Monday, January 25, 2010


Two weeks before Christmas a friend saw her doctor concerned about a breast lump she had become aware of.  By its characteristics, the doctor didn't think it was anything malignant, but, made a hospital referral anyway, saying she should be seen in about two weeks, by Christmas.  

As she is on her own, I asked my friend if she would like some company for the appointment.  I never received a firm answer. It transpired the appointment would not be for a month, they were busy with other patients, the hospital said. 

Meantime, my friend emailed me to give her thoughts on what her problem was;  these were her best hopes and were possibilities.    She still did not say if she wanted company for the appointment, I did not want to push, and travelling 240 miles round trip without knowing what she would like, was really not viable.

Late last week, my friend was told that there was a 90% chance she had cancer. She felt dreadful, who wouldn't.  I was stunned.   I have asked again what can I do for her.  As yet, there has been no reply.  Now what do I do?


Anonymous said...

beyond saying that you're there if she needs you, which you have done, i don't think there's much else until you hear something back.

i've not been in this position myself but imagine that she might be wary of friends pitying her?

i hope she gets the all-clear and that it was all worry without grounds.

ZACL said...

Thanks Ax,

I did leave a couple of phone messages, just to say I called, they were non specific.

I think, in part, your second para contains a fair point; I suspect she is highly ambivalent. She's had a bad 2 years with consecutive deaths of parents, none of which helps.

I am dubious it will be an all clear with a 10% chance. Like you I hope the 10% goes her way.

Leah said...

I am SO sorry. How difficult. She may just need some time, I'd think. I'm thinking there's a denial stage, an adjustment stage, etc. She may still be trying to get her brain around the situation, if you know what I mean. She may not know what she needs right now. I know I tend to go quiet when I'm not sure. Reassurances that you are there if she needs anything may be best...and some prayer, if you are a praying person.

ZACL said...

Hello Leah,

This is a really helpful reply, thanks. I had not given thought to the stages of loss and grief, yet that is exactly what you have reminded me about.

Another more direct email today, has evoked a reply from my friend. She more-or-less says she does not know what she needs at the moment.

Good to hear from you.