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How to Help a Sick Friend

As I sit in bed tonight, wishing I could really sleep for the first time in over a week, I was flipping through my newly opened issue of allure magazine.  I try to save these silly magazines for moments like this - in waiting rooms, when you can't focus on a book, or before bed, where anything too exciting will just make me wide awake again.  A short article caught my eye - "How to Help a Sick Friend", an interview of Letty Cottin Pogrebin, the author of "How to Be a Friend to a Friend Who's Sick".  The article was fine, short and sweet, and did contain some helpful, but pretty obvious tips, like listen carefully, and stop by, but I am hoping for the book to be a little more substantial and helpful for people wondering what to do in a tough situation.

Through the years, as I have struggled through tough diseases, surgeries, and now a lifetime of surgeries and tumors ahead of me, I have seen friends walk away, not know how to act, and I lie on a daily basis when someone asks "How are you?", because they often don't know the true answer to what they are asking.  The truthful answer would be something like awful, devastated, terrified, or just tired.  I sometimes feel like my small group of friends can't handle the hard, often teary conversations about the newest tumor, and the tumors to come.  So I, the sick one, protect them from it, because I can no longer protect myself.

I often turn to my mom to talk about these things, burdening her, because she is one I know won't be able to run away.  We talk about trips that I would like to have a chance to take before I someday have a tumor that can't be treated, how even my own brother and sister don't really understand what is going on.  I cry about the scariness of all of this.  Asking why this is happening to me.  I am not the strong, brave patient you see on TV.  I cry, I complain.  I don't pretend not to be scared.  I am not sure if I am supposed to be honest, or put up a brave front.

I will be reading this book, and if you want to read with me, I would be happy to discuss it!  Either on my blog, on the phone, or over lunch!  Leave a comment below if you have any other book suggestions like this!

Comments

  1. I don't know if you get this too... I just went to visit a NEW endocrinologist who (hopefully) will start treating some of the issues I still have instead of just managing my symptoms.

    Visiting new doctors is so hard for me. I'm a very emotional person too.... but what I dread most about new doctors "Really? You had a confirmed diagnosis of cushings??" Its at that moment I always feel like some type of zoo animal. Do you ever get the same feeling?

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