From Tracie: What Can You Say??

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

What Can You Say??

I have a cousin........I have several cousins, and I wouldn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but there is one who has always been my favorite. We live on opposit sides of the country and only get to see each other once a year. We don't talk much in between visits--but we know that we love each other.

So tonight my mom calls me and says that my favorite cousin had a mamogram with a spot on it so they had her come back and do another one-same spot. It isn't a lump that you can see or feel-just a cluster of cells. Yesterday she met with the surgeon that is going to do the biopsy-he said that on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being definately the C-word, she is a 4 right now. Then he explained to her what the next year is going to look like with chemo and the masectomy and the reconstructive surgery. Already he tells her all this. They don't even know for sure if it is something (but I guess he is feeling pretty sure).

The biopsy is next week and she will have results the day after. please pray for her, and for her husband and four children. Understandably, no one is taking this well.

And here is my selfish dilemma. What do I say to this cousin who I love so much but talk with so infrequently. My mom said that the whole family had been freaking out and crying and my cousin has been the strong one going around comforting everyone....I don't want her to feel responsible for making me feel allright about what is happening. I want to make her feel allright, but what do you say to someone in this position. The coward part of me just wants to pretend that I don't know and not contact her at all (isn't that horrible) but I know that I should, and I know that I am going to........I just don't know what I'm going to say.


  1. Tough situation, sorry to hear about your cousin...What do I say to this cousin who I love so much but talk with so infrequently. I would say call her up and tell her exactly what you wrote, that she is in your thoughts, just let her know you are there for her... Good luck to her. The biopsy is not there yet, there is still hope.
    Here via Miss Wings.

  2. With all her close family fussing around her she could probably do with some 'normal' conversation.

    Call her up, let her know you've been told what's happening and then just talk as you normally would about the same kind of stuff you always discuss.

    I'm sure that if she wants to talk through the situation she will but she might just enjoy a friendly voice that lets her feel OK for a while.

  3. It's not horrible. I'd be thinking the same thing. I'll tell YOU that you should call (even though it would be hard for me too). Be strong, don't CRY. Call and tell her how everything is gonna be fine, and that there is no need to freak out, and that everyone freaking out isn't helping anyone any. Be on her side. She will probably be relieved that she has someone to say (JEEZ I KNOW.....PEOPLE NEED TO RELAX!)

  4. I remember going through something similar. I've never had to experience something as terrible as cancer, though.

    A while back I had a miscarriage at 5 months. I was devastated. Yet, I tried to stay strong while everyone else around me fell apart. I guess I just didn't want people to feel sorry for me. In my own way, I appreciated all those who shared their sympathies. I will, however, never forget those who pretended like it never happened.

    I say, let her know that you're there for her in this difficult time. I think she'd appreciate it.

  5. I'm really sorry to hear about your cousin. The C-word has been a scary thing for me, though thankfully I've never had someone in the family who've got it. And hopefully your cousin won't.

    I say you call her and tell her that you'll be there for her, she's in your heart and mind, in your prayers.. and tell her that you love her. Tell her also "I know you love me too".

    A friend of mine had a miscarriage last month. We didn't see each other for quite some time, but we often sent messages through cell phones or by emails. When I heard about the miscarriage, it wasn't from her. I was so sad, but I felt more sad because of what she had gone through. I called her and I cried. I was so sorry for her.

    But later on, I felt it wasn't enough. I had to meet her and her hubby. Hug her and see her. So I went to their house and met them, and then hug her ... and I felt relieved. They were and still my best friends. I love them.

    I think you should call your cousin soon. Hope everything goes well.

  6. So sorry to hear about your cousin. I haven't dealt with that situation with a family member before, but perhaps she just needs to know you would be there to listen to her if she need to talk about her feelings honestly. It sounds like she doesn't want to burden people who are already scared, but maybe if you let her know that she can talk to you if she wants, that would be a help to her.

  7. It is very hard to hear this news. I had a similar experience but fortunately, they were able to do a lumpectomy and then radiation and a pill for 5-years in my case. The thing most encouraging to me is to know that it is common and the doctors are used to treating this all the time so know what they are doing. Also, much advances have been made and now there is even a pill that helps alleviate the nausea during Chemo. Also, it was very encouraging to me to hear that people were keeping me in their prayers--that helped me so much!

    Here's a link to the post I wrote when I was first diagnosed:

    Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!