ITW n°24: Charlotte Support Team: my friend A.
In the interviews, there are also those that are a little special, those of my loved ones, my supportive Dream Team, these interviews that upset me because without my friends the battle would not have been the same, my pillars of shock <3 and they too have their say in the battle against Mister K. This post is dedicated to you, my most fervent support committee <3
You too, the “loved ones”, I know how helpless the battle can make you, but by speaking it would open the door to a better understanding, what do you think?
The key, talking about it without taboo with your K fighter, being present, listening “together we are so much stronger” <3
Today it's my Friend A. who tells you in her words "our battle" against Mister K.
Yes, A. you have heard a lot about it in my previous posts, the same one who accompanied me to almost all my chemos, visited me every day in the hospital and at home, recently made me the most beautiful proof of friendship that can be known; it's been almost 15 years since we left each other (for better and for worse), A. my friend of <3, my sister, my confidante, little dedication for you today :) <3
Let's get started:
Who are you ?
First name: Aude
How long have you known Charlotte?
For almost 15 years
What was your feeling/point of view as a loved one when the announcement was made?
A lot of worry, fear and above all the need to understand all the aspects of the illness very quickly, in order to be able to be as responsive as possible in the support that I will provide.
Has this changed your view of your friend?
A bit difficult question, yes and no; yes because seeing your friend suffer, experiencing illness, it definitely leaves traces... but I also observed her fighting like a lioness and showing incredible courage and even if we can suspect certain character traits , seeing it necessarily changes my vision a little.
Do you think the illness has changed him?
Yes, the illness has changed her, but it is also still a little early to talk about it since she is still in the “after” period…an in-between which, I notice, is very difficult to live with.. difficulty of position yourself, and re-enter life... She thinks that everyone would have acted in the same way when faced with illness, but I remain convinced that it reawakened character traits that she had within her. And in a way the completely different person she thinks she is today isn't that far from who she was.
What are the nugget phrases that we could have said to him or/and to you during the K and which could have been avoided? or that you yourself should have avoided ;)..?
She could no longer stand the polite “hi, are you okay”, the “it’s going to be okay” or the “you’ve passed the hardest part”
What did you do to change his mind? Did you manage to find the right words and activities to change his mind?
Discussion... and I did everything I could to change his mind but I don't know if I succeeded...
How was your life in the medical profession? Did you find the answers you were looking for, were you able to understand everything?
Has this same medical body been there for you too, to support you, answer all questions?
No, not so much, but I never really asked for it. I talked a lot with her family... and as a friend it wasn't really my role to do so.
Did you accompany Charlotte to:
- his doctors’ appointments? No
- his chemos YES ;)
- others ? hospital
What was your first feeling when you first met the treatments (chemotherapy/hospital)?
Chemios: I remember being surprised the first time: I had imagined something terrible. Ultimately, what I'm going to say is a little incorrect, and I hope you won't misinterpret my words, but I have good memories of those times when the two of us found ourselves talking for hours.
The hospital, on the other hand, was very hard, very cold and much more violent.
How did you deal with Charlotte's many mood swings?
During the illness by remaining gentle and being attentive to what irritated her or what could make her uncomfortable.
By taking the lead in leaving the hospital room when she felt ill or the doctors arrived.
Being present is essential, but you have to know how to make yourself small, especially in the hospital, so that the person you love never feels embarrassed in front of you.
Did you get information on the internet?
Um yes… I shouldn’t I know… but I do that for everything and it’s not always a good thing
IF YES: What would be the useful (internet) links that helped you to give you strength, and those to recommend to relatives of K fighters?
I don't really have any links, but on the internet you can always find lots of tips or testimonials
What were your good plans to take your mind off things, get some fresh air, and recharge your batteries?
I was lucky enough to have a husband who picked me up from the hospital almost every time and it was very valuable to be able to speak with him immediately. He was very present for me.
What are your best resources?
Did you talk about it among friends to give each other advice and strength?
Yes A lot and that helps a lot, sometimes Charlotte expressed fears and it helped us a lot to put all that together in order to be the strongest and fairest support possible
What did you tell yourself to go the distance / what did you do?
Move forward day by day, and don't forget to live your life too, even if sometimes you feel like it doesn't sound right and you feel guilty. But you can't be a good support person if you don't take a break... and those around me have really changed my mind.
Did you talk about it outside your circle to find resources?
Were you able to talk freely about it to your loved ones? Did you feel supported/supported/understood?
Yes, I remember talking about it a lot, and being listened to a lot. And overall I felt very supported
Your list of practical tips that you would have noted for support in the hospital or during chemo:
A good thermos with tea (it's not always hot), and a good dose of good humor and gossip of all kinds in stock (it helps pass the time)!
I also brought a fabric pouch to hide his probe at the hospital.
What do you think you did wrong, or said? What reaction do you regret?
Certainly many things that I am not aware of, but the question of motherhood in the sense of carrying your child; I had difficulty understanding all of Charlotte's distress in the face of this, since for me she was grieving the loss of carrying a child but not the loss of having one. We could have clashed on this subject before the illness, by debating our different visions, but faced with the illness, I did not have an appropriate speech I think.
What advice would you give to other loved ones to arm themselves with courage?
Above all, be present and patient. These are very difficult times for the person we love but also for us and finding your place is not always easy. The ordeal can also be traumatic for loved ones.
But, above all, I think we must remain sincere and not go to the extreme of infantilizing the person. You don't necessarily do a favor by letting your friend become locked in by illness.
What has this ordeal changed in your life (your vision of the world, of those around you, any disappointments? Any great discoveries despite everything?)
This still remains a very recent and therefore painful ordeal, especially for Charlotte, and for the moment the “after” period is not yet behind her and, therefore, behind us. But frankly I had a tendency to take things too seriously: since the illness, I have learned a lot to put things into perspective and, consequently, to distance myself from negative things.
Did you know what to offer Charlotte as comfort, did you bring her “gifts” sometimes to support her?
So I have to say that no, I really didn't know... very hard to find the right "gift". There was just, as I said above, the pouch for his probe (which was actually a bag to store his pajamas).
What practical tips can you recommend to us, from your daily life and yours?
Offer her more dinners and drinks, and adapt if she feels more tired by moving dinners to her place or cooking for everyone. Or by taking turns with friends, we can't always be there every day and for a long time. By organizing ourselves together we were almost able to ensure that Charlotte had people there every day.---------- Thank you for existing <3 Charlotte<:>