|10th Aug 2012, 11:19 PM||#1|
EC Board Member
Out Status: Out and about
Location: BC, Canada
Join Date: Apr 2008
Just need some support
A friend of mine, was diagnosed with cancer a few months ago. She had chemotherapy and successfully completed the treatments. I met her after the treatments and she was her usual self, with her own sense of humor and I was relieved that the worst seemed to have been over for her.
This morning I thought I should give her a call. I didn't see her for a few weeks, and was wondering as to how she is doing. I thought I'll call her after work. At work, a co-worker came in and said that she is in the hospital again and that the cancer has come back. So I went to the hospital in the evening to visit her. I spent about two hours with her and her family (although mostly with her as we went down to the lobby with another co-worker of mine who came to visit her as well) and learned what happened.
The cancer came back in a way that no one could have predicted. The cancer cells that have spread now, are more aggressive, and can not be cured. The oncologists are trying out a different chemotherapy regime now, in the hopes to be able to contain the spread of the cancer. If it works, they will use it to contain it as long as they can. If it doesn't work or if the cancer cells do not respond they will try another chemotherapy regime. But it turns out she is allergic to some drugs, thus limiting the number of available options/combinations that could potentially be used to contain the spread.
During the two hours I was there, we talked about a lot of things and when we weren't talking about what happened, we shifted gears and started laughing and joking around. But even than, I kept thinking about my fears and worries. Before leaving, we hugged several times. When we hugged the last time before I left, I didn't want to let go anymore.
When she told me the first time around that she has cancer, I told a friend I'm afraid she might not make it. She is a strong person and a fighter but after seeing, and talking with her today, that fear hasn't gone away anymore.
~ Somewhere within us all there is a secret garden. A garden in which we can seek refuge when times are rough or retire to in joy or contemplation ~
|10th Aug 2012, 11:33 PM||#2|
Out Status: Out to everyone
Join Date: Jul 2012
Re: Just need some support
I'm very sorry to hear your news. It must have been a great shock. Cancer is such a cruel disease.
You have to be optimistic, but also realistic - in that order.
My mother had cancer twice, had a breast removed and managed another 20 years after the second call, so recovery is a possibility and they're getting better and better at attacking even aggressive cancers, so don't lose hope until you have to.
But also you have to be realistic. Your friend enjoyed your visit. Make time to visit her a lot more and make her happy and laugh. Try VERY hard not to be awkward with her - talk to her about how she is feeling, what the next course of treatment is etc. Don't hide from the issue. And let her talk - if she wants to discuss something with you, don't shut her up because YOU wil feel sad or lost for words. Sometimes it's part of the process, especially if she wants to make peace with the world.
Miracles DO happen - I have a friend who was in a hospice dying of AIDS and I thought - I won't see you again - but changes in medication and a will to see his daughter finish school and he pulled through to see his daughter married! But be realistic and prepare yourself (in time) for having to let her go.
You have the opportunity to give your friend many more happy afternoons and evenings - do it!
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