What to say to a cancer friend

From a breast cancer patient

To my precious friends,

Do not tell me “don’t worry”. I have to summon up all my patience to keep from screaming to the seven skies that yes, I know the world will still go round if I die. I know you do not realise it, but since I know the truth, it sounds insensitive and cruel.

Do not tell me it is “normal” to worry, as all pamphlets we get at the hospital say. I want to live even if it is “abnormal” to want to live…

Please do not tell me I have to be “strong”. This disease needs lots of strength, so do not imply I am “weak”…

Do not ask me all the time what I feel, where it hurts. The threat of death is what hurts the most. Above all, the thought of leaving my kids behind is the most unbearable of all…

Do not tell me to be patient, or that there is worse. I am the first to say that. Because truly there is…and it may be coming soon . . .

Maybe you cannot understand, because you never faced anything truly life-threatening. That’s why, try to just be next to me, without giving me advice that I know already.

Just be next to me… I appreciate it immensely. Take care of the small things that I cannot do now, I will appreciate it immensely. And when time comes that no God can even stave off the inevitable, then just cry with me…