very close friend has tongue cancer

Hello to all of you wonderful people taking the time to post your stories on this site. Thankfully we have the internet which enables us to form global communities that help and support us all through life's journeys!
A very close friend of mine - who is more like a sister - is about to have at least 3/4 of her tongue and all of the lymph nodes in her neck removed tomorrow morning (Jan 31, 2012). She is only 27 years old. She was diagnosed less than two months ago after seeing a couple of doctors to treat what appeared to be an infection that wouldn't heal. It took about three months before she saw a doctor who recognized that what she had was more than an infection. This is a huge shock to everyone in her life. She is a vibrant and beautiful spirit. She is a yoga instructor who has a healing touch and a generous heart. I know that cancer does not discriminate, but nonetheless, this is a tragedy.
I would love to hear from anyone who can offer advice on how to be the best form of support for her that I can be. Is there anything I can learn from any of you about how to help with speech therapy for her or helping her through the emotional part of her recovery. I imagine that she will have to go through a grieving process; mourning the loss of tasting foods and the sound of her voice and being able to swallow without having to think about it..
Thank you for any help,


  • Pam M
    Pam M Member Posts: 2,196
    Welcome, Lyja
    Sorry to hear about your friend's diagnosis - glad she finally got a doc who discovered the issue. Also glad she's got a friend in her corner.

    One of the best things you can do, you've already done by coming to this site. There's a wealth of info here, and many wonderful caregivers and survivors who will help you through. I didn't have a caregiver during treatment, so I may not have the best advice for you - I'm sure many of the folks here will be sharing pearls of wisdom with you shortly.

    I would recommend, though, that you just be there for her. What she needs/wants may differ greatly from one moment to the next. If she'll let you join her for her follow up visits with docs, that'd be helpful.

    I also think you can just let her know that you're there, and want to help. Please be forewarned though - many folks are NOT at their best and brightest when they're dealing with pain, uncertainty and fear. Hoping the surgery is smooth, and recovery speedy - keep us updated.
  • Skiffin16
    Skiffin16 Member Posts: 8,305 Member
    Be There
    Being there for her is huge.....

    Others will respond soon with their stories and recommendations too....

    Welcome to the family, here is a link to the SuperThread, a lot of great info for newbies like yourself;