A learning curve and an accolade

More
12 years 8 months ago #20396 by jeannielea
For the last two weeks I've been staying with a friend having treatment for cancer. Went with her for three consecutive days of Chemo at Wellington hospital, to an appointment to talk about radiation and when she had the last of her hair shaved off. The day ward for the chemo was unbelievably busy but the other patients were wonderful - friendly, helpful, and funny. We learned some good ways to pretty up a beanie so it looks smart from a young women who looked so beautiful in her turban style scarf. The nurses and doctors were amazing and nothing was ever any trouble even though they were rushed. They made my friend (and others) feel they mattered.
The radiation appointment had some bad moments when they said she has to have 5 weeks of 5 days each (which had not previously been mentioned) and that she may not drive. As she said, every time you think there might be good news, or are not expecting anything much, it rears up and hits out at you.
Losing her hair was more than traumatic and she shook all over. Luckily her very understanding hairdresser came to the house and spent ages, chatting away as if this was a normal experience.
I will probably be with her again during the radiation time - my role is just to be there when she doesn't want to be alone. But I'm writing this because I feel so priviledged to have been allowed catch a glimpse of what this scary illness is like.
I am full of admiration at the strength and determination of the patients I saw and talked to as well as for the staff who are dealing with the effects of the treatments but manage to keep going with such love and care.
I know some people on this forum have had or are going through something similar and I truly admire the courage I know you will also be bringing to your own situations. And it does take heaps of courage even to try and lead a normal life every day.
For me there has has been a lot of learning, for her I hope there has been some comfort in my being there, for you others, you are definitely part of my everyday thoughts because I want to be part of those who surround you with love in the hope it might make things a bit easier for you.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #300461 by Pumpkingirl
Kudos to you Jeannielea, that's a very gutsy effort, and I'm sorry your friend is going through something so dire.

If there's one thing cancer taught me, it's that so many people - good people, loving people, family and friends - turn away in fear from someone with cancer. Yes, they may visit, and they're not bad people at all, they just want to ignore the big elephant in the room so much, and go on "like normal" because they think that's what the person with cancer wants, when really it's because they don't want to think about death.

It takes guts to face up to it like you obviously have with your friend, to be there to allow her to emote whatever she's feeling, good, bad, ugly, to see it in all the people around you.

My biggest (ongoing) lesson was/is letting people say things they want to say/feel, even if it's ugly, or pessimistic, or not what I want to hear, and then resist the urge to tell them it's not ugly, or to be brave or positive or whatever. It's really hard, but really important.

Big hugs to you both.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #300462 by spoook
A huge accolade to you for supporting your friend [:X] and big hugs to your friend.
I was fortunate that in the end I did not have to have radio or chemo therapy. I was told 5 days for 5 weeks, not sure how I would have gotten through it. :( To lose my hair [:0] I even hate having it trimmed :confused:

Believe me, you being there, just being there, will make a difference.... she is not going through this alone and your experiences could be passed on to others.

I still don't think the seriousness of the whole affair ever hit me, it all happened so fast.

There are no bad questions only those that are not asked.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed"

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #300489 by The Kats Place
Your poor friend, I hope her hair doesn't grow back grey like mine did! She is fortunate to have you by her side, take care of yourself too as you will be no good to her if you get sick.
Keep us posted on how things are going and we are here to offer you support while you support your friend.

kats
Live your life in such a way that it will be easy for people to say nice things at your funeral [;)]

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #300492 by kate
Good on you Jeanielea for supporting your friend :D Support and friendship is invaluable when we're in trouble...I hope you have someone to lean on too...

Web Goddess

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #300503 by Castle Peak
What an amazing friend you are Jeannielea!

It takes guts to be there, to talk about it and not shy away from this nasty disease. Big hugs to you both. X

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #300524 by Toast
Thinking of you both. Just having somebody you know and trust present will be wonderful for her.

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Toast is the best food in the world
Whisky is the best drink in the world

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #300531 by DiDi
Jeanielea - thank you for writing this. I have never been in this position nor had friend's need my help in this way so it was amazing to read such a personal and heartfelt response to your situation.

It really made the issue so much clearer for me and hopefully for others who haven't had the experience. Wishing your friend all the best for her recovery and hugs to you for being such a lovely friend.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #300545 by eelcat
Your friend is very lucky to have such a wonderful person to be there for her. Thank you for writing this.

1 Border collie, 1 Huntaway, 2 Lhasa Apsos, Suffolk and arapawa ewe crosses, an Arapawa ram,an East Friesian ewe , 5 cats, 42 ducks , 1 rooster and 30 hens, 5 geese, 12 goats, 2 donkeys, 2 house cows, one heifer calf, one bull calf, 3 rabbits and lots and lots and lots of fruit trees...

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 years 8 months ago #300616 by jeannielea
Thanks for all the replies and good wishes. but it wasn't really about my part, more about what is happening to people with cancer and for those like me, how little we understand.
I like PG's image of the elephant in the room because that definitely fits some people and if writing this helps someone to be a bit more brave for someone they know I will be more than pleased.
And TKP we tease her it will grow back curly!!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Time to create page: 0.204 seconds