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Wedding Woes

Because you called

DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer

Dear Prudence,
I need advice on how to deal with a 71-year-old friend with rectal cancer. She has been receiving chemotherapy treatments for nearly eight months and hopes to have surgery in January. If the doctors decide not to operate, she will have less than a year to live. She lives 30 miles away, so we check in a few times a week over the phone. Sadly, with the treatments comes the “chemo brain issue. She will get upset over some part of her treatment, or a perceived slight by other friends, and will start screaming at me during our call. Later she will deny the call occurred, only to suddenly remember whatever incident made her upset and begin screaming at me again. When I ask her to stop and remind her we’ve already had this conversation, she says, “My brain is on chemo, and I remember none of this” and continues to rage. I try to be patient but recently learned from mutual friends that she never rages at them, ever. They do not call her; rather, they wait for her to call them, which is rare. My question is: Why does she only rage at me? How do I get her to stop?

—Mean Chemo

Re: Because you called

  • This has to be the dumbest LW ever. 
    MissKittyDanger
  • You act patiently and understand that your friend is likely not in control of her behavior and also understand that thing may be worse than she's letting on.

    My dad refused to understand this when my uncle (mom's brother) was going through the end stages of terminal brain cancer.   My uncle would yell at my mom and it would make her sad.  My dad is a loving man but fails to understand the root of behavioral issues.   His answer was, "I'm going to go down there and talk to him," and only after many of us spoke up to tell him that HE would look like a gargantuan ass did he not do it.   To this day I think he honestly believes that my uncle had the wherewithal to get control.   
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdom
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    6fsn said:
    This has to be the dumbest LW ever. 
    Right? Well...IDK this is kind of in line with last weeks "how do I continue to be a doormat without feeling like I'm getting stepped on." This is the same thing. First, LW knows friend has memory issues. Stop telling her that you've heard this before. You know it's upsetting to her.
    Second, when friend starts yelling, tell her that you aren't willing to be yelled at and will speak again later.
    Third, the reason she's not yelling at her other friends is because they're not calling.
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdomshort+sassy
  • I hope Prudies response was "this is not about you, it's about her". Chemo is hard. She doesn't mean it and she's probably scared. She rages because you call and you're there. Keep being there for her and learned this isn't about you. 
    MissKittyDangerOurWildKingdomMesmrEwecowgirl8238
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I hope Prudies response was "this is not about you, it's about her". Chemo is hard. She doesn't mean it and she's probably scared. She rages because you call and you're there. Keep being there for her and learned this isn't about you. 
    Prudie said that not only is the friend dealing with chemo, she's dealing with the fact that she's dying. She suggested that when friend starts raging to calmly tell her that she'll call her back later when friend is calmer.
    charlotte989875OurWildKingdomSP29cowgirl8238
  • Chemo brain is hell.
    CMGragainMesmrEwe
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