What Is It That You are Saying?


What Is It That You are Saying?

light-115392_640Today was surreal. I sat with my friend as she nodded in and out. Her breathing is labored. She's in pain. She struggles to move, to speak. Her legs so swollen with edema that they look like they will burst. She manages to smile. I have little to say. Damn, I couldn't think of anything to say. She volunteers that she wished she could describe how she felt. Then said it feels like "something else" is overtaking her mind and body.

The doctor arrives. He asks if her family is coming. He wants to discus options regarding her "illness" because at this point the hospital is only providing "comfort care" and that can be given elsewhere. My mind is racing. Do they just want her out of the hospital or have they determined any further treatment is futile? He says, "Do you understand what I'm saying?" "I think you understand what I"m saying." I wanted to scream, spell it out. He was beating around the bush and wanted her parents there to discuss more. He said he would return after 2 p.m. when her parents plan to arrive. He said her oncologist would be back in town Tuesday. They didn't have to decide today. She could discuss her "cancer" when he arrives. "We'll talk more when your parents arrive." He leaves after giving little synopses that cancer isn't "a punishment," that "all ages get it." What was that? What triggered that little speech?

I ask her what she's thinking. She doesn't respond. I struggle to keep tears at bay.

Her parents arrived. I signed as witnessed to her signing the change in beneficiary of her life insurance--something that has been on her mind ever since she was diagnosed. She doesn't want her cheating husband (who she is trying to divorce) to have it. Her divorce is in limbo since she has been too sick.

I left. The doctor hadn't yet returned. I'm waiting to hear more. This is all so unreal.

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No one could ask for a more loyal, loving, and compassionate friend in her darkest hour.

Lillie Fuller

I'm so sorry you are going through this but what a blessing it will be to know you were there with her through the most difficult times of her life. You are an amazing friend!


Oh, Jean, I am so sorry.\n\nPlease keep us posted as much and as soon as you can.\n\nI pray that the tender moments between you and your friend continue to remind you of the importance of your presence. You are an amazing gift to your friend, who really is your sister.