I need to know how to help my friend that is stopping chemo

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

My closest and dearest friend had decided that she just can't handle any further chemo treatments. She was diagnosed 3 years ago with Ovarian cancer and was just getting ready to do another round of chemo. She has decided that quality vs quantity is best now. I totally understand her choice as it has just been so difficult for her. The Chemo has sort of kept it from getting worse but it is not in remission at all. She is just my best and dearest friend and I want to be there and help her do this with dignity but I also just don't want to watch her die. I am selfish in my thoughts as I just don't want to let her go and if I could force her I would to keep going with the chemo but on the other hand I can see what it is doing to her physically as well as mentally.
How do I help her with this. I can use any advise you can offer.
I watched and cared for my mother when she was dying in our home. I held her when she took her last breath but I just don't know if I can do this again.
Thanks for your help and suggestions

Thumbnail by Gourdbeader Thumbnail by Gourdbeader
New Port Richey, FL

So sorry to hear about your friends illness but glad to hear she has a friend who wants to be there for her. So often we are so afraid of losing someone we love that we forget about what they are going through. I've lost too many family members to cancer including both parents and a dear MIL that I was one of the primary care givers. The best advice I can give is to respect her wishes and deal with the reality of it. They know what they have and don't need or want somebody to sugarcoat it and say everything will be fine because it won't and they know it. On her good days if she wants to go do something do it and don't tell her to save her energy. Save it for what? Help her to enjoy and make the most of the good days because the bad will come. Don't be afraid to talk about the inevitable. They need to talk and some one needs to listen. Too often family members understandably don't want to let go and don't want to here their loved ones talk about dying so they don't and they wind up feeling like nobody cares or understands. Even when you don't know what to say just listen and try to see from their point of view. Laugh when she laughs and cry when she cries. Support her decisions even when you don't. Tell her I don't agree or understand but I will support you because I love you and I want you to be happy. Don't force food on them when they lose their appetites. They know what happens when they don't eat and they are miserable enough without us fussing at them and over them. Follow their lead. Some days they need to be depressed and cry and get it out of their system, and some days they need to be angry and grumpy and bite your head off for no reason. It's not you they're mad at it's the disease. Say what you need to say also. Be open. Tell them what they mean to you and that you will miss them. Don' be afraid to cry in front of them and they won't be afraid to cry in front of you. Be the shoulder and sounding board that she will desperately need on this journey because you may be the only one she has. Find your own shoulder and sounding board because you will need one.It's been my experience that this is harder on the the survivors than the victims and we more often get more comfort and compassion from them than they get from us. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

Flsusie, Thank you for your kind words. We sort of have that understanding that I don't caudal her when she is depressed but do things to raise her spirits. I am sort of like that anyway and if I were to hug her when she is teary it only makes it worse for her. We have that understanding so we always say when we need a hug or just kick me in the pants when I am feeling sorry for myself. She has every right to do anyhing she wants to. She used to be a deputy sheriff so she was used to being outspoken and always have control of a situation. I think that is the hardest part for her as the only control she has on this is whether or not to do the treatments or go out fighting,
Thank you for your caring and understanding of the situation. I do appreciate it. Hugs to you

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Rather than repeat all the good words of support above, I'd point out one nutritional thing that may be helpful. Cancer cells LOVE and THRIVE on sugar, whether cane sugar or the natural sugars in fruits. Cancer cells grow 7 times faster on high fructose sugar that regular sugar, so if she cannot avoid ALL sugars, at least read the labels and avoid the HFSC.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

Darius, thank you for your kind suggestions. My dear friend passed away on the 20th of March. It was a rough go for her and unfortunately passed away though she put up a good fight, she just got tired and couldn't fight anymore. I miss her terribly and I will be reminded of her each day as My husband and I are moving into her home. Its a beautiful home and I have been packing all of her belongings for the last 4 weeks and let me tell you that she was a huge collector of crystal, Vaseline glass, carnival glass and so so SO much more. I am packing 40 years worth of her belongings. Her daughter was suppose to be helping me but hasn't as of yet. We will be moving in the last part of May. Her daughter lives next door and we will be leasing the home from her. I have packed all I can pack till she moves some of it out. She has a basement that is full and a shed that is packed, I swear, she was a hoarder in her own way. Its a bit overwhelming. I know that this is helping her daughter but I need help too. This is a three story house so to speak. They will be having a huge estate sale this summer but need to store it all till then. Where??? I haven't a clue.
Can you tell I'm tired.
Thank you again for your suggestions. Jan

New Port Richey, FL

Jan, I'm so sorry for your loss. Packing things away can be physically and emotionally draining, but very healing at the same time. MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH YOU.

Toledo, OR(Zone 8a)

Thank you flsusie, It has truly been a learning experience and I have found out so much about her that I didn't know. I have also learned that when I move in I am downsizing as I would hate to put my family through the emotional ritual of having to decide what to keep, donate, sell, and throw away. I know that what I like doesn't necessarily mean that my children want to keep it all. Minimize is what I am going to do.

So.App.Mtns., United States(Zone 5b)

Jan, I, too, am sorry for your loss. I lost my best friend (who also happened to be a DG member) to cancer, and I miss her dreadfully.

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