Best friend just diagnosed

Best friend just diagnosed

Best friend just diagnosed Hello

My best friend of 20 years has just been diagnosed with primary breast cancer. I was with her for the mammogram, immediate biopsy and when she got the news. I am also taking her in to have her lumpectomy this Thursday. It has been a week now since we got the news and I am having real difficulty coping with it - crying when I get the chance (am a single mum and don’t want to let my child know much more at present - so have to keep up a front all day) - usually on the way to work in the morning when I am alone…I keep waking up thinking - ‘no - it’s true’. Does it get easier? I have to be strong when I am with her and for her etc but I need my space to cry too and I wondered if anyone else has had a best mate for whom this is happening? The person I would have talked to about a crisis in my life would be her - but the crisis is hers and it just doesn’t seem right to burden her with my fears etc about losing her when I am physically fine and we don’t know yet what the results of the analysis will be…The cancer is high grade but until the lump is analyzed she won’t know if it has spread etc. The not knowing is horrible - if I new she was dealing with no spread and short term treatment etc that would help - but I can’t help worrying that as it’s aggressive (grade 3) that it may have spread and she may be facing much worse in the future. I so want to take it all away from her and make it all right…and it upsets me just hearing her name and thinking abiout her…She has many friends and I have offered to network with them so we are all in touch and sure that whenever she needs someone (she lives alone) that one of us will be there (inc her sister - only family really). That makes me feel like I am doing some good - but at same time I don’t want to be seen/felt as interfering and trying to organise and control…but it seems to be the way I am coping - by seeing it as a project - setting up a support network and making sure she is ok etc with who can be with her and when. She has joked and said I am project manager and others have other roles etc - so I don’t think she is unhappy with me in this role - but I so so want to do the right thing…and without crying! (She and I did cry the other night when I couldn’t keep it in…but I want to be able to ‘hold’ her emotions and not crack up too…) Any support/advice most gratefully received.

friend Hi lonestar,

I’m so sorry to hear about your best friend.

Wow - I wish I had you for a friend to help get me through my cancer!! It sounds like you are being very supportive indeed. I think she’ll appreciate having a ‘project manager’ to deal with everything once the results are back and treatment begins. The waiting is the hardest part in my opinion - the not knowing… It does get easier once you know exactly what you’re dealing with and what’s going to happen next. Don’t look too much into the future, just take everything one step at a time.

When my mum was diagnosed with bladder cancer a year and a half ago, I was devastated. My diagnosis of breast cancer in February was far easier to deal with for me. So I do sympathise there.

You can’t take this awful disease away, but you can be there for your friend - and it sounds like you have been from day one. Nothing wrong in crying with her from time to time either. Best friends understand each other. Do you have another friend you can offload onto? You could call the forum helpline if you need someone to talk to.

Not sure if this is much help, but I think you are just GREAT!!!

Jacki xx

Hi Lonestar

Just to say I really am feeling for you right now and can empathise.

My mum was diagnosed in 2005 - its only me and her and she is my best friend we don’t have family but great friends - I went with her for the biopsies and results operations and treatments and it was like my world had fallen apart, I have to say i have never felt so frightened and unsure in my whole life, and I cried and cried to myself - my friends were fantastic but it was hard for them as I was 25 at the time and it wasn’t a sitiation they could completely understand.

I have to say that when I had got my head together (this was after 2 g&t’s) I decided i’d do the bits I could that would help - I called her friends and work colleagues to let them know she had been diagnosed, i set up an e-mail account for her to get in contact with her friends as she found that much easier than having to talk to them at first.

At appoinments I would try and listen and ask questions - and try and reassure mum, we are very close so we also talked a lot about what she wanted to know and what she wanted to have done.

I also read up on what would be done and the treatments - we took the approach that she’d do the treatments and i’d find out about them.

Another thing was food just make sure if she is going to be having treaments that if she needs you to just run to the shop to get what she needs - ( my mum took a craving for pot noodles!!) is bizarre lol

I know thi sis a really scary time for you now but my mum is still with me and although it’s been tough there have been and will be some great times ahead - we take off to whatever destination takes our fancy and are still the best of friends.

Also use this website it was an absolute godsend and there advice is fantastic.

I would also like to say you sound like a wonderful friend and believe me the emotional support counts for so so much - I know it helped mum to have her friends even to take her to lunch or phone and give off about how I had an allergic reaction to the hoover!!

And finally your friends medical team will be excellent my mums are amaxing and nearly take care of the pair of us - so good luck and all my love and best wishes


well done you. Ive just been diagnosed and my future is unsure. My two best friends have shown no real interest in me and not only talk to me as if I have an ingrowing toe nail but have started to avoid me . I wish i had a friend like you.

Hi Lonestar

I just wanted to say how lucky your friend is to have you around! My best friends & my sisters did all the communicating with wider groups of people for me, keeping them updated on what was happening etc so that I didn’t have to repeat myself to everyone - for that, I was really thankful.

The best thing they did for me though, was to treat me as they always have done. We had moments where we would cry together but so many times when they dragged me to the pub when I was feeling tired and we would share a bottle of wine and lots of laughs!

It sounds to me like you are already being a fantastic support to your friend and I hope all goes well with her treatment.

And it does get easier - a few weeks in, you will realise that you don’t wake up every morning with bc being the first thing that pops into your head.

Keep smiling :slight_smile:

Lots of love, Sarah

Thank you… Hi Jacki

Thank you for your compassion and advice. I took my friend in for her lumpectomy last week and the results are due next. They took 2 lymph nodes too - so now she waits. Many friends are rallying and her boyfriend is now stepping up his support. She is in good spirits considering - joking about what each day’s delivery will be - ie flowers, fruit, etc. I am keeping in touch as normal - seeing her as normal - but noticing the fear in her eyes, the tears always just a moment away and the outright rejection of others’ suggestions for causes, cures etc. Personally I am in to alternative therapies - but she is so not! It’s really hard to hold back from offering such things as I know how she feels about them- and I worry for her - and wish I knew the answers and could sort it. It’s so frustrating. It comes and goes - is getting easier to deal with - and as the radiotherapy and possibly chemo treatment is yet to come I guess we are only just starting. She likes the gifts from others but then snapped recently and said she just wanted all the fuss to stop…so hard to do right for doing wrong. I know I have to just hang in there and ride her possible anger/rejection etc that may happen sometime too. Am hanging!


Thanks Tabby Hi Tabby

Thank you for your time and supportive reply. Lumpectomy completed. results next week and then she’ll know what treatment for sure. Fingers crossed it hasn’t spread - but I fear chemo as well as radiotherapy for her. Am working hard at just being her friend as normal and not offering advice etc (hard - as others give it to me, ie ‘did you hear about research and connection with breast cancer and red wine/alcohol? Tell your friend…’. Part of me wants to tell her in case there is truth in it and I’d hate to think I hadn’t mentioned something that could save her from recurrence etc and part of me doesn’t as I know she won’t want to hear it. It’s hard to be there for someone and just let them be and do it their way - but that’s my plan.

Thanks for your warm words and love and best wishes to you and your mum!


Thank you Hi Chrisw

I’m so sorry to hear your news. What is your diagnosis so far and do you have family support etc? Another really good friend of my best mate’s, who has been through this with a family member, said you can be surprised by those who you thought would be there for you and those who are that you never expected would have been. Has anyone else appeared in that surprising role yet? Are you telling people or keeping it quiet (some tell all and some none I’ve gleaned)? We talked yesterday about how people’s reactions differ - and some folk are comfortable with being with her knowing she has/had cancer and others are too upset or have not been near yet. I think maybe it will take your best best friends a little time to work out for themselves how to ‘be’ now - as this surely changes everything in the short term. Tell them what you need from them - ask for what you want. At least you will have let them know so they are in no doubt. if they are still unable to support you then others will. My friend’s gp said it is an experience that brings about many changes - and friendships are affected too.

There is a friend like me for you somewhere (maybe here???) and they will appear when you need them most.

Do let me know about your ‘journey’ now - I can’t get to my friend for all the other folks visiting her too - so am here most evenings!


Thank you Thank you. It is already easier and not the first thing popping in to my head. Now I am concerned as I appear to be accepting of the situation and struggle with the lack of emotion around it!!! Lumpectomy done (I took her in for that last week). Results next week. It’s a struggle to just be normal etc but am adopting that strategy - calling, seeing her as we always did ‘before’ and listening when she wants to talk. She jokes about gifts received on a daily basis then wishes for all the fuss to stop. She poo poos folk suggesting things liek arnica to help her wound heal - then buys it and takes it. I am trying really hard though to let her be and deal with it all in her own way - and am calling on my other friends and a counsellor to back me up too now.

So thank you Sarah.