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Hi Folks:

Just a question I keep asking myself. A friend of mine has terminal cancer and I have been there to take her to dr. appts, chemo, radition and lab works. She is not doing well. My husband died of cancer 3 months ago today. Being a part of this is putting me back into the emotional stress and the roller coaster ride. Are we keeping busy with all this stuff to avoid dealing with our grief? I keep wondering who in their right mind would jump back into another situation that I was in for 18 months. Because it is familiar to us, because we don't want to face and deal with our grief or is it truly that we care and want to help other hurting individuals? Any way, am I moving forward or backwards? This is much harder than I thought.

Blessing and hoping for a good day for all of you.

3 months and an eternity ago

Becky

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Hi Becky

I think that you are a very kind and giving person. I think your real question is this friend one that gave you support while you were going through this. If the answer is yes then you are doing the right thing. Because like me I see people who need help I will try to help even in a small way. It does make me feel good. That is why I want to become a nurse. I it hard yes because like you said, I have been through this before.

The answer is in your heart. I think it does help with the grief process, because you get back a lot more than you give.

I don't know if this will help you, but you do what is best for you. If you like to help out your friend, then go for it the rest will take care of itself. I just wish I did not have my health problem now, but it is best to happen now and not while in classes. Everything has a way of working out in life. Just keep the faith.

God Bless you, for the help you give

Dwayne

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Hi Becky, This is a tough one. I think Dwayne's question is relevant. i was in an alzheimer support group before Bill died. A man is there is going through now what I went through and have found myself unable to help. I did go with him to pick out a casket and I visited a few times but found it too much and told him that. I apologized and hoped he would understand someday after his wife dies. He is not a listener so it was hard for me to try to talk with him after living with my Bill. I have not had lunch with him or been to visit in months now. I have helped others...a friend going through a divorce, another who is separated...but I can't tread into alzheimers right now. It is OK.

I think the closeness of your friendship will determine how much you can give. You are just so raw and vulnerable. If it were me, I would tell my friend that right now I can't help her and she needs to get some other assistance in. She will understand someday...perhaps. The fact that you are wrestling with this tells a lot of how you really feel about it. It may just be more than you can handle right now. I could not have done it 3 months out. I can't do it now at 16 months. Listen to your heart...it has the answers. NOT your head...

I wish you peace in the decision. Mary

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BECKY, I THINK I CAN UNDERSTAND YOUR STRUGGLE AND THOUGHTS ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING FOR A FRIEND, AS A RN I KNOW THE STRUGGLES OF TAKING CARE OF OTHERS AND MYSELF, IT ISNT WORKING REAL WELL FOR ME...AND AM LEAVING THE PROFESSION FOR SOME TIME....I GUESS MY QUESTION IS HOW CLOSE IS THIS FRIEND, FIND IT HARD TO TURN DOWN MY GOOD FRIENDS IN NEED.....BUT YOU KNOW AT LEAST YOU NEED TO PLACE SOME LIMITS ON WHAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH WITH HER.....EASIER SAID THEN DONE!

BUT ALAS WE ARE ALL SO DIFFERENT! AFTER DWAYNE'S EXPERIENCE HE WANTS TO GO INTO NURSING TO HELP OTHERS, AFTER MY EXPERIENCE I WANT TO RUN TO THE HILLS AWAY FROM NURSING! FOR I FEEL THAT I GIVE MORE THEN I RECIEVE, BUT I GUESS THAT WHAT MAKES THE WORLD GO AROUND WE ARE ALL SO DIFFERENT, AND THE OLDER I GET THE MORE I APPRECIATE THIS! ONLY YOU KNOW WHAT IS RIGHT TO DO AT THIS TIME BUT KEEP THIS THOUGHT IN YOUR MIND YOU ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON RIGHT NOW!

HOWS THE WEATHER BACK IN KS? MY MOMS OLD ROOMMATE FROM K-STATE WAS SHARON KRIS (SP?) THEY LIVED IN ABILENE AND MAY STILL. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! 9 WEEKS AND 1 DAY AGO, AN ETERNITY AGO....DAVE

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Becky,

Avoidance never moved us forward. There is no way but to go directly through grief. The more we feel and experience it, the better we can process it. You are there helping your dear friend because you have gone through it before and feel for her and know she needs your help. If you didn't help her, you would regret it later on. Yes it will trigger emotions and memories that you previously experienced, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

When I was going through a cheating husband I joined marriagebuilders.com and learned so much. One of my favorite threads was one that explained the brain, triggers, and memories. I will post the link again here so you can read it. Even though it's regarding a different topic/subject, you can still correlate it to grief triggers/memories. It helps to understand how our brains work and how to deal with it. It is a long thread so I stick to reading Mark1952's posts, he's the one with the knowledge.

http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2243454&nt=10&page=1

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Becky,

I think Forward myself, I find great pleasure in helping others, I feel that is part of my mission, I have learned much from/on my journey and if I can help, share or comfort someone I'm first in line...

NATS

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Hi Becky

You must be even more confused now by the varying responses. Try to listen to your own needs and heart and come from there. If it is only a should, that is important information. But you are the only one to decide this and whatever your decision is, that is the right one for you....Mary

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Hi Becky,

I am just checking in to if you got the answer you are looking for. Like Mary and I said follow your heart. It may be to soon and to close to what you had to deal with the last part of your husband life. I know being a caregiver can take a lot to do. You must take care of Becky first and for most. Is your health good, or have you had problems like I have had over the last 4 months. I still give but I have to take care of me first. I will be so glad when I have my good health back. It seem so long ago sense I had good health, but it has only been 4 months. Maybe I expect to much back. I have my eye on my goal and I will not stop until I get there.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Hi Guys:

Thanks for the posts and the comments. Yesterday was an exhausting day. Three month anniversary since by spouse passed. Did my normal work for 4 hours in the a.m. and then had to pick up my friend and drive to Salina for her MRI and DR. appt. She has more spots on the lungs and now the liver. Not Good. More meds so then a trip to the pharmacy. Again, small rural community, so onward to a couple of pharmacies because one did not have what she needed. Then I had to get her something for dinner. Got her settled in, then picked up my dogs and home by 8:00 and to bed. Very exhausting, especially the mental part. I'm feeling like I was right before my husband died. Very overwhelmed, helpless and hopeless. BUT I will continue to help when and where I can as I could not live with myself if I abandoned the family and my friend now. I am strong and will get through this, just not liking it much. Thanks to all of you for your help, you are all a lifeline for me. Dwayne, thanks for checking on me. Dave, weather is HOT. Been over 100 and the humidity is high. They said Wichita was 104 but with the humidity the heat index was 140. Tell your mom I don't know a Sharon Criss but I will check with some of my friends that have been around forever, they may recognize the name. Maybe a different last name now. As my husband used to say, it is a small world, just wouldn't want to paint it.

Thanks again to all and keep posting. I need it.

Blessings to all

Becky

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Dear Becky,

We all do what we are called to do. Your last post makes it really clear what your only real option is. So go with it. My wife would say that doing the right thing is easy when our lives are going ok. Doing the right thing is much more difficult when it comes with a real cost to ourselves. My two cents worth.

But you do have to do what is right for you. And there are some times where you have to put the oxygen nmask on your face before you can take care of the pperson sitting next to you. Asd i sometimes say to my students: Trust in God, but tie your camel first.

Peace,

Harry

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Becky

I understand the dilemma. I have just been through stepping up for a friend in a similar situation. I managed to find an important role that helped out that no-one else wanted but which worked for me without too much stress. Like you, I didn't see any other option as leaving her hanging just wasn't something I could do. I don't regret being there when she needed me most.

Harry - for the Aussie, please explain to me 'the camel' advice...Susie Q

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Hi Becky,

I hope you are doing well and it sounds like you are. You are the most important right now. I am glad you are able to continue to help your friend. It very kind for you to do so . I still help Greg and I was with him for a couple hours before my hospice meeting in Raynham MA. It is run by the same hospice where I go in Fall River

We went out on the deck . He is doing well with Pauline's extra power chair. Like a bone head I have an aluminum ramp in the basement he can use to get out on his deck easer. I don't know why I did not think of it sooner. I plan to get it up to him soon.

God Bless you for the help you give your friend.

Dwayne

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Harry - for the Aussie, please explain to me 'the camel' advice...Susie Q

Dear SusieQ,

I smile every time I read your name. It brings back pleasant thoughts, despite the fact i never knew a Susie before.

Anyway, this is an old Arabic expression. Apparently camels tend to wander off if you do not tie them down. So while one should trust in God, when it comes to camels--and other things one should not concern god with--it is best to make sure of them yourself rather than relying on any outside agency--i.e. God. The other implication--and the humor in the line--is that even God cannot control the will or the whim of a camel. Ornery beasts.

Peace,

Harry

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Hi Becky,

I hope you are doing well and surviving the heat you are having now. I remember the day Pauline and I was married in Abilene at the court house. September 5 1980. At 5:15 PM there was the Judge Pauline and I and the guy to lock up after us. It was 105 at that time. She was so happy and so was I. We went to my Aunts down on 615 Ceder ST. To have those times back again. We took a lot of pictures I have that now.

Well enough about me, how are you doing? I can only hope and pray you are fine and in good health. If you need any thing let me know. The next time you see Dianne the her I and I love them very much and miss not seeing them. Dee and I were always so close.

God Bless

Dwayne

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Good morning Dwayne:

I am doing okay, but the friend with the cancer has spiraled me downhill. I am exhausted. The same feeling I had in the last days before Randy's passing. She is now back in the hospital with breathing problems. Lung cancer and now spots showing up on the liver. Her husband finally decided to take FMLA unpaid at work so he is with her now. I am glad so I can be relieved somewhat.

Randy's brother and wife will be stopping by and spending the night with me. I am the free motel room for the relatives between Colorado and Illnois. I don't mind, in fact very glad to see them and have the company.

I started going through the garage yesterday and the tears started flowing. Randy's workbench, tools and items on it, like he was going to return and finish a project. Somebody wants to buy the hot tub and I don't have a clue about it, because he took care of it. It is one pump or two, don't know, all questions are don't know.

My son gets married next Saturday in Goodland so I am looking forward to that and hoping my energy level will improve before then. So much to do and no energy. A happy occassion is definitely needed and welcomed.

The heat is unbearable. It is to be over the 100's until at least next Thursday. Rain this morning, much will make it a very HUMID day in Kansas.

Hoping you are doing well. Wishing for a gentle and good day for you and all others. Thanks for checking it me. It is so nice to have this site. You are a good friend.

Blessings

Becky

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Becky,

I am happy for you and your son, I wish he gets the kind of love and soul mate that you got with Randy, and I got with Pauline. My he, have many years of complete JOY and all the HAPPINESS that God gave us.

You enjoy the wedding, I know you will have a lot of tears without Randy being with you on this very special day. I will be holding you in my spirit all that day. I hope you feel Randy's, arms around you as this day of joy unfolds for you and your son.

I ask God to give you strength and have a safe trip and keep cool.

God Bless, my friend

Dwayne

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Randy's younger brother, who is also in remission from throat cancer, stopped by today. It was so good to see him and his family, but very emotional. Many talks of Randy, bringing many tears to the surface again. He chooses to remember the good and happy times , I just miss them all. HE feels Randy with him, I feel only emptiness and loneliness. There are times it is good, but today not so much. So glad I got to see them but wish it would of been a better emotional day for me. Maybe I am getting the sadness out of my system now so I will be in a better state for my son's big wedding next weekend. I hope and pray I can get through this in the manner that he deserves from his mother.

Becky

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Dear Becky,

I know you will, because that is what Randy would want for you. I know it is hard today, same for me. Many tears, but I feel Pauline around me all the time. In my heart, in my soul, I even hear her voice in my head when something comes up.

Pauline told me years ago that her PCA at the time would try to get into our apartment after Pauline passed. Don't you know last Friday after my DR visit she called to see how I made out. She does call from time to time, but this time was different. I told her I needed the surgery. Then on Saturday she called again, and told me her and her boyfriend she has lived with for about 5 years are breaking up. Then she said well I could come and stay at your place and take care of my little dog, while I have surgery and as long as it took for me to get back on my feet. I could hear Pauline say " DWAYNE I TOLD YOU SO". I kindly told her thank you but I have already arranged for Sugar's care. She also said she is apartment hunting. OH MY GOD!! The next day I got a referral call about an apartment she applied for. I gave the best recommendation I could, and she got the apartment. I had always told Pauline, She had nothing to worry about, because I would never let that happen.

Becky just relax, if you can, and enjoy your sons wedding. Get ready for many more tears to come. I am here for you anytime you need someone to talk to.

God Bless you and your son, Randy will be with you always and forever

Dwayne

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  • 2 weeks later...

My friend that had cancer died today. I received a phone call from her husband at 7:00 this morning. She had a bad night and was in the ER. I went up and stayed with him and their two daughters until she passed at 11:45 a.m. I cried and grieved with them. I am wondering if I was crying and grieving for me over my loss of my spouse 3.5 months ago or for them and their loss, or both. I felt like I was right back living that dreadful day that occured 3.5 months ago the day that my spouse died. I am glad I could help him and the family. I knew she was getting worse and suggested to him that he start taking his FMLA from work so he could be with her. He was trying to conserve this vacation and sick leave to be with her later at the end. I told him he needed to take it now. He listened and had been home with her for the past two weeks. He is grateful and thankful for my help. I am glad I could help the family. Why did I feel the need to get so involved with this friend and family and how did I get in so deep? He knew I was in too deep and suggested that I back out a little. I couldn't, but why? The loss and helplessness is with me all over again. This is a set back for me. I felt the need to "get it right" this time but why? I told her earlier that it would be beneficial for her and the family if she could open up and talk about her impending death and they did. She, her husband and daughters had a very emotional and beautiful talk about her death and her wishes. It was not the white elephant in the room like it was with me and my husband. I feel grateful for that but sad for me. Feeling so bad today!!

Becky

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Hi Becky, You are such a caring and giving person. I hope the wedding trip brings you some comfort and relaxation. I came across this quote today and it gave me a sense of peace so I pass it on to you and others.

Tears are nature's safety valves. Crying washes away toxins from the body that are produced during trauma. That may be the reason so many people feel better after a good cry. "Crying discharges tension, the accumulation of feeling associated with whatever problem is causing the crying," says Frederic Flach, M.D., associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Cornell University Medical College in New York City. "Stress causes imbalance and crying restores balance. It relieves the central nervous system of tension. If we don't cry, that tension doesn't go away." Caregivers should get comfortable at seeing tears from the bereaved and supporting their crying.

Safe travels, Mary

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Becky, just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you tonight. You were a good friend and you will be remembered as such. Now, please take care of yourself. I know I'm too new to this group to give advice, just wanted you to know I care. Pam

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HI Becky,

It has been awhile sense I have posted to your thread. I pray and hope that you are doing well. I am doing great, after seeing Pauline's beautiful face HAPPY and HEALTHY as they woke me up in recovery on Monday. I have been on top of the moon. I have had some of Pauline's try to take me down. For one day they did, but I got through it and now have that great felling of joy again. I ca not wait to get the all clear by my DR, so I can get my classes started.

Stay well my friend. If you need anything, Please give me a call or message. I am here with you always.

God Bless

Dwayne

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