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I have a friend who I recently found out has lung cancer. She is not a very close friend, but a friend, nonetheless. She has been calling me and I have not returned the call, as I don't know how to handle this situation. I care very much but don't know if I should call and say "I heard" ... or what to do. I also am feeling very stressed out over my Mom and other things right now and do not know if I can handle this or how to. I do not want to call and then stop the whole thing because I cannot handle it, but I feel guilty for not calling.

What would you do?

Thanks.

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The friends who cheer me up the most never talk about cancer or leukemia. They join me for lunch and talk about vacations, new babies, weddings and anything that will make me laugh. One hour away from all my cares is life-saving.
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Hi if she rang you - she must want somebody to talk to - pick up the phone or go and visit her - You will be so glad you did - My friend died a few months ago and they need people to be there for them as they find it easier to talk to outsiders rather than their family.
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My friend has mouth cancer i rang her straight away and i am here for her because thats what friends are for?? If you have to ask what to do then are you really a friend?
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The one thing I have learned as I've gotten older, is that it isn't about my feelings it is about being there for another person. All you have to do is call, say "I am so sorry", let them know you will be praying for them and just listen. Your friend will probably do all the talking and that is what she needs now.

Sometimes the only thing we can do for each is say a prayer and listen.
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Anonymus, I am glad you called her....

Back when I had cancer I lost most of my friends because they didn't know what to say or they were scared they would say the wrong thing. I just needed someone to talk to. I wound up calling my ex-mother-in-law because she would always make me laugh and laugh, and she enjoyed the calls, too. We became the best of friends :)

JessieBelle, excellent post.... wish everyone would think that way. Guess some thought cancer was contagious, even though they knew it was impossible. Or they thought they would be next.
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Good for you!
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I just called her and I feel better for it. thank you all for helping me.
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We can't answer this question for you, maddisson. You're the only one who knows how much you care for this person. If someone has cancer they do not become the disease. It's not like they are going to load you down with any sadness. They are the same person that they were. Cancer is not contagious, so there is no reason to fear or avoid a friend. If you liked her before, you will still like her. Just treat her the same as you did before she had cancer.
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I too would call her. Let her talk, listen to her, sympathize with her about her illness. She probably just needs an ear to listen. If your not comfortable offering her your time let her know how ill your Mom is and just how busy her sickness keeps you..

Then I would send her a card to let her know she is in your thoughts..
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I would wring my hands and worry some and dither around for a while, and then I would call. It is the right thing to do.

Imagine if you had a serious disease and your friends would not return your calls. Lonely, right?

I can understand that you have your own stresses to handle. Your friend's cancer is not about you. Call her. Take your lead from her. If she wants to talk about her disease and her feelings, be a good listener. If she wants to reserve her heavy-duty emotional talks for family members and very close friends and only wants to have "ordinary" conversations with more casual friends, then stay within the topics she initiates.

Isolating her because you don't know what to say isn't good for either of you. Call her. Let her take the lead in the conversations.
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