I'm running late this morning, so I'll keep this brief:
The callback for more mammograms can be a nuisance, a little scare, or the beginning of a disorienting journey. For an unmarried woman with no sisters, the resulting diagnosis can put us in a lonely place.
I didn't really have what I'd call a friend in my new state. My family are very optimistic, and not into a lot of hugs. I wanted to scream, "You have no idea how this is going to turn out! Stop telling me it can be easily fixed!!! This is not your breast."
Instead, I felt required to put on my big girl pants and march on.
Then yesterday an article in a magazine took me instantly back to when my best friend was dying of cancer.
She was recently out of a long relationship. Her parents were hours away, and the journey back and forth tired them. Her ex-husband was a disrupting factor at times.
Finally, out of ideas, I sat on the bed one day and simply held her had during visiting hours. She told her mother about it enthusiastically.
So I was impressed when this important article in April MORE reminded us that patients are rarely touched except during procedures. The writer suggested we gently "put a hand on her shoulder, or hold her hand."
Maybe we need a follow-up article. Some of us, when we're patients may need to ask: Can I have a hug?
If you can get a copy of the April issue, I strongly suggest you read the other good suggestions for helping a sick friend.