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My neighbor and very close friend is dying of cancer. She was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer in the beginning of summer. She went through a rigorous routine of chemo and radiation. She was so strong and positive and faught like a warrior. Her scans after treatment showed the cancer was gone in october. A total miracle. However it returned by november. She again started chemo but wasnt nearly as positive. Just last week the doctor told her there is nothing more they can do that it spread too far and its time to look into hospice. Since receiving this news, I have only spoke to her once. I feel like she is avoiding me because she doesnt want me to see her like this. I just want to be there for her until the end. I hope I get my chance to say goodbye

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Crossmateo,

That is really a hard situation.  Who is taking care of her?  You might speak with them and ask if there's any particular food that she likes and can tolerate, and then bring some over to her.  Maybe enclose a note/card with it.  Tell her you'd like to see and talk with her and to please call you if there's a time she feels up to it.  Beyond that, not much you can do.

I lost a long time friend to cancer last year, hers was very aggressive and went super fast.  She lived clear across the state and I never got to see her one last time, but we did email.  I know it leaves a hole in our hearts to lose someone we care for so much.  I'm so sorry.

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I don't know your friend, but my guess is that she may be feeling so depleted and broken on the inside and is vacillating on how to stay afloat. Chemo and radiation are enemies to the human body, and along with the cancer, she may have lost her momentum to fight the fight. 

If you are concerned, send her notes everyday. "Talk" to her through written words and express your love to her that way. I know it's not the kind of communication you desire to have, but your words will still reach the part of her heart enough for her to know your genuine care and concern. 

Do you feel the freedom to ask her how you can be helping the most? Can you sit with her and read? Play music? Hold her hand? Give her foot rubs? Prepare food? Clean her house? Maybe you can include this in one of the notes you send her and include your phone number. 

She is in such a low place right now and may be uncertain of what to do. I am sure your presence and concern speaks volumes to her. It's just a matter of finding out the "when" and "how often".  She is facing a giant and needs to figure out how to navigate through the turmoil.  

Pray for her everyday. Pray and ask God to lead you and guide you on what to do. You seem like a sensitive and caring person and you want to reach out in any way you can. Keep sending her messages. Your love for her will be a comfort. 

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I did send a letter to her yesterday. I am willing to do anything she needs. I just really hope she reaches out to me and lets me be there like I have been all along. Thank you so much for your input

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Dear Crossmateo,

I'm so sorry you are going through this.  I went through something similar with a very close friend 25 yrs ago.  I still think of her.  I still miss her.  I was young at the time so I had never experienced going through anything like this.  I wasn't mature.  I made mistakes which I still regret.  It was very hard facing loosing my friend in my 20's.  If I could do things differently now, I would just show up every day so she knew I was there whether she refused to see me or not.  At least she'd know I was there.  I do agree with lovinglady04 about writing notes daily though.  Say everything you want to say.  I'm so sorry for you.

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Today I am going to go say goodbye to my friend. I am very scared and sad that the end is so close. I want to make sure I tell her everything so that there are no regrets. This all is so emotionally draining. Its so hard to look out my window and see her house but not be able to be there with her. I just hope she is comfortable.

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I wish you the best, it has to be very emotional.  Maybe a "see ya later" instead of goodbye, I'm of the thought we see them again someday.

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Thank you, I wasnt planning on actually telling her goodbye just knowing in my heart that this is goodbye. Im just sok anxious and cant stop crying

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I went to go see her, while it was sad, shes not quite as bad as I was expecting. We cried, we laughed and it was a nice visit. She really wants to see my kids so I am going to help her get dressed and pretty(as she said) I still think shes beautiful. I told her I will see her soon. At least now if I dont see her again I know I said goodbye and can have some peace. Thanks for all the input

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Good for you. You did something you dreaded, but did it anyway. That is courage. In life I've often found that things I had to do were rarely as bad as I feared they would be, and rarely as great as I hoped for them to be ~ but usually somewhere in between. I'm so pleased that you went to see your friend, and I'm sure it meant a lot to her too 

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It really did. It also means a lot to me that people that I dont even know are kind enough to respond. It really is helping me through this very hard time. Thank you so much for your kindness!

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I went to visit my friend in hospice. She was given 1 or 2 days on sunday. I went to see her and she was asleep the entire time. I know she is peaceful and comfortable but this is so hard.

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My sister has been given "24 hours" twice over the last two weeks and she is still here but sleeping all the time and no longer eating.  Yes, it is hard, I'm sorry, no easy way through this, is there.

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She's on hospice but they agreed to give her palliative care (antibiotics) I guess to humor us...I put up a stink because no one communicated with us, her family, about how serious her condition had gotten, nor that there was no hope left for her to recover, and I wanted them to do everything they could for her.  She's with her foster care family (who they revoked the license from because they were caring for their grandchildren temporarily), and has an in-home caregiver coming in as well as hospice coming out.  They've been great with her.  

Since I posted this she did get up and have some soup.  She'll go when she's ready.  It's just a matter of time now, I don't want her to suffer and she doesn't seem to be, she's sleeping most of the time.

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I agree. My friend has stopped her feedings and not been out of bed in almost a week. She is just very medicated to keep her comfortable(and asleep). I just feel so depressed. I think I may need to seek a counsler. It is becoming very hard to do day to day activities

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Not all counselors/therapists are equal, if you decide to look for one, ask if they have a degree in Thanatology (study of death) to ensure they're qualified.  I had one tell me he was a grief counselor, it quickly became apparent he was not by the stupid things he said, he might have been a good drug counselor but not good with the bereaved.  

https://www.griefhealingblog.com/2012/10/seeing-specialist-in-grief-counseling.html

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Yes. As much as you know it is coming, it's still not the same as coping with the reality of death and its aftermath . . . 

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I am sorry for your loss.  It's true, the finality hits you hard, even when you know it's coming, there IS no way to fully prepare for death.  (((hugs)))

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