Thank you to everyone who read the latest post and I am so glad it was helpful. Two questions arose: the first regarding hope and the second about what to say when first diagnosed.
Well the second one is the easiest. No matter what, mention it. The situation I was given was that you bump into someone recently diagnosed and they don't mention it. Well, as far as I am concerned, go ahead. I won't mention it to people because I don't know if they know and I don't want to make people cry! If you go ahead and talk about it, that gives me the freedom to discuss it too. Oh, and by the way, mention the cancer word - don't hide around it. Don't say I hear you've been ill, or skirt around it: call the spade the flipping shovel. If you know, and if you have dealt with it, then talk about it in detail and as in my previous points listen.
Now to the second: hope. This is tricky: on the one hand having hope is great but I do feel when I share my fears and someone says ''you have to hope'' or somesuch other then that person is denying my feelings. They are telling me that my feelings don't matter. I know that they aren't ACTUALLY saying that but that is what I hear, and I retreat and back off. Sometimes, I do feel hopeful and joyful, but there are a lot of times when I do feel hopeless and what I need then is not expressions of hope but actually I need someone to listen, someone to tell me that what I feel is valid and that I am right to be scared and fearful of the future.
Everyday, I keep hoping that all will be ok, but there is another side and for my own sanity, and the future of my children, and family, that needs to be recognised and shared too.
I am always willing to answer any other questions people have as it is lovely to know that others are being helped by these words...