Please tell me something good. . . .

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Unknown
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I'm really down today - not for myself, but for an old friend. She has lived with "chronic" leukemia (and heart problems from the chemo) for years, and now she has developed bone cancer. She's the same age as I am (nearly 70) and we have been like sisters for over 30 years. I just can't face the possibility of losing her.
I guess I'm asking for prayer for both her and me, so I can at least be strong for her.
Clara

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  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
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    Hi Clara:

    I wish I had some magical words of wisdom which would make you feel more at peace about your friend's condidtion but I don't. Fact is, it's just plain painful to lose someone. It hurts in the heart, the spirit and the emotions. Watching someone's light go out of their eyes hurts big time too. My heart is with you as you try to deal with this pain...one of life's greatest challenges.

    Perspective is hard to find sometimes. Acceptance can be even more difficult. For me, what works is to focus on how much I love the person and how much I want to help them and care for them the best I can till the end. That's not easy when your heart is breaking and you feel like falling apart and slinking into a dark corner to weep. It's one helluva challenge. The thing is that we have equally great needs to both be there for the loved one while giving ourselves space to cry and grieve at the same time. I think it takes tremendous effort and focus and it's trial by fire in every sense of the word.

    Since you two have been so close for so many years, maybe try thinking of what you'd want and need from her if the tables were turned and maybe that can help guide you through. I have several dear friends and we often refer to ourselves as:
    "attached at the hip" practically. LOL I know these special people inside out, as they know me and that is one of life's greatest gifts...friends who know and understand us completely and accept us, warts and all, as we accept them. She knows that you love and care for her and just knowing that you're there to do whatever needs doing, will be a great comfort to her. Think of her favorite things and bring them to her. Send her cards which express your feelings and can help her smile. Even make your own cards which perhaps better sum up the two of you and your friendship. (sometimes the purchased cards just don't express quite what we want to say)

    Maybe you could ask her to make a list of things she needs/wants...doing errands, making her favorite snack or meal, any of those practical/helpful/useful types of things. Depending upon her family dynamic and respecting that, sit down and eat with her and laugh like there's no tomorrow while being prepared for some crying together too. Let her know that you're there and that you won't "hide out" when things get tough.

    A very dear friend whom I lost to cancer over 20 years ago, told me that just my being there, rattling round in the kitchen, trying to make things to temp her appetite, taking care of her poodle, etc. made her feel "safe", and somehow meant so much to me and it lifted me up and gave me the courage to stick by her side through everything. I can remember all that as if it was yesterday. I remember the pain and all the emotions. I also remember the great gift she was to me as a friend. I learned from all that and came to understand that I was stronger than I thought I could be. That I could do more and handle more than I thought I could handle. I was all of about 30 years old then, and looking back the only answer to where my strength came from, was from love and caring and from my friend, herself. I've no regrets and no: woulda, shoulda, coulda's.

    So, hang in there and your heart will lead you in the right direction. You will accept what is and you will find a way to help and support your dear friend and be strong for her. Just remember to take time outs for your own pain in the process. It can help you stay balanced and strong while giving your friend strength to travel the road she must travel as well. That's the best we can do for one another in this life. Not easy but when we can rise to the occasion, we know we are living well (with pain as well as joy, for all of it is part of living and dying) and doing our best to help other's, to show our love and support while we bring kindness and caring. We have many, many special gifts to share in this life, so shower them upon your dear friend who has fought so long and so hard and is now dealing with what appears to be her end of life issues. It's a difficult journey but you can do it well. I know you're hurting and just want you to know that I understand and that I care.

    Love, light and laughter,
    Ink
  • moni67
    moni67 Member Posts: 5
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    Hi Clara,
    I just want you to know that my prayers are with you and your friend. I am 37 years old and have cancer in my bones from breast cancer. I'm doing quite well and it is because I know that my husband, family and friends are there for me. Although it's easier said than done, be thankful for all the years you have shared with your friend. I don't know how much time I have, but I hope to survive as long as she has. However, if my time is short, then I still am thankful for all the love that my friends have given to me. I believe that a short. lovely life is far better than a long and miserable one. After all, our time here on earth is finite and if we have loved and been loved, we have had everything. I will pray that the time you have with your friend is wonderful and that you share sweet moments that become loving memories to sustain you.
    I wish you courage and strength,
    Monica
  • mc2001
    mc2001 Member Posts: 343
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    Hi Clara,
    I am so sorry you are on the watching end of your sorrows. It is hard for loved ones to watch someone suffer, expecially when there isnt anything medically we can do. BUT, your friendship is what you are giving and is what your friend needs more than chemo, pills and tablets, etc. Your presence is part of her strength... thats why God gives us (true) friends. I will certainly pray for her. I will also pray for you and your continued strength. God bless.
    -Michael
  • mc2001 said:

    Hi Clara,
    I am so sorry you are on the watching end of your sorrows. It is hard for loved ones to watch someone suffer, expecially when there isnt anything medically we can do. BUT, your friendship is what you are giving and is what your friend needs more than chemo, pills and tablets, etc. Your presence is part of her strength... thats why God gives us (true) friends. I will certainly pray for her. I will also pray for you and your continued strength. God bless.
    -Michael

    Thank you all for your prayers. I really thought I had learned acceptance, and all of a sudden I realize that I haven't. I'm afraid that my prayers since I learned of her bone cancer have been more in the line of yelling than thanking. Oh well, the Lord has carried her and me through before and I know He will again - kicking and screaming all the way probably. It seems like some lessons I just have to relearn over and over.
    Thank you so much for your prayers, as you can see I really really need them.
    Clara
  • unknown said:

    Thank you all for your prayers. I really thought I had learned acceptance, and all of a sudden I realize that I haven't. I'm afraid that my prayers since I learned of her bone cancer have been more in the line of yelling than thanking. Oh well, the Lord has carried her and me through before and I know He will again - kicking and screaming all the way probably. It seems like some lessons I just have to relearn over and over.
    Thank you so much for your prayers, as you can see I really really need them.
    Clara

    Thank you again for all your prayers. Her and I have had a standing joke for years that when we got old we would end up in the same nursing home and do our best to drive the staff nuts! I talked to her on the phone last night and it doesn't look good. Her heart is getting worse, she has to go in the hospital for tests - her heart is getting weaker and so her lungs are filling with fluid. She walks from the bedroom to the living room and has to sit down because she can't breathe. I told her that she's got to get better because I'm not ready for the nursing home yet. She got the giggles and so did I, don't know if it helped her but it did help me, at least we can still laugh together in spite of everything.
    Clara