Fifty Per Cent

Last night we had friends round for a meal to celebrate our wedding anniversary .  Out of our usual group of four couples, only two of the couples could make it as the others were ill.

One of the wives came to speak to me as I was in the kitchen preparing the cheese course. She told me that a scan had discovered a mass on her ovaries and that she was waiting for an appointment to have it removed for biopsy.  She was obviously very worried and quite shocked and we had a chat for a while, although I am not sure that I was very reassuring.  

We commented that, amongst our group of five couples, one partner in each couple has, over the past five years, been diagnosed with some form of Cancer.    Stomach, prostate, skin and now two awaiting confirmation of diagnosis for ovarian and liver tumours.

Fifty per cent. Quite sobering odds.

26 comments:

  1. Anything you can say is of limited help. The important thing is being there to listen and allow the other person to talk is what makes friendship invaluable.

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    1. Just letting her talk it through is probably the best thing to do.

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  2. Perhaps you should phone your friend - the one with a "mass" on her ovaries. Apologise for being taken aback by her news and give her another chance to talk through her feelings. Do not say, "Oh, it'll be all right!" or "I have checked out the condition via Google and this is what I learnt...". I suspect that you are a very good listener JayCee.

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  3. I've commented elsewhere that my dad, who knew a lot of people through his work, began to list the names of those who had died. From the forties to the sixties the majority were aged under 60. Hardly any made it to 80. Thank goodness for modern medicine.

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    1. Well, our group have all made it to our mid sixties, which is more than any of my grandparents did.

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  4. A nurse once said to our generation have profound sadness because we know we will die of something. A very thoughtful post JayCee.

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    1. Thanks Dave. There is too much in this world to make us sad so I shall concentrate on just enjoying whatever makes me happy.

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  5. A nurse once said to me our generation....

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  6. I like your response to northsider, JayCee, focus on the happy and the good you can do. Hope your friends come through okay.

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  7. Maybe cancers were always thus and people just died younger. I guess we will not really know. It does seem to be (silent) the plague of our times and we are reaching the age when our cohort start to be struck down in greater numbers. We hope your leg's encounter with 'C' has ended well.

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    1. Thanks Tigger. It was once suggested that this region may possibly have a higher than average incidence of cancers due to the proximity of Sellafield, just a short hop across the water.
      Who knows?

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  8. I think that waiting for a diagnosis is the part when no one knows quite what to say. It is an unknown at this point. I'm sure that when the diagnosis actually comes, you will find the words to give to your friend. Knowing you (even the small knowledge from reading your blog), I am going to guess that actions will follow your words. That's life, really. Something happens, and we figure out how to deal with it.

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    1. I admit to having struggled with how best to support our mutual friend when she had her stomach cancer diagnosis and radical surgery. She is a very strong, independent woman with a loving family to support her so didn't really need my help, although we did enjoy quite a few shopping and coffee trips to normalise life a little.

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    2. Sounds like the best gift you could have given her.

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  9. Oh JayCee ….. so sad but it’s inevitable as we get older that we hear such news. You can only be there for your friend when needed. XXXX

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    1. I know, Jackie. We always expect things to carry on as normal until sonething like this slaps us in the face xxx

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  10. Yes Jackie - we are all living too long. Both my husbands died of cancer - one ten years older than me died of kidney cancer and one ten years younger than me had a brain tumour,

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    1. It is hard to watch our loved ones go in that way.

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  11. Our mortality becomes more real in our 60s, don't you think? But look at the survival rate among your friends. And I'll join those who say being a good listener is most important.

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    1. That's true Bob. The fifty per cent are still here so the survival rate has been good.

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  12. The answer really is never to get old. Sadly most of us do, and we eventually pay the price.

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    1. But 65 doesn't feel old. I am not ready yet.

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  13. So many of us must be able to relate to your experience with your friend. It's so difficult to know what to say, and I think being a good and sympathetic listener is all that you can be.

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    1. I always feel that others do this so much better than me.

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Although I am quite used to talking to myself, any comments on my posts are very welcome, provided they are not abusive. I do reply to them so please check back. It's good to talk (!)