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  #1  
Old July 11th, 2007, 20:02
trick-r-treat trick-r-treat is offline
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Default I wouldn't know what to say...

What if you found out that a friend was dying? Would you know what to say to them?
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  #2  
Old July 11th, 2007, 23:05
SageMother SageMother is offline
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I think I would first ask about the illness, and if the doctor had said anything specific about treatments and pain management, if the conversation could go that far.

When I don't know what to say in such situations I tend to start with as analytical approach as the other person can withstand. If the friend exhibited distress while speaking of the situation I would just listen. I would have no choice but to read the the nonverbal signals along with their verbal signals, to determine how to respond.

I am sure that is what most people actually do, when that moment comes. I bet you would know the right words, when called upon.

Last edited by SageMother : July 12th, 2007 at 21:32. Reason: added a sentence
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  #3  
Old July 12th, 2007, 16:49
sandmike123 sandmike123 is offline
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I wouldn't know what to say either. I am guessing the first thing I would do is ask if there was anything I could do. And kind of go from there.
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  #4  
Old July 12th, 2007, 21:33
SageMother SageMother is offline
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Originally Posted by sandmike123 View Post
I wouldn't know what to say either. I am guessing the first thing I would do is ask if there was anything I could do. And kind of go from there.
That sounds very safe and sensible. It give control to your friend when they really need it, but makes you available to them for any help they might need.
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Old July 13th, 2007, 20:03
Calypso Calypso is offline
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I think it would be important to ask your friend what he or she needs or wants from you. For instance, some people might want to talk about their feelings and other people might prefer not to.

It's also important not to impose your own expectations on your friends. For instance, I'm emotional and a talker by nature. Several members of my family aren't. It wouldn't be appropriate for me to try to force them to express emotion to me if they weren't comfortable doing so.

When my friend was dying from cancer, I said something like, "Every one of us travels this journey in his or her own way. I want to be there to support you in any way I can, whether that means holding you while you cry or setting you up with community resources." I then made it a point to check in with her once a week or so just to touch base and see what she needed. Sometimes she wanted to laugh. Sometimes she needed to cry. Sometimes she didn't feel like talking at all. But she knew I was there, regardless.
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  #6  
Old July 13th, 2007, 21:51
sandmike123 sandmike123 is offline
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I think that them knowing you are there for them both emotionally and physically for anything they may need is the best thing you can do.
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  #7  
Old July 14th, 2007, 13:53
Calypso Calypso is offline
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Over the last several days, I've had a tiny taste of what it might be like to deal with friends' discomfort. Last week a screening mammogram turned up a lump in my breast that might or might not be cancer.

Of the people I've told, several seem to be avoiding me, a couple are completely invested in making me believe "it's nothing" (I certainly *hope* it's nothing, but I won't know that for sure until the biopsy is complete, and niether will they), and others are encouraging me to express my feelings when I'm trying very hard to stay in my head right now because what's in my heart is just too scary. I have been fortunate to have a few people say, "I'm here for you...whatever, whenever." They're the ones I treasure.
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  #8  
Old July 14th, 2007, 21:41
lilyflower_1978 lilyflower_1978 is offline
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I'd definately listen. Sometimes all they need is someone to be there when they feel like screaming or kicking. I'd also offer what ever support they ask for: helping with house work, going to doctor visits with them, what ever they need. It is hard to do it alone because you already feel so alone. Sometimes it is hard thought to except your new limitations and to take the help offered to you, so as a friend to that person be persistant eventually they will let you in.
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  #9  
Old July 18th, 2007, 16:20
SageMother SageMother is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calypso View Post
Over the last several days, I've had a tiny taste of what it might be like to deal with friends' discomfort. Last week a screening mammogram turned up a lump in my breast that might or might not be cancer.

Of the people I've told, several seem to be avoiding me, a couple are completely invested in making me believe "it's nothing" (I certainly *hope* it's nothing, but I won't know that for sure until the biopsy is complete, and niether will they), and others are encouraging me to express my feelings when I'm trying very hard to stay in my head right now because what's in my heart is just too scary. I have been fortunate to have a few people say, "I'm here for you...whatever, whenever." They're the ones I treasure.
I hope everything turns out alright. They can fin dso many things these days that you have to hold your breath while they decide if a lump or spot is worthe exploring further, then you have to hope the biopsy results are read correctly. I have had similar scares and my heart goes out to you.
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  #10  
Old July 23rd, 2007, 19:49
Calypso Calypso is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calypso View Post
Over the last several days, I've had a tiny taste of what it might be like to deal with friends' discomfort. Last week a screening mammogram turned up a lump in my breast that might or might not be cancer.

Of the people I've told, several seem to be avoiding me, a couple are completely invested in making me believe "it's nothing" (I certainly *hope* it's nothing, but I won't know that for sure until the biopsy is complete, and niether will they), and others are encouraging me to express my feelings when I'm trying very hard to stay in my head right now because what's in my heart is just too scary. I have been fortunate to have a few people say, "I'm here for you...whatever, whenever." They're the ones I treasure.
Good news, the tumor was benign. It was such a relief to hear and such a relief to call and email all my friends and family and tell them they didn't have to worry about me anymore.

Still, a small part of me can't help thinking how terrifying it would have felt if the news had been different...
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