I just found out that a friend of mine - one who is only a couple of years older than me - was diagnosed with vascular dementia. She has clear days and cloudy days, but it is a progressive thing, so eventually the cloudy days will take over. Meanwhile, she is making the most of the clear days, to travel and visit family.
So, what do you say to someone with an incurable illness? My thoughts are with her, but frankly most of my thoughts involve a feeling of relief that it is her and not me. Not very selfless, but accurate.
I don't know what to say to my stepmother, either, who suffers from a variety of painful, chronic but not fatal illnesses. She could live a very long time, suffering all the way. You can't say "get well" or "things will get better" because she will not get well and things will not get better. Instead, it will be one damn thing after another, until the end.
WWALD? (What Would Ann Landers Do?)