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How does one cheer up another

maryanndep
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

This may be the stupid question of the year. I am a ca survivor for 6 years. I have a friend who is in stage iv and getting worse but is fighting. Sometimes I don't know what to say to cheer him up. Anybody have any ideas. Laughter does help. I know it did with me.

rosie43539's picture
rosie43539
Posts: 56
Joined: Mar 2003

HI, I am also a cancer survivor for 2 1/2 years now. My husband is now fighting stage IV Renal cell cancer.He was a pillar of strength while I was sick. Now that the tables have turned, its my turn to do the same for him.As for cheering someone up who is very ill, it can be very challenging sometimes. I just try to be as cheerful as I can. And yes, laughter is a wonderful medicine. Just do you best MaryAnn, keep the conversations light but also be willing to listen to the serious side if your friend needs to talk. God Bless! Rosie

dep
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2003

Rosie - Thanks for that. It sure is a challenge. He usually contacts us everyday and it has been four days and nothing. I keep sending short emails just letting him know that we're here etc. He has a big decision to make. He has liver mets. and is too weak to undergo the surgery so is considering radiofrequency ablation. Plus he was going to find out the rest of his test results Friday, 3 days ago and I'm getting the feeling the news is bad. His plate his full and he is going through a lot. I'm just worried but thank you for your note. It's good to know that others are going through the same thing in a way. You take care of yourself and your hubby. I hate this disease! Mary Ann

dpomroy's picture
dpomroy
Posts: 136
Joined: Dec 2000

It isn't always necessary to say anything. Just your being there and trying as you are is plenty. Some things that helped me...a hand to hold through tests and procedures, a funny card or e-mail, someone who would listen, a good cry and a shoulder to do it on, and lots and lots of prayers said on my behalf.

KrisS
Posts: 232
Joined: Apr 2003

Going through this myself, Stage IV rectal ca I think just being there is invaluable. My friends have been an unbelievable help, just by checking on me regularly- a phone call, e mailing me or stopping by for a few minutes etc even when I tell them I am doing OK.

One friend uses the excuse that her dog needs some exercise to get me out of the house when I otherwise might not think I had the energy to do it on my own.

Last week a group of people from work snuck into the backyard of my townhouse got rid of some bushes that had died and planted flowers!

dep
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2003

KrisS - It sounds like you have great friends!! They probably know that you would be there for them too! My friend is having his abdominal aortic aneurysm (another problem) removed by going through his leg veins which is less of a toll on him than would be invasive surgery which he probably would not survive. Anytime you want to talk just email me at deppy1@nycap.rr.com. Mary Ann

dep
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2003

Your first sentence says it all.......just being there! I often told my mother that when she asked what she could do when I was going through the surgeries etc. I felt comfortable and safe with her there and also my husband and I didn't feel I had to entertain them. I could nod off if I felt like it.... I think you get the idea!! I miss my Mom very much. She died of another horrible disease....Alzheimer's. But the memories of her make me so happy. Thanks for your reply..Mary Ann

moni
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2003

The further I get into treatment, the more I tend to want to isolate myself (which makes me feel even worse). It helps when my "pushy" friends won't let me do this. When they keep checking up on me, when they "make" me go somewhere with them, when they send me a hilarious cartoon/joke over the e-mail. When they let me express my frustrations/anxieties. Just BE there and don't let your friend get isolated.
Monica

hippy
Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2003

I have found that if I keep a positive attitude and seem upbeat even if I am not it rubs off!!!

DaleJrgurl8
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2003

I think that the only way you can cheer up another is just to tell them that your prayers are with them and that your thinking about them and that everything is going to be okay.

Ernie73
Posts: 2
Joined: May 2003

By being there next to that person when they want to try to do a little more than you think they can. My father was in the final stages of small cell lung cancer. He was in hospice care at home and confined to a wheel chair with oxygen. It frustrated him that 4 weeks earlier he could get dressed himself and drive a car. Now he can't even stand; or could he? Everyone coddled him like he was helpless. One day he wanted to stand up out of his chair by himself. Everyone told him no; he would fall. To make a long story short, I conceeded and told him he could do it if he would allow me to put my arms under his w/o touching him. He agreed. It took him 3 minutes just to stand out of the chair. When he finished he had an ear to ear grin and showed us how wrong we were. Give the person a bit of a challenge but be there with them when you do it. It can make one more day a better one. It was one of the last things I did for my Dad but we helped each other that day.

dep
Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2003

Ernie73 - Your reply reminded me so much of when my father was dying at home of prostate ca with mets to the bone, brain. Most days he would be out of it not making sense when he talked. One day I will always remember is when I walked into the living room where his bed was and he saw me, had a big smile on his face and said "Hi Sweetheart"!!! Just like he used to do before he got sick. A second after that was said he went right back to his confusion and mainly sleeping. What a gift that was for me to remember. He died in 1989 and I miss him but have great memories too. Your father sounded a lot like mine and that was a good thing to try with him. They do surprise us, don't they? Mary Ann

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