Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Friend With Terminal Cancer Still Living It Up

DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my best friends has terminal cancer. He has tried everything to heal himself, which is actually a lot because he has money. He has traveled all over the world trying to find a doctor or therapy that will help him, but nothing is working. Now, it seems like he is slowing down. He is unwilling to accept that he may be dying soon, though. He still wants to hang out late, which I do not advise. But then I wonder if I should just support whatever he wants. He usually includes me at his fun events, but I see that he is failing. How can I best support him? -- Friend at the End

DEAR FRIEND AT THE END: First, I’m so sorry to hear about your friend’s health challenges. He has learned on a personal level that money does not buy everything, including health -- at least sometimes. Good for him that he used his resources to make the effort to heal himself. If he truly has exhausted all of his options, now is his time to live out his last days as he chooses.

You may be able to help your friend during this delicate period. If he will address the topic, find out if he has all of his papers and finances in order. Tell him that you want to help him, and you want to make sure his affairs are in order.

Rather than reprimanding him about how he spends his final days, do your best to be with him as much as you are able. Help him to savor his time left on Earth.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I live in a small apartment building. Most of the people who live here know each other, but it would be inaccurate to say that we are all friends. There’s one guy who lives one floor below me who has decided that he is my friend. He stops by at all times of the day and night without invitation. I don’t like that. I deserve to have my privacy and to entertain who I want, not just him because he keeps coming over. The last straw was when he rang my bell after midnight and kept ringing until I answered. He had been drinking and was loud and obnoxious. I ended up letting him in so that he wouldn’t wake up all the neighbors, but I don’t want to let him in anymore. How should I handle this? -- Setting Boundaries

DEAR SETTING BOUNDARIES: Start by talking to your neighbor and letting him know you are not happy with his uninvited visits. Point out how upset you were when he showed up drunk, loud and late the other night. Warn him that if he does that again, you will call the police.

Speak to a few of your other neighbors to let them know what is going on. It will be important for others to have your back. You have to stay strong, though, and enforce your boundaries.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)