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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    81

    Supporting a friend going through tests when you're the one with HA

    Hi everyone. It's been a while since I dipped into this forum, because I've managed to keep the worst of my HA under control for the last few months, despite The 'Rona and being pregnant.

    Not looking for any 'symptom reassurance' or anything like that. A close friend of mine is currently undergoing tests for a swollen inguinal lymph node, and I'm simultaneously trying to be there for her, and not trigger my own anxiety again. And of course, whatever anxiety I'm feeling cannot be shared with her, because this is my problem to deal with - she has enough going on.

    She's had an ultrasound and is being referred for a biopsy and CT scan - it's good that her GP has taken her seriously, but at the same time it suggests that the underlying cause could be serious in itself, e.g. lymphoma. I've told her that I'm here for her at any time, whether she wants to talk through any worries, or just distract herself with chit-chat - but I don't want to impose on her and continually check up on her. We can't see each other in person, of course, in the present circumstances. To be frank, she seems to be dealing with this in a far calmer way than I could ever manage, but I know she's very distracted.

    I'm worried about her as a friend, but I can also feel my own levels of health anxiety creeping back up as I think about what's going on. Over the last couple of years, I've known three women my own age (early/mid 30s) be diagnosed with breast cancer, one of whom is also a close friend; while my friend who is now undergoing tests has also seen two of her cousins diagnosed with cancer (one with BC and one with lymphoma). So for something that's supposed to be rare in people our age, it feels unusually prevalent right now, and I can feel myself beginning to struggle again, with putting things in perspective.

    Any thoughts, either on how best to support someone, or on managing your own HA when other people are affected, would be very welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    20,965

    Re: Supporting a friend going through tests when you're the one with HA

    Knowing you from your previous posts, while sometimes the dragon gets you going, you have a pretty good handle on putting out the fire.

    Perhaps look at this as an opportunity to help your friend as well as yourself. Use the tools you have to keep the dragon at bay, be there for your friend and put a chalk mark in the win/win category

    Positive thoughts
    __________________
    "Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live, love and seek out the things that bring your heart joy. The rest is meaningless... Like chasing the wind." King Solomon

    The best help is the help you give yourself! http://cbt4panic.org/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    81

    Re: Supporting a friend going through tests when you're the one with HA

    Thanks for the vote of confidence! I’ll be ok, I really just want my friend to be well. She had a FNA biopsy come back clear today, which is good, but her doctor still wants to perform a full core biopsy to be sure that they haven’t missed anything, because her swollen lymph node looked suspicious on the ultrasound.

    I’ve told her that I’m here to talk any time, and am planning to send her a care package of nice things, but I guess there’s not much more I can do at this point. I’ll keep an eye on my own anxieties. Fingers and toes crossed for a good outcome.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    81

    Re: Supporting a friend going through tests when you're the one with HA

    Update and trigger warning for bad health news.






    Unfortunately my friend received a cancer diagnosis - not lymphoma as originally suspected, but a different primary cancer which has spread to local lymph nodes. She's at stage III, so technically in the 'possibly curable' group, but obviously this is a very serious diagnosis, especially as she's only in her early 30s.

    She seems to be coping relatively well with the news, although I suspect that it hasn't really sunk in yet. As I don't live locally to her, what support I can offer at the moment is mostly in the form of 'I'm here to talk at any time, about any thing'; I'll also be putting together a care package to send to her, and will forward useful resources if she wants them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    379

    Re: Supporting a friend going through tests when you're the one with HA

    Iím so sorry to read the news about your friend. I wish her the best of luck and positive news going forward.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    379

    Re: Supporting a friend going through tests when you're the one with HA

    Sorry Catlady, I omitted to say that I hope that you stay and keep strong so to not to ignite your own HA. Wishing you and your friend all the best and positivity.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    81

    Re: Supporting a friend going through tests when you're the one with HA

    Quote Originally Posted by MightyPC View Post
    Sorry Catlady, I omitted to say that I hope that you stay and keep strong so to not to ignite your own HA. Wishing you and your friend all the best and positivity.
    Thank you

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    20,965

    Re: Supporting a friend going through tests when you're the one with HA

    Sorry to hear of the diagnosis. I do know from experience, when facing such a diagnosis, you truly do find out who your friends are. Sending as always....

    Positive thoughts
    __________________
    "Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live, love and seek out the things that bring your heart joy. The rest is meaningless... Like chasing the wind." King Solomon

    The best help is the help you give yourself! http://cbt4panic.org/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    81

    Re: Supporting a friend going through tests when you're the one with HA

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishmanpa View Post
    Sorry to hear of the diagnosis. I do know from experience, when facing such a diagnosis, you truly do find out who your friends are. Sending as always....

    Positive thoughts
    Thank you

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