• Quote of the Day
    "Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life;
    not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens."
    Kahlil Gibran, posted by David Baxter

sunset

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I had gotten word that a lady we know that used to go to our church, was diaganosed with an inoperable brain tumor. She has a daughter who is about to give birth to her first child, a son who is engaged to be married this coming may, and another son, who is 16. Have known her and the whole family my whole life.

I want to send her a card, but I want to say something comforting, and not something that sounds fake or what you should probably say..

She is not taking calls right now, as she is in shock and so is her family. She is getting a biopsy today, but I heard they gave her the usual 3 month to live talk.. I think prayer goes a long way and I know she is in GOD's hands no matter the outcome.

What would you say to this person? What could I say to her husband, or 3 children?
 

David Baxter

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There's little one can say, really. I would keep it simple - something like "You are in my thoughts. If there's ever anything I can do, please don't hesitate to let me know."
 

sunset

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Thanks Dr B.. That is what my first thought would have been, but somehow I think a person has to say something profound, to really help someone. Guess its dumb to think any words would really help right now. I am sure she is too shocked to even register anything someone writes or says to her.

I feel so bad for them..
 

Retired

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Sunset,

It's a situation where your initial contact is best kept simple. I agree with David's approach, to simply let the person know you are there for them if they need support.

I would submit that if this lady is dear to you, and it sounds like she is, then go ahead and make the contact, either with a card or a call.

Unfortunately you have a limited amount of time to share your feelings with this lady, so you don't want to lose this valuable opportunity.

From personal experience, I once could not find the words to say to a dear friend who was diagnosed with a terminal condition, and I regret to this day not making the contact.

It's not unusual for people in this situation to shut themselves off from visitors, however in other cases the person comes to terms with their diagnosis, and is comfortable with discussing it.

I have known only one person in the latter category, but this man was exceptional and found solace in his spiritual convictions. I did not make the same mistake with him, as I did with my other friend.
 

ladylore

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Its a tricky one Sunset,

I definitely agree with David's approach about what to say to her. I guess taking her lead is a good way to keep contact with her.

I have had a couple different experiences in this area. I have know a few women with cancer and one is still alive. One of these friend's was quite sick and did pass on quickly. Another who has also passed on refused to have anyone treat her like she was sick. She took life as a great gift and cherished every moment. I was told by her daughter that her mom died with a smile on her face.

The third woman who I had befriended is still alive even though she was given only about 6 months to a year. This is 4 years after the diagnosis. With her I would go with the flow, if she wasn't feeling well we would sit and talk. When she was feeling well we would go for lunch or a bit of a hike. We have lost touch but I hear she is still doing well.

Never know what life will bring. Wanted to share this perspective with you Sunset.
 

sunset

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Thank you both for your input.. They live about 5 hrs away so I wont be seeing her, but I will send a card. I do know about regrets, and I dont want that to be the case here, and I appreciate you saying it again to bring it to my mind once again. Sometimes we are in the moment, and dont think of all we should do or say before its too late.

Our church had a prayer meeting last night for her, so I feel we did something that was in our power to do. GOD is the ultimate healer and she is in his hands.

Her daughter just had a baby girl this morning (first baby, and first grandbaby to my ill friend)and the baby has a hole in her heart and will need surgery in 2 months. Its a lot to handle for them at once, but that is what is going on.

She goes for a biopsy on monday and then they will see what they can or cant do. Someone mentioned surgery using a gamma knife. Not exactly sure about what this does, but I assume its to shrink the tumor.
They apparently gave her 2 or 3 months to live. So sad.
 

Retired

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It sounds like you now have the situation in hand, Sunset. Since my own one unfortunate mistake in avoiding contact, I have never hesitated to make contact with people in serious medical crisis since then.

People sometimes just want to know there is someone there who can relate to their situation.
 

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