Cancer and how to support your friends
My mom has extensive lung cancer. Her recent surgery to remove the tumor in her brain has gone well.
The next step will be to explore treatment options and see how much further her lung cancer has spread.
This is her third bout of cancer in four years. She has lost her womb, ovaries and bladder so far.
I know that when people suggest alternative treatments they mean well. But I find very painful. They keep saying things like “try hemp it cured my friends cancer.” I do understand they’re trying to give me hope. I get that they Really don’t know what else to say.
I do understand that. At the same time please be considerate. We really care and are trying our best. We also need to be prepared. I know they don’t really think that we aren’t trying.
If you want to support someone whose parents or loved ones are terminal, bring them food, listen to them. Give them space if they need it. Ask what they need. There are many things you can do to help.
Try to refrain from suggesting that they are not doing enough to help their loved one. If they seem grim maybe they are trying to be realistic in order to prepare themselves.
There’s a line between supportive and judgemental.
Allow your friend to feel whatever they need to in order to get through this.
Our need as a society to always stay positive has not allowed us to grieve when we need to.
Some people like to stay very positive right until the end. It’s how they cope. I respect that.
But I think we have to offer a wider variety of acceptable emotions.
For me I find it easier to accept that there’s a good chance she won’t make it past six months. It helps me prepare.
Of Course I want my mom to live. Pretending optimism that I don’t have is exhausting. And I would only be doing it to benefit society in general and a few friends and family.
I work very hard to stay upbeat in front of mother I’m not an insensitive jerk.
But doing that takes all of my energy. I can’t fake it for you to make you feel better. If you don’t know what to say then just say you’re sorry to hear that and that’s it. I’m too tired to really care whether you’re upset or not. This is taking all of my energy.
If you know someone who is supporting someone through a terminal illness I hope this helps you understand them better.