On New Year's Eve just past, my neighbor called round and told me that she had been
diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. She just broke down and I gave her a big hug, but
I was also stunned by the announcement and at that moment didn't know what to do or
say. She is a lovely lady, same age as myself and married to a very jealous and abusive
husband. If she is here for any longer than 10-15 minutes he's comes barging over and
ordering her back home. He's basically a couch potato with the TV remote control glued
to his hand, and another remote to control his wife. She accepts the situation as it is
and is not bothered about doing anything to put things right.

I'm always doing something for them, baking muffins, apple strudels, peanut brittle and
loads of veg that I grow. Every christmas I give them a large tin of chocolates, a bottle
good quality wine and bake them a large fruit cake. But since she told me her news, I
am doing a lot more baking for her as I know she appreciates it, and I don't really know
what more that I can do to support her.

In July, she had good news that the tumor had shrunk to almost nothing, following
weeks of chemotherapy. I was very happy for her, hoping that this would just go into
remission. Last week, she told me that she had a large lump to the side of her breast
and the doctors said it was spreading to the whole breast. She told me it was uncomfortable
and all her side was getting red from the radiotherapy. I've been quite upset over this, and
don't really know what to do for her. I really don't want to see her go, and seems so unfair
that it's the good people that die first, or so it seems. I don't feel comfortable to ask her
about her situation/treatment any more, but want to keep her mind off the subject and
maybe my mind as well.

Ron
Hi Ron, I read your post and it is a sad what you'r going through and the lady to,but there is no mention that this lady has any children that can support her through this. you are a great person to this lady and you are there for her and that is what matters the most, you are doing all you can there is nothing more you can do,you seem to be the only one giving this lady the strength to get through this.you should be proud of yourself,you have helped and given to this lady and her husband, what more can you give or do that you have not done already. x
Well she kind of sounds like my aunt I won't discuss that one. This is happen to a co-worker believe or not , not sure about the spelling at times ,
month 1 , her husband had his complete aorta  replaced due to an aneurism, 3 others died during their operation, very high risk , he survived his  and recovered nicely , 3 months later he was diagnosed with bladder cancer treated and recovered , shortly after or during his treatment she started both radiation and chemo for stage 4 breast cancer after a lumpectomy  , during this he was schedualed for shoulder surgery just as she neared the end of her treatments he had surgery for another aneurism , he is doing good and so is she . All this happened in about the last 2.5 years
All any one can do is be a friend , listen when need to, give words and actions of encouragement , personally I try not to bring up the health issue first but talk about other things, common likes, hobbies etc ,right now my neighbor has lung cancer and is being treated for it , i keep an eye out and do things like shoveling snow , i can't bake though but she can, I also try not to step on any pride while being helpful but i don't think that's a problem in your case with your neighbor . Just be strong and act normal for her but you may need a very good friend at times because it will be hard. I know because of the following My aunt had a kidney transplant passed on , my father had prostrate cancer  surgically  removed successfully , my niece had a brain tumour at 1.5 years old  success, my brother had a kidney transplant, another aunt passed away due to cancer 2nd time. Not trying to bring you down , just letting you know that I do understand what you are going through, best of all just be understanding and patience. And remember be strong at least in front of her
 
morton1 wrote: but there is no mention that this lady has any children that can support her through this.


Thank you for your kind words morton, she has two sons, one is a druggie who lives about 80 miles away and most likely not of any useful support and the oldest who lives with them. When I have spoken with him, he does seem to be bothered, but he could be hiding his thoughts from me, rather than just not caring. The father has no time for either son and he makes that known to everyone. I do feel very sorry for her not just because of the cancers, but of the lifestyle she has chosen to stick with. If only ......
When she told me she had cancer, she asked that I keep it to myself as there are a few malicious gossips around, one promise I will keep. I can't mention some things, as I don't know if there is anyone on this site who might know her and would be able to connect the dots. I have repeatedly told her I will be there for her and will do whatever she wishes.

Ron
Thank you painter for your kind words. Life really is unfair, some people just seem to have anything and everything thrown their way. It does make your own problems seem so petty and trivial in comparison.


Ron
Hi Mi.l: You sound like a good and caring friend, neighbour. I took care of a friend through lung cancer, drove her to treatments etc., stayed with her for company. As much as I loved her, it was exhausting physically and emotionally. I'm telling you about this so you can be sure to take care of yourself. My friend didn't have any close by family, her husband did help though as much as he could.

Just continue doing the things you are doing and you could ask her if there was something she might like. There are support groups available for her too. She might need a drive to meetings. In those meetings she could speak freely about her feelings which may be helpful.

Bless you!
Thanks seashells. Unfortunately I am no longer allowed to drive, if I could I would offer to take her where ever she needs to go. I don't spend much time over there or go as often as I would like too, because of her husbands attitude and as I've seen in years gone by, that men like this could resort to violence. If that did happen I know all too well that she would not say a word about it. At the moment she is able to be up and about and still drives. She puts on a brave face, but that too becomes hard to do and I hope I'm there to give her comfort when that time comes.


Ron
Hi Mi-lwcus. I am very sorry. It is going to be very hard for her, her family, and also you. Take care of yourself. You needs to stay strong. Sometimes people from the family do not want to talk about it, it hurts too much. It can bring also conflict in the family and but also a lot of stress. You already do great, she knows that you are there for her. Try to be normal but in reality sometimes you can't. Ask her how she feels, if she needs something special. Keep an eye on her, but it will be difficult as she is married. Be her gardian angel, she will know that you are there for her. Treatments are usually very hard, aggresive, and strong. She will be sick probably a lot. In reality, you will be able to do nothing for her as she is in the hands of the doctors and God. You can only support her in this terrible situation. You will see her suffer probably. Be strong... Just be there if she needs you, and listen to her. You can also go to Oncology to get information about her sickness and her treatments. You can have little booklets. You can also find a lot of things on the Internet about cancer. That is what I did... Courage... Chokko x
I agree with Chokko. Just knowing you are there is probably a big boost for her morale. Maybe you could chat with the husband and let him know, as a friend, that you know it must be difficult for him also going through this. And let him know that as a neighbour and friend you would like to help if and when you can. I'd continue the baking for them. When I engage in conversation with couples, I usually focus on the woman, as I am a woman and don't want to appear only interested in the husband. I suppose you being the male, would focus on the husband more if you do visit bearing gifts, baking and such. Then he wouldn't feel so threatened by another male presence in his home. You get the idea. Maybe you don't have that much to do with him anyway (because of his temperament, personality), but I would try and engage him more. I don't know your whole situation and this may not be feasible but just wondering if this might help since you did mention his jealousies. In any case, her knowing you are there concerned and caring for her welfare, is probably great support for her right now. You are doing very well, just remember to take care of yourself too. God bless.
MI.... just knowing you are there and that she has someone she can talk to will mean the world to her, it will let her know that someone cares. I went through a major cancer surgery this fall and some family was there for my surgery day, I was in the hospital for 8 days and had very few visits, my daughter never came to the hospital at all after the surgery day, and just a few times once I was home. I am in a family of people who don't deal with things well, denial is their comfort, so everyone was scared to talk to me about it, and it made me feel like they didn't care. They thought that sending a card would be enough. I am the opposite, so I am always the one everyone turns to. I was scared of the unknown, and having someone to talk to or at least knowing I had someone I could talk to would have made it a lot less scary. Your acts of kindness will mean more than you know. We all need a friend like you.
Chokko, seashells and my time, thank you for your kind words, they do make me feel rather humbled. This lady is so nice and caring, but she is determined that it won't bring her down and she will fight it. Problem is I admire her stance but at the same time wondering how much is she holding back. She doesn't look ill, hasn't had the falling out hair some people suffer, wouldn't know if she has ever been sick. I hope that she doesn't let that pride stop her from getting the help and attention that she will need at sometime. I do spend some time talking with her husband, he is in the early stage of alzheimers but I not sure but think he may just be a bit insecure. He doesn't really talk about her condition, but then I do wonder if she is hiding her problems from him also. I am very conscious of how much time I spend with her, not too long, but long enough I hope. That is one reason I chose do bake things for them as it can be shared with the family, and isn't just for her only. She has been a good friend over the years and will sadly miss her. I suppose its growing older and realizing how mortal we are, is having a bigger impact on me. When you're young, old age, terminal diseases, disabilities are something that are so far away in your outlook of life that you don't understand as you should. I suppose now it's too close to ignore anymore. I have lost every true and loyal friends I have had over the years and I keep asking why them? They didn't deserve it, they were good, sincere and honest and none of them would every turn their back on you, no matter what. I think should leave it that, starting to get a few tears now.....
It is not a shame to have tears... You will feel better after, even cry if you need it. You will find inside you the strenght. You will, because people are strong. People with cancer are also very strong, it is amazing... You will be proud of her. She will teach you a lesson of life and courage. Keep always the faith... x
I usually try and visit all those that I know either in the hospital or while recovering at home , though I am very careful , at times more so than most, in regards to what the person is being treated for and my health. With somethings like caner treatments it tends to destroy the immune system so if I even think I have a cold I won't go near. I also make sure that I aware of all possible side effects both physical and mental of the treatments as they can change a person drastically and can create hardships with friends .The drugs my brother takes affect him a lot but he needs them. The drugs often change, temporarily, his personality . I would also research alzheimers it may help you deal better with the husband, It sort of sounds like your friend is trying to handle not only her condition but her husbands as well and that is an awful lot for one person. 
i was reading your profile , I don't knit , embroidery , crochet etc but I can read the patterns , pick out mistakes and I  can honestly say I don't need help in a yarn shop. Occasionally I will draw out a pattern for mom.  Nothing wrong with cooking from scratch, I will even make my own pie crust but right now I can't.
Thank you Chokko, just a weak moment, my friends would have smacked the back of my head were they here, lol.

Painter, thanks for your advice. Did have to be careful when she was on chemo, as you say it leaves them with no immune system. Being alone and not exposed to people made me a safer bet, but did see her driving into town quite often. Don't know what she did then or just took a chance. Sadly dementia is something close to home, with my parents/grandparents and also with my wife's family, who are quite advanced now.

Now if you were passin', could have dropped in and I could show you how to crochet and knit. Spinning of the other hand is a bit more challenging to learn.

take care everyone and thank you for your kind help and advice

Ron
Mi not all cancer treatments make your hair fall out, depends on the drugs being used, not all people loose weight either, seems to depend on how aggressive the treatments are and the drugs affect people differently, its kind of a toss up. If the drugs are causing issues they can adjust them or add anti nausea drugs.... People don't lose weight from the drugs, its from not feeling like eating from nausea. I had to learn all of that the hard way, since they wanted me to start chemo after my surgery, then.... through the grace of God, the final pathology report showed that tumors I had were pre cancerous and the others weren't the kind of cancer that spreads, didn't know there was such a thing, I learned more than I ever wanted to lol. Now I just have to go for regular checkups for then next year. It is really scary, for me it was the fear of the unknown. Perhaps if her husband seems agitated it is because of the Alzheimer's? This is not uncommon. And perhaps if he is not comfortable with her leaving for very long it is because he is afraid to be away from her? Alzheimer's seems to create confusion and with that can come restlessness especially when they know its happening but cant control it. Just a thought. If she is still getting treatments then they must think there is a chance that she will beat the cancer, maybe that is what she is focusing on. I had to go through the cancer clinic when they wanted to start chemo and that is where I go for my check ups and I saw that when you get your treatments you are around others doing the same thing, I was really surprised that most people who were going through treatments have a smile on their face, and are quite chatty, it wasn't at all the gloomy environment that I expected it to be. Just knowing people care can be a source of strength, keep up the good work.