Coping with Anger

This entry is part 19 in the series Friends

Angry_womanIn an earlier post, we looked at anger, and we saw that it is a normal part of the cancer roller coaster.

We’re now going to look at ways you can help a friend or family member that is riding that roller coaster, cope with their anger.

We saw the need to help your friend recognise the anger, and identify the fear, frustration or hurt behind that emotion.

Realise it’s not easy for them to admit to fear, or to share their deepest hurts or frustrations. So take it slowly. Once your loved one knows you understand, it will be easier to explore deeper, hidden feelings. You’re obviously not going to turn your back. That opens the door to discuss the unwelcome feeling and the reason behind it. read more

When You Don’t Agree With the Treatment

This entry is part 17 in the series Friends


A lady currently receiving chemotherapy wrote me this concerned question. 

How do I deal with a friend who doesn’t agree with my treatment regime?

I think every person who has faced cancer treatment has faced this problem to some degree or another.

If you are that friend, I’d like to share some thoughts with you. You are probably scared you are going to lose your friend. Perhaps you have already lost someone to cancer. Or perhaps you have heard some of the many horror cancer stories that abound. read more

Don’t cry for me Argentina—or whoever you are.

This entry is part 15 in the series Friends

woman cries at 22nd Annual Bataan Death MarchWhen I was going through cancer treatment, a lady who hadn’t been a close friend before my cancer, seemed devastated by my diagnosis. She wanted to visit me . . . every other day. It was strange as we hadn’t been close before. But stranger still was how she seemed to be compelled to share bad news with me. 

“Did you hear about old Mrs. Dingbat? She’s been diagnosed with cancer – same as you. They don’t expect her to reach the end of the year.” Gee thanks!  read more

Your Friend has Cancer? Take Care!

This entry is part 14 in the series Friends

Sleeping_while_studyingIf you are a family member or the main care-giver of someone fighting cancer, it is important that you take care of yourself as well. It is possible to spend so much time reading up on the disease and finding ways to help your loved one that you experience information overload.

The computer makes this even worse. You can spend hours scouring the Internet, where there is a vast amount of knowledge and helpful suggestions, that you end up not eating properly, or not sleeping. read more

My Friend’s a Christian, but She’s Afraid

This entry is part 13 in the series Friends

Roller coaster2


Fear is another part of the emotional roller-coaster of cancer. 

The words, “You have cancer” are some of the most terrifying words you can ever hear. I can’t say it enough. “The reaction of fear is normal.”

If you have a friend who is a strong Christian, yet she is afraid, that does not mean there is something wrong with her faith or belief system. She is not a coward. The emotion of fear is a normal part of the cancer roller coaster ride. There is plenty to be afraid of.

Your friend may be afraid of: read more

Handle with Care!

This entry is part 12 in the series Friends

tears Flickr Photo sharingIn a previous post I make suggestions on how to help your friend who has cancer. One thing I didn’t mention was the “preachers” that come to visit, or worse—deliver their sermons over the telephone. Sometimes these folk were truly well-meaning, wanting to encourage. But, speaking personally, their words had the opposite effect on me.

“Keep your faith in the Lord!” they would urge. My blood would boil. In whom did they expect me to put my faith?

“Trust the Lord, Shirl,” they would say as they got up to leave. “He’s the only one who can save you.” Well thanks. I actually know that, and I don’t need reminding.

I knew I wasn’t being logical. I certainly wasn’t being gracious. But cancer is neither logical nor is it gracious. read more

A Lesson from Godfather

This entry is part 11 in the series Friends

the_godfather_“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse,” announced Marlon Brando in the famous American crime movie, Godfather. This is a good line to remember when your friend has cancer.

I’ve told this story briefly before, but it illustrates my point. One afternoon, I was sitting quietly in the lounge and my husband answered a knock on the door. There stood a friend who had visited the day before. This time she wore faded jeans and an old shirt. In her hands she carried a basket.

“I’ve come to trim Candy,” she announced. After a quick “Hi!” to me, she called to our Maltese poodle, whom another visitor had referred to as a miniature sheep. Raylene took the dog into the back yard. When I plucked up energy to investigate, she had Candy standing on the garden table, while she moved around clipping and removing huge chunks of dirty white fur. It really did look like sheep-shearing time had arrived. read more