talking with friends

I Understand How You Feel---Really?

Phyllis Johnson Health Guide March 06, 2011
  • In the midst of an already jam-packed work week, two dreaded events hit us.  A student's father died just three months after his cancer diagnosis.  A friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.  My colleagues and I struggled to keep up with getting report cards finished while trying to co...

7 Comments
  • PJ Hamel
    Health Guide
    Mar. 06, 2011

    Such wise words of advice, Phyllis - thank you. I've learned (after many years of doing the "wrong" thing!) to listen much more than I speak. Offering a literal "shoulder to cry on" is often just what the doctor ordered, in times of stress and pain. It's true, none of us knows exactly what the any of the rest of us are feeling. But we all recognize pain, both...

    RHMLucky777

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    Such wise words of advice, Phyllis - thank you. I've learned (after many years of doing the "wrong" thing!) to listen much more than I speak. Offering a literal "shoulder to cry on" is often just what the doctor ordered, in times of stress and pain. It's true, none of us knows exactly what the any of the rest of us are feeling. But we all recognize pain, both physical and emotional; and the value of acceptance, the willingness to listen, and a hug. PJH

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Mar. 06, 2011

      PJ, when we sincerely offer support, it's hard to be really "wrong."  But we can be more effective in how we support others.

  • Jan
    Jan
    Mar. 13, 2011

    Phyllis, the gift of listening is so important. I had to take a friend to her first oncologist appointment last week. I felt so helpless because she had an advanced breast cancer. Yet I learned so much from her as she put on a determined face and plowed through her questions and concerns. I felt honored to be there to ask other questions and help her remember...

    RHMLucky777

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    Phyllis, the gift of listening is so important. I had to take a friend to her first oncologist appointment last week. I felt so helpless because she had an advanced breast cancer. Yet I learned so much from her as she put on a determined face and plowed through her questions and concerns. I felt honored to be there to ask other questions and help her remember what the doctor said. I can't really know how she feels, given that our prognoses are different, but I can offer her a listening ear and a hug (but only before she has surgery and after she heals, and only a gentle hug).

     

    Jan

    Blogging at www.janhasak.com/blog

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Mar. 14, 2011

      Gentle hugs have their own healing power.  You have given your friend a wonderful gift by going with her.  I'm sure she will be grateful for your presence and listening ear as she goes through treatment.

  • SHIRL
    Mar. 10, 2011

    I think the answer to that is yes,but I would like to get it in writing. I get on my sister in law(78) who hasn't had a mammogram. She says there is no history in her family and she doesn't need one. Unlike me I am being treated for it. My parents died from cancer and my brother was succesfully treated for stage 4 prostate cancer, but she drives me crazy when...

    RHMLucky777

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    I think the answer to that is yes,but I would like to get it in writing. I get on my sister in law(78) who hasn't had a mammogram. She says there is no history in her family and she doesn't need one. Unlike me I am being treated for it. My parents died from cancer and my brother was succesfully treated for stage 4 prostate cancer, but she drives me crazy when she says that, especially after what her husband and I have been through. Thanks a lot.  ShirlUndecided

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Mar. 10, 2011

      Shirl, about 85% of women diagnosed with breast cancer have no unusual risk factor for it: no family history, no "faulty" genes, nothing. The two biggest breast cancer risk factors are simply being a woman, and growing older. I'm betting your SIL qualifies on both of those counts... Thanks for trying to educate her - don't give up! PJH

    • SHIRL
      Mar. 10, 2011

      Thanks Pat, I will forward your answer to her.   Shirl