Hello everyone 🙂
My name is Jessika and I have joined this online community to help educate myself on cancer and all that comes with it.
My dearest friend, who just turned 52, has stage 4 breast cancer and has been given less than 3 years life expectancy. To be honest, I'm not sure if it's even classed as breast cancer anymore because it has spread to her bones and spine. As you can see, this topic is foreign to me but I hope to change that so I can better support my friend and understand what is going on.
She is one of those lovely souls who always puts on a smile and says she's ok and I know she's not. Unfortunately I live a 3hr drive away from her and the people around her aren't supportive. Obviously with the Coronavirus there is no visitations either.
I will try my best to find answers on my own around the forum so I'm not making repeat threads and I hope to get to know you all and perhaps be support for you also. I look forward to seeing everyones inspiring courage and experiences 💜
an amazing person you are for thinking outside the box and seeking information. I have a colleague who is in the same boat as well as I am currently diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatment. A few comments that can help your friend:
Try not to treat them like a lost cause
dont give them puppy dog eyes and constantly ask how they are, but still be compassionate. They still want to be treated as normally as possible.
she will be scared and unsure what the future holds so be aware of that.
you can provide practical gifts if you wish that will help. Things like soft beanies for when and if she loses her hair, lip balm, soft and gentle shampoos (moo brand is good), advise that their is a wig service and feel good service available as well as cancer council offers free holiday getaways (maybe you can go with her between treatments), lots of salty snacks, a book called f you cancer is a good read, encourage her to gargle with salt water every night to avoid mouth ulcers (this is all based on that she will have some sort of immunotherapy, chemo or radiation therapy), I engaged with a naturopath to help me bounce back quicker between treatments but it’s not for everyone.
All you can do is be there for when she asks but try not to push yourself on them. Some people like space.
regardless you have done the right thing. Good luck and here if you have any questions.
Thank you so much, Nas!
I will definitely take all of that on board and mention to her about the salt water! I have been super careful when purchasing her gifts, making sure they are safe for people having chemo - I'm very picky!
We have a really strong understanding of one another; I give her space and just send her pics and voice messages that she can listen to when she has the time and energy.
One thing she did mention on the phone to me the other night was a treatment the doctors wanted to start her on to strengthen her bones but she didn't want to have it because it makes your teeth fall out? I will have to get the name of it from her and look into the forum further. I know she wanted me to help her find an alternative supplement for bone strength to avoid the injections.
She is struggling financially so I am planning to start a GoFundMe campaign for her, but I need to wait until she has the time and energy for that phone call so I can get all the correct details for it. Her super fund won't release her money for some reason which is completely frustrating! I am going to help her in changing companies so she can get her money. No one going through so much should have to worry about putting food on the table or paying bills. I will fight for her! ✊🏻
Thank you so much again for taking the time to reply to me and giving me all those helpful tips! 💜
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