The “C” Word – When A Friend Has Cancer


We’ve all heard about people who have cancer.  Sometimes it’s a friend of a friend.  Sometimes it’s a distant relative. 

And then sometimes Cancer parks its car in your driveway and won’t move – no matter how hard you try.  No matter how hard you scream at the car to move, no matter how many times you try to get it towed – it just doesn’t budge.

One of my friends has cancer.  

I know my friend will be fine.  I 100% believe in my heart that she will be cancer free.  I didn’t realize how her diagnosis would make me feel.

And I feel helpless.

And selfish.

And stupid.

I so desperately want to help.  But what can I actually do?  I’ve brought dinner and dropped off a gift and sent a card that was funny.  

But, it all feels so lame.

Like – hey I know you might die from this but here’s a blanket!

And then I feel guilty because somehow I’ve made HER cancer diagnosis about me!  Seriously, what is wrong with me?

I tend to be a spiral thinker so of course, I wonder, should I text today?  No, give her some space.  But if I don’t text will she think I’ve forgotten about her?  Should I stop by?  No, she is probably resting.  But if I don’t stop by will she think I’m ignoring her or have no time for her when she’s in crisis?

I know all of these thoughts are ridiculous – but I can’t help thinking them.

I’m so frustrated by my lack of ability to do anything.

There are not enough words, cards, flowers, blankets, chocolates, gifts of any size or shape that will take the cancer away.

The whole process is so incredibly long, the treatment is so intense, the pain she’s enduring is terrible. 

There. is. nothing. I. can. do.

Of course, I can be there, and help, and continue to send the texts and deliver the dinner and write the encouragement – but at the end of the day, I can’t take the cancer away.

I realize all friends, family, and loved ones who are on the other side of a cancer diagnosis feel the same way. We all wish there was something more we could do.  

And we will all continue to be there no matter what.