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This is what I mean by not needing to have had the same experience to be a good friend. It’s free, and all you have to do is offer (and follow through).
As Julie Klam points out in her book , acknowledging someone’s wishes should be paramount.
Is there something at work I can do to make it easier for you? It shows concern and they can be as detailed as they want in their response. A few weeks ago someone tweeted to me, “As a cancer survivor myself, I know that half the battle is the mindset. ” Then followed that one up with “I meant that if we believe we can win against it, we will.” Comments about someone’s attitude are definite don’ts.
Does that mean those who die every day are responsible for their deaths because they are weak-minded?
You may think your suggestions of supplements/vitamins/tea are harmless, however, there are serious interactions that can dull the effectiveness of chemotherapy and other treatments. I like what @travisbhartwell tweeted to me: “Mindset changes the days you have, not the number of days you have.” The worst thing that can happen is that friends disappear. It may be that they are afraid they’ll say the “wrong” thing and end up being written about.
Not all lotions are good to use during radiation treatment. But I think it also has to do with the fact that death and illness make people uncomfortable. People who should be in touch with me at least every week or two (because that is how often we saw each other before) have just dropped away. People with serious illnesses do not expect you to know everything about their new diagnosis.
This is why many people don’t know they have cancer and are completely taken by surprise. Part of what I try to do here is level the playing field.
I try to bring you information and advice you can use so that you will know more about helping than you did before.Later in the chapter Julie recounts being a friend to someone who had to terminate a pregnancy. Give her reminders that she is not forgotten even if she is not out in public. It’s just more personal than seeing it on a screen.She asks Julie a question that continues to haunt me: The truth of the matter is that for some it will. I love getting cards or texts or emails that tell me what my friends are up to. Of course texts and emails are great for frequent check-ins, but for a special message? Other winners to me are notes that remind me of a funny experience a friend and I had, a favorite memory. They will send me a pretty card and tell me what they saw at the farmer’s market or in their own garden or what they’re looking forward to about Spring. I don’t like religious quotations or cards that focus on people praying for me or hoping for a miracle.That said, there are so many people in my life who are so wonderful. Who send notes or emails of support months after the initial shock. Texting and email help because talking on the phone is almost always too much of an ordeal and/or inconvenient. They are probably learning a lot of information in a short period of time and may not even know the details of their diagnosis and treatment.I have friends who email me at the beginning of the week to say, “I’ll be at the grocery store, the drugstore, and the post office this week. ” Some will text on the spur of the moment, “Running to Costco. They don’t expect you to have the knowledge but you need a way to connect. Things will work out.” Saying this to someone with stage 4 cancer comes across as dismissive of the seriousness of their diagnosis.Sometimes a friend just needs to cry and vent, no advice wanted.