One of my very good friends told me the other day that she has a lump in her breast that has grown in the last six months. She is scheduled for a consultation with a surgeon on Monday, during which I am sure they will discuss a biopsy, then possibly further treatment options.
I feel awful. I feel awful for her because this is a hard thing. I feel like I have let her down by not being able to give her enough of my time lately. (But what’s new. I have let down many people in my life by my inattention or absence.)
When she confided in me about a skin cancer scare her husband had recently, I unintentionally scared her with my words. She is anxious about anything health-wise, and stresses herself in a manner much more than most others would. Although I didn’t say anything negative or ominous, she was frightened by what I said. And I feel scared that I might say the wrong thing and scare her further.
So I must walk the fine line. I will call her frequently and give her opportunities to vent. I will try to anticipate her needs. I will do small kind things that tell her she is loved. And I will keep my big mouth shut.
Of course I’m worried. But I can’t let on even a little bit. That will be the hardest part.