View Full Version : Friend dying of cancer - wwyd?

08-31-2008, 03:55 PM
I have a friend who is dying of ovarian cancer. She is 29. She was diagnosed last year, and went to Houston for treatment. It seemed that she would be okay, but after further testing it was found that it spread and there is nothing they can do. She was given a year to live.

I had not seen her or talked to her for about 8 months prior to this. I keep up with her and her boyfriend as they are mutual friends of another friend of mine. We've gone out to lunch and they have been at parties we have hosted, but we are what I would call "social friends".

I want to call her and maybe take her out, but I'm not sure how to even approach her. I'm terrified honestly. She's just too damn young, and I don't want to seem like I'm only there because she's going to pass soon.

What should I do? I feel just aweful that I haven't contacted her before now.

08-31-2008, 04:29 PM
One of my best friends died of brain cancer when she was only 23. Although I was in contact with her before, there were many people who were not. She loved when people called her (although she didn't always feel like answering the phone) and let her know they were thinking about her.

I know that everyone is different, but she did tell me that one of the only good parts about dying was getting to see everyone.

I would give her a call and just let her know she's been in your thoughts. Let her guide it from there.

I hate cancer so much. It is such an evil, evil disease.

08-31-2008, 05:26 PM
definitely contact her. Knowing she only has up to a year to live, she probably is going to live life for all it's worth since her time is short and she knows that. Getting together with her will be nice and even if it's a short visit, she would probably really appreciate it. Cancer really is an evil disease. (My great Aunt had pancreatic cancer and died the week after Mother's Day, after being told she had no more than 6 months to live just a few weeks earlier)

08-31-2008, 05:28 PM
I would give her a call..she might not answer...I am in the same situation - I have a friend whom I keep in contact with via email and a few lunches/dinners a year who is dying of breast cancer. She told me in an email, and told me she would call me. I've left messages, sent cards..no response.

I would just give her a call and let her know you are thinking of her. I hate cancer.

08-31-2008, 07:08 PM
My mom died of cancer at a young age and many people sent her cards and letters, some of whom she never even met because she was on many prayer lists, and friends of friends, and friends of relatives, and prayer group people and cancer support group people sent them to her. She kept all of them by her side at all times and read through them often. It made her feel good to know so many people cared. So, maybe a card or letter would be nice.

08-31-2008, 08:22 PM
I am sorry about your friend. Do contact her, via card or e-mail or call, and let her direct how she wants to go about things.

My friend did not want to see anyone. However, like others, she apparently kept every card and appreciated each and every one although she lacked the emotional reserves to see anyone.

08-31-2008, 08:43 PM
I'll call her tomorrow. I've never lost anyone to this disease that I was 'close' to, much less so young. If she doesn't answer or doesn't feel like hanging out, I completely understand that.

I'll send a card if I don't get to touch base with her.

Thank you all for your replies, and I'm sorry to hear that many of you have gone through a loss like this. Cancer does indeed suck.

08-31-2008, 10:10 PM
Maybe you could just contact her to see how she's doing without mentioning the cancer. People with cancer or other diseases are bombarded by "concerned friends" when word gets around. Just talk to her like she's a "normal" person and see if she responds. Then go from there.

(I'm not trying to knock you, I'm just saying that people can come out of nowhere when disease hits.)


09-02-2008, 12:17 PM
Kimberland - Dealing with young adults with cancer is what I (now) do for a living, since I was one.

Everyone is different in how they liked to deal with it and be approached by people on the "fringe," (in other words, not your bestest buds). For me, I could tell if you were what I coined a Trauma Queen, someone who was getting close to me cuz you liked drama and a story to tell at the hairdressers. But if you were really shaken and saddened and just wanted to lend your support, I was grateful. Many of the young adults I deal with say they like people to ask questions like "What are you up to?" rather than "How are you feeling?" Cuz odds are they aren't feeling good, and then they feel like they have to lie and say "Oh, I'm fine."

Get her a subscription to Netflix. She may be at home in bed a lot, and need something to distract her. Ask if you can come over and help her in a way that's your special talent (set her up an iTunes account, deal with the insurance companies if that's your specialty, etc.) There are a lot of things people can do other than bring casserole.

The best thing someone can do is admit they don't know what to do (or say.) Just tell her you know she may feel akward about how to deal with friends right now, and you won't be offended no matter how she chooses to cope, but that you'd like her to know she's always in your thoughts. Then give some VERY concrete examples of ways you'd like to help. If she needs to have a Hat Shower where everyone brings her a hat, do that. If she needs a makeover to learn how to paint on eyebrows (and some chemo makes you break out, so a facial could be good), take her to a spa day. Don't just say "let me know what I can do to help," cuz she won't feel comfortable taking you up on it.

Most of all, don't forget that she's still a young woman, not just a cancer patient and DEFINITELY not just a woman dying. She still wants to feel smart and pretty and fun and interesting. Maybe she just wants to go to the damn theatre. ;)

Good luck, and please feel free to email me at courtney@planetcancer.org if you want some specific ideas of things to say/what to do.


09-05-2008, 11:48 AM
My best friend died of Hodkins. Diagnosed at 19, fought it for 10 years then died at 29, 2 1/2 year ago.

I wished I had called her more..taken her out more..spent less time worrying about my failing marriage and been with her more. I regret that now. I think you should take her out. I had planned to take her to a special trip to Disneyland but I waited to long.

11-04-2008, 03:38 PM
I did call her shortly after I started this and left her a message. I never heard back from her but didn't expect to.

I found out today that she passed yesterday. I hear she had a monsterous time the last couple months.

I wish I'd tried to contact her sooner though.

11-04-2008, 03:49 PM
I'm sorry to hear that your friend passed away. I'm glad you called her, though. I think that you can probably rest assured that she was glad to receive your message, and that it brought her some comfort.

11-04-2008, 04:18 PM
How sad. :(

11-05-2008, 07:00 AM
I'm so sorry.:( My MIL is actually going to a funeral today for her BFF that died from ovarian cancer. It sucks, especially so young, omg.

I'm glad you were able to call her and I'm sure she got the msg and it meant a lot to her.

11-05-2008, 08:53 AM
I'm so sorry for the news.

She knew she was loved.

11-07-2008, 04:34 PM
I'm so sorry. :(