Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Respect and Accept

Recently a friend of mine called to tell me some news which made me think, again, about helping others with cancer. She called to tell me that her mother had just been diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. She was calling to talk, mainly; to confide in and ask for help from the one person who would understand. At first of course I recommended second opinions and not making any fast decisions. Then as I listened more to my friend, I understood that her mother would not be seeking any of that. She is one of those people who just do what the doctor says (her words).

You may remember an incident that I wrote about in this blog; I really wanted to help a young woman who had been diagnosed with colon cancer and she did not want my help. It was very difficult for me to take. I shed tears and agonized for quite a while. But this experience prompted me to change my advice to my friend and I told her that whatever happens, she must remember that this is her mother's cancer and these are her mother's decisions. Yes, she should do the research and the reading so that she can help if asked, but that she should try to accept what her mother chooses because these are her mother's choices to make. Sometimes (maybe most of the time) the most help one can give is to listen and respect, not to rush in and save the day.

(Oh, and pay for a house cleaning service. Absolutely key!)

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