can I best support her

(13 Posts)
ggirl Thu 15-May-14 18:10:55

If you've been in this position what did you appreciate and what is a pita

We don't live near so popping in is not an option

I don't want to bombard with txts emails or phone calls but i want to support her and her family

Prognosis not looking good atm but still having treatment

Did you mind people txt or were you too busy with hospital visits etc ?

What did people do that was helpful to you and your partner?

ggirl Thu 15-May-14 19:15:38


davidsotherhalf Fri 16-May-14 08:38:51

my dp has metasteses, and most of our friends have cut us off as they don't know what to say, just got one friend left tbh that lives miles away, she phones me and texts me and I really appreciate that, she says I can phone her anytime if I need to talk or if we need anything. without her I would be in a mess as it's a very stressful time.

JellyBabiesSaveLives Fri 16-May-14 11:53:57

Yes, do keep in contact. Phone, and ask if they have time to talk / want to talk. If you don't know what to say or do, tell them that. Ask what they need. Anything is definitely better than nothing.

MIL has liver mets. She has good days and bad days. Her needs vary pretty wildly from day-to-day.

ggirl Fri 16-May-14 23:21:49

Thanks for your replies , I'll keep up with the texts and emails .

ggirl Fri 16-May-14 23:23:47

davidsotherhalf - sorry to hear about your husband and you mil JellyBabiesSaveLives. Are they receiving treatment?
How do you cope?

davidsotherhalf Mon 19-May-14 16:07:56

dp was treated for soft tissue sarcoma in his leg last year, had surgery and radio therapy, they did chest xray on last day of treatment and found it had travelled to his lungs, they tried surgery on one lung with a promise they would do surgery on other lung a few weeks after, they decided after opening him up it was inoperable, waiting for another scan now to see how aggressive the cancer is, see if chemo is an option. the most difficult thing to cope with are so called friends saying oh we never classed you as friends even though we went out for meals/ drinks together, they invited us to birthdays etc, then when dp was diagnosed we got ignored, I asked why and was told oh we didn't consider you as friends just acquaintances

ggirl Mon 19-May-14 18:45:16

god it's shit isn't it sorry your friends have been shit as well.Must be so hard waiting for results.

My friends dh has pancreatic cancer now spread to lymph nodes in lungs and around aorta and has bony mets in his pelvis with stress in a lot of pain!

Wish I lived closer to them but we are txt and I asked her if she minded txt etc , she's happy for people to txt and would start a blog if she knew how lol

daisydotandgertie Sat 24-May-14 00:52:20

I've been in your friends position and as a partner it is overwhelming. There is no room for any sort of life around the illness and treatment.

I expect she is frightened and unable to pursue her own normal life - I was, and I couldn't. Text messages and phone calls were always appreciated, even if I didn't have time to reply. The loveliest people just kept on sending them, and didn't mind if I didn't respond.

My very dearest friend always, always rang me when he knew I'd be driving home after hospital visiting, so I had someone to talk to on the lonely journey home and didn't spend the time worrying. To me, that made the hugest difference.

Don't forget that your friend is still the same woman as always, she just has an awful, awful thing to cope with. I expect she still needs to talk - I did.

ForeskinHyena Sat 24-May-14 01:06:51

I would say keep up with little messages to let her know that you're thinking of them both but that you don't expect a reply as she has a lot on her plate. It doesn't have to be much, just a "hello, hope you're doing ok, thinking of you" will make her feel less alone.

Also if you're able, suggest that she phone you whenever she needs someone to talk to.

It may be in the middle of the night, but I know my mum struggled with that when my dad was ill. She would phone the Samaritans as she didn't want to bother us, but she found that some of them were more useful than others. Knowing that someone was available in her darkest hours might have been a huge comfort.

Whatever you do, don't say nothing. That is the worst thing. 'Friends' who find it too awkward to say anything so they stay away. I found the most comfort from people who I hadn't even considered to be true friends until they turned up with food and a bit hug, even if they didn't know what to say, they we they couldn't say nothing.

ForeskinHyena Sat 24-May-14 01:07:29

Big hug.

ggirl Sun 25-May-14 08:46:31

Thanks for your replies it has really helped.
My friends husband called me the other day to say his wife (my friend) needed support , someone to talk to other than family. We had long chat and I've rallied some of our other friends to spell it out that we can't all assume she/he have other people to talk to ..cos her dh plainly told me..she doesn't..she's putting on a brave face to others. We hopefully will beable to support her over the phone as we all live 3hrs away but I will go as soon as I can.
He's now having treatment and has been told if it works he has possibly 1-2 yrs better than we thought.

penguinpaperback Sat 21-Jun-14 13:12:16

Hi, I've been living with breast cancer metastases for eleven years. Bone and now soft tissue mets. Sometimes texts and emails, I've found, are better as you can reply when you have the energy.
Be guided by your friend. Take care, x

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