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How to help and comfort my friend

(3 Posts)
MyMamaToldMe Wed 23-Jan-13 12:00:06

My friend has just been dignosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Last week she was told she would need to have a double mastectomy, followed by chemo and radiation. She was also tested to see if the cancer had spead anywhere else and that came back as a negative - which was fantastic news. However, she then got a call yesterday to say that actually it has spread and that it is in her lymph nodes and chest, and that now things have changed somewhat in the outlook. She is devestated. We all are. Whilst she will be treated (I am not sure of all the ins and outs), this will be a much longer and harder journey than originally anticipated.

I want to be there as much as I can for her, and she has indicated she wants to get out the house and just talk to me, and of course I will. My DH and I have offered to do what we can to help every step of the way, incl help with their DS. But what I want to know is from those with experience, is what more I can do to try and least make her a little happy? I would love to just be able to rip the damn disease out of her - just do something so she wouldn't have to go through this at all. But of course that's not realistic. Please tell me all your top tips on what more I can be doing - from large to small and anything in between. Thank you.

jeee Wed 23-Jan-13 12:05:39

I have no answers for you - but perhaps you could get hold of a copy of "Before I Say Goodbye" by Ruth Picardie. It describes her last months, and her feelings through a few newspaper columns and a lot of emails.

Best wishes for your friend, her family, and you.

What a huge shock for your friend. She will feel devastated but breast cancer treatments have come on leaps and bounds and it is starting to be thought of as a chronic illness which can be controlled for some time with ongoing treatment. Hopefully she will find out her treatment plan soon.

She will probably be glad of any help if she is ongoing chemo as it isn't very pleasant but her team will do all they can to ease any symptoms she has. I had chemo last year for breast cancer and things I found helpful were friends who helped out doing school runs on chemo days or when DH couldn't make it. Another friend surprised me with a meal cooked for the family on chemo days. I appreciated emails and texts more than phone calls as when you are feeling rough you can choose when to reply rather than get stuck on the phone for ages.

The girls on the Tamoxifen thread on General Health will have lots more helpful ideas, please pop on there. Most of us have had cancer or have had a relative/friend with cancer.

Thinking of you all.

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