Hello, I thought I would provide a slightly different perspective. About a year ago I received an email from a longtime friend and former colleague who lived overseas, whom I only saw every 2-3 years at large international meetings. He had received a stage 4 cancer diagnosis and had been given 1-1.5 years to live. I was shattered by this news, and decided right then and there to be the best possible friend that I could be, albeit a long distance one. I had no idea what to expect, or how to go about this. My early communications were very awkward, but he was very forgiving, saying that he was happy to have the contact. Over time, we evolved into a daily texting schedule, and he would often say how good our chats made him feel. I took my messaging cues from him: when he texted about his chemotherapy I would follow that lead; when he dropped the subject, I swerved to other topics of interest. I did not talk much about work, since his cancer had short-circuited his own brilliant scientific career. I was fortunate that he was very articulate, had an optimistic nature, and a fantastic sense of humor. It was amazing that even with the gravity of his critical situation, he could make me laugh. I guess what I am saying is that some things have to come together in order for a friend to feel comfortable with a cancer patient, especially a terminal one. Each side has to be willing to take a risk, and allow for a growth process. T he electronic medium probably made it easier for me, thoigh we did manage 2 brief face to face meetings. My friend died about 6 weeks ago, and I am still shattered. I desperately miss him, cry every day, but I don't have a single regret, I know that choosing love was right.
... View more
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.