Oct 14, 2012 - 5:49 pm
My mom was at the hospital for a routine knee replacement when the doctors discovered the actual source of her pain, a large tumour on her spine. She was diagnosed with end stage lung cancer the next day. My mom's journey was tough, but thankfully short. The cancer spread to her brain just 6 weeks after her diagnosis and she passed away the week after that. It's been tough. That was in May. I'm really not even sure what to do about all of that. I'm 24 and find myself without parents (my dad passed away when I was 7), without a place to call 'home' and I don't really know how to deal with it.
The cancer journey though, doesn't stop there. 2 months after my mom passed away, my best friend (who is also 24) found a lump in her breast. She was diagnosed with breast cancer the next week. She has already had one surgery, and is having another next week because they discovered the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes. After the second surgery, she will be starting chemo. We live together as we were attending University out of our hometowns. Her parents live a few hours away, so I will be her primary caregiver.
I wasn't really ready to be a caregiver the first time, and I'm definitely not ready to have to deal with this all again. I attend school full time, work full time, volunteer, and am still trying to deal with my mom's death. How can I be supportive for my best friend? She's my only support system and the person I depend on for everything, and now she's sick. How has everyone else dealt with this? What do I say to a 24-year old woman, facing cancer, the prospect of losing her hair and fertility? Just going to the cancer center brings back mom's journey...how can I be supportive when I still feel like I'm the one that needs the support from her? How can we support each other through this!