Aug 17, 2009 - 4:34 pm
A year ago, my girlfriend's--then my colleague's--father has been diagnosed with colon cancer, stage 3, with metastasis to two nearby lymph nodes. He underwent surgery, yet no further treatment could be administered since his surgery wound did not and has not healed. Although, quite surprisingly, a recent CT scan showed no metastasis to other organs or distant lymph nodes, his red blood cell count is very low, which will probably hinder chemotherapy and even make it unfeasible. She can not talk to the doctor for clarification; she is afraid to ask questions and I can understand that.
My friend is on the brink of a nervous breakdown and apart from her own financial and health problems, during the last 12 months her aunt and grandfather died, both of cancer.
My question is, what should I tell her? I don't want to tell her that her father will be ok--which she expects me to say. And I don't want to tell her to prepare for worst. I need another way, an intermediate way, which will neither give her a false hope nor discourage her from going on.
When the initial diagnosis was made, I used the prognosis statistics on this site to comfort her, which were very favorable. But as time passes by and no treatment may be administered, her hope is replaced by worry and panic. I am trying to support her every way I can, but I can not find a way out in this situation.
Thanks in advance for your attention and responses.