Following on from all the neat comments when I last posted about staying with a friend with cancer, I thought I could add a bit more as I've just had another 5 days staying with her. This time it was after she came out of hospital after part of her lung collapsed after a bronchoscopy. She had the latter after they found problems with the lungs which might or might not be due to the chemo treatment, or might or might not be a result of the cancer itself (in the upper left lung) and because the previous result had not been clear as to which type of small cell cancer it is!! So you can begin to understand the confusion she feels about things as it seems the experts are not certain either. All treatment is stopped at present awaiting the results of the bronchoscopy. She was discharged last Monday but has had no contact to ask how she is, or to reassure her that the lung is probably continuing to inflate itself. She feels weak, scared and depressed. At the lowest times I felt she resented me being there because I'm proof that she is unable to do things herself. At other times I had no such feelings. I think its all part of the resentment and anger at the total change to her lifestyle - and after all, apart from a cough she was well till treatment started. Its 5 months since her journey began, that's a long time to be waiting for a diagnosis and to be wondering 'what next' re treatment or appointments. Its a long hard journey and at this point no-one knows how it will end. I came home on Saturday because she wanted to try and see how she would go when she is alone. So far it's been okay.
So I've learned even more and understand a bit better what it must be like for people who are living with a family member in a similar situation and my admiration just grows for those who are in this situation.
Your friend must be terribly scared. The unknown is frightening and it must be easy for the resentment and anger to slip in at other times.
I've been through this with my brother in law who died and left my sister a widow aged 39 with two teenagers. The not knowing what to do or say was awful for us, but once the diagnosis was terminal my BIL coped amazingly well and in some ways that made it easier to help him live his last few months to the max. But being alone must triple the feeling of helplessness and lonliness.
I hope your friend gets a balance between being able to cope, and asking for help when she really needs it. She's very lucky to have you as a friend Jeannielea.