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Guest DianeATL

Can I Cry Now?

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Guest DianeATL

This is not poetry so sorry if it is in the wrong section, but a short essay about emotions.

Last week took a nasty turn, my best girl friend was diagnosed with cancer for the third time. She has been over 7 years clean but it appears to be back.

Fortunately we have a big group of supporting friends and the night she found out, we all rallied and gathered at a friends house for distractions, board games, wine, and a few Screw You Cancer chants.

I got to drive her home and as soon as we got in the car she said, can I cry now. We spent the ride home crying, cursing, holding hands, doing whatever she needed to do to do get it out. I have spent the days since keeping her busy, distracted, and doing happy things so she can focus on positive thoughts.

But every time I drop her off I think, can I cry now. She needs me to be strong for her but who is there for me. The other girls would be at my side if asked but I feel guilty needing care when i am not the one with cancer.

Who cares for the caregiver?

What about all of the wonderful hospice workers and nurses who deal with this horrible stuff every day, who gives them a hug and lets them cry. Some of us can give the impression that we are rocks but even gilbraltor has cracks.

I've never owned a stuffed toy but the other night with the ladies one was available. I hugged it all night until the stuffings were nearly squeezed out. Since then I have been sleeping hugging a pillow and considering buying my own stuffed toy.

I don't know how to ask for help. I feel selfish if I say I need to be cared for. I am all about caring for others but I need to be refueled so I can continue to be there for the ones who really need it.

Who cares for the caregivers?

Cancer sucks, I hate it. I don't want anyone to have to deal with it especailly my friends. I am peed off and scared to death at the same time but I know I have to present a poker face in public. I am their rock and must not show vunerabilitites.

Can I cry now?

Only if no one else is around to see it. Rocks don't cry.

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Guest Jamie61

Awe Diana, I am sadden to hear about your friend but inspired by how heart felt your reaction is. I think it's ok to cry, even when supporting your friend, I think it shows empathy. I've spend my career in healthcare and I am always amazed by the people for whom it is a calling, not just a job. Sounds like you would have the right stuff to care for others. It's beautiful thing.

My thoughts and prayers are for you and especially your friend. I always wear the colors of cancer bracelets when I present as female because it reminds me of all the people I've loved who have suffered from that dreadful disease.

Take care,

Jamie

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Guest

Huggs, Diane. :friends:

Been there, done that. Unfortunately. Once was too many but seemingly it was not enough. :banghead:

Caregivers do need to be cared for as well. You are fortunate to have friends. There is no shame in asking them for help.

If a pillow will not do the trick for you, find a wonderful stuffed animal. They are great to have around at any time.

This Journey will take a lot out of us, as caregivers. We, also need to recharge. Do not wait for the crash, at the end of this Journey. Spoken, unfortunately, from experience. :(

Yes, you may cry now, Girl.

Thank you for supporting your friend.

Huggs, :wub:

Joann

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VickySGV

It's not only OK to cry,it may be life or sanity saving to you. Caregivers need care too and it is perfectly OK for them to ask for help as they need it. Do not think you should hold off because you are not physically ill with the same condition. Be open and honest even with mutual friends, by you caring for your common friend as you are, you are in harm's way and are part of the whole equation of care needs. I wish I did know the answers, but I nearly killed myself by not getting care and when I did it was almost too late.

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Charlize

I'm so sorry for your friend and for you as well. I cared for my father as he died at home from advanced cancer. It is a hard job and at times you will cry even if you don't want to. Tears simple find those cracks in Gibraltar. Later i helped a friend trough the loss of her breasts. I seemed to be the only one around and it was tough as well. Again cracks showed and tears flowed.

Just before i was scheduled for surgery (an orchi) a stuffed bear arrived at my door. It had the names of other trans folks who had hugged it as they faced surgery themselves. You are helping your friend and while the pain is great for you your life is also fuller with a greater meaning. I don't know how hospice nurses can do their work. I have one who is a relative by marriage who helped with dad. Some people deserve sainthood and seem to develop a strength through all the pain. She is one of those people.

Take care of yourself as well as your friend. Hopefully things will change for the best.

Can i cry now? Oh i already am.

Hugs,

Charlize

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Guest JillyDeex_53_mtf

Diana,

So selfless, to be there, with your friend, when she needs you the most. And it sounds like you have a great group of friends that support you, as well. It's OK to cry and let your feelings out. Your friends can help you get through the tough emotional times, and yes, it's true, even rocks do cry.

You however, are definitely not made out of stone. No one can show the kind of empathy that you have shown to your friend and tell me otherwise.

We all need a shoulder to cry on. I used to think that crying was my weakness, but now that I've allowed myself to share my emotions with my friends and loved ones, It has given me the strength I never knew I had within me to help my friends and loved ones carry on.

My hugs go out to you,

- Jill

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Guest DianeATL

Thanks for the comments ladies. I wasn't looking for a gold star for me, I am just doing what friends do. It brought up the admiration for those who do it professionally, who don't even know the person they are giving care to. They need the gold stars.

The really hard part for me is my knee jerk reaction to smother when a friend is hurting. i actually had to work at backing off and giving her some space today be with others. I did message with one of our friends today about my emotional state and it was no surprise. They all know I am a wreck.

They are there for me if I ask but I am scared to do it. I think if I hold it back and just let little bursts of pressure off rather than having a big collapse I will be better off. I am afraid that if I open the flood gates it will be really bad and I won't be able to get it back together when I need to.

Please be sending her best thoughts and prayers you have for great biopsy results Wednesday. Thankfully I will be with her, I would be pacing like a caged animal if I wasn't.

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Guest LesleyAnne

The most cathartic thing we can do when feeling helpless is to cry. It's actually good for you, and as girls we are allowed.

I worked as a Respiratory Therapist for 10 years, and worked home hospice for awhile. Caregivers become victims of either becoming jaded (a way for the mind to cope), or they just break down and have to change careers which is what I had to do.

I can't think of anything worse than to watch a loved one, or even a stranger suffer that way, and you feel powerless to help.

So cry together, hug each other, and curse the cancer.

My heart goes out to you and your friend, may you find some semblance of peace together.

LesleyAnne

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Guest DianeATL

Bless you Lesley Anne for your work. I understand how one would either need to zone off emotions and be a zombie or quit. Caring is painful.

I don't want to cry with her, I think she is already starting to worry more about me and my reaction. She needs to know I am OK and focus on herself.

I hugged someone's stuffed bear with a death grip last week when the girls all got together. They all noted it and you should see all of the suggestions that I have received of the best stuffed toys. One has even offered to loan me one of hers until I can get my own. I might take her up on it when I see her tonight. Hugging a pillow is nice, but it has no personality. ;-)

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Guest Jennifer T

Diana, it is not weakness to cry. It is not a lack of fortitude or clarity to hurt when a friend hurts.

It is human. And as difficult to accept as it may sound, it is a gift. To hurt with your friend is a gift to her. Be the rock you need to be, but don't be affraid to let her know that what affects her affects you as well because you care for her.

It's a delicate balance.

My thoughts and prayers for you and she.

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Guest DianeATL

Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers, I take her back tomorrow to get the biopsy results. Comments during the biopsy did not sound encouraging so we are prepared for not great news.

She and another friend of mine have loaned me stuffed animals that I can hug at night now, amazing what holding a teddy bear will do to comfort you. And in the midst of what she is going through, she is looking out for me. Actually it's her son's bear and he was very happy for me to have him. :-)

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Guest Cyndysub

Who is slicing all of the onions in here. Girl my eyes are watering. I am sending all of my good thoughts your way for you and your friend and I commend you for giving so much of yourself to comfort your girlfriend.

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Guest Mickey

I have heard of support desccribed as rings, or circles, with the person or persons or family or who ever needs the support, being in the very middle. All complaining goes towards the outer circles only, and all support goes inward. So the person in need of the support is the only one that can complain to anybody in the outer rings. Those in the closest ring can complain to everybody outside thier own ring and so on.

It would seem, in your case, that you can go to anybody, except your friend that is suffering, and complain to them. From your description, it would seem that you are in the inner, closest circle of support for your friend, and should be able to draw your support from any of the outer rings of support surronding you and your friend.

And I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. I am sure your friend is very appreciative of your support and love. Thank you for those things you do. It is people like you that are making the world a better place.

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Guest

Who cares for the care givers, tugs at my heart. I work with Medicare and Medicaid patients as customer service on the phone. Sometime I have to keep complete verbal composure with tears streaming down my face. Some of life's blows are very unfair. Hug that Teddy as long as you need to, the water works will subside. Heart felt hug. JodyAnn

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Guest DianeATL

Definitely cancer but appears to be operable, proceedure scheduled in a couple of weeks. Thanks for all of your support.

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Guest DianeATL

Surgery is Thursday so your continued thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.

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Guest

Thank you for the update, DianeATL.

My thoughts are with you and your dear friend.

Huggs, :wub:

Joann

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Guest Mickey

Prayers said. Prayers, for her and for you.

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Guest LesleyAnne

My thoughts are with you both!

You are love......

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Guest DianeATL

Thanks for your support - today turned out to be just further biopsy and will schedule surgery after the new year.

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Guest Carla_Davis

Hi Diane

I am sorry to read about this sad news about your friend.

I used to believe the song “Big Girls Don’t Cry”. This is BS

My therapist had often suggested that I cry during our sessions, as to relive some of my pain.

Something else that may be helpful for Both you and your friend, if she does not already belong to one are Cancer Support Groups

This one may be helpful for both you and your friend.

Cancer Support Community-Atlanta

http://cancersupportcommunityatlanta.org/page.php?8

Who is eligible to come to programs at the Cancer Support Community Atlanta?

Any person affected by cancer is eligible to participate in our programs, whether it is the patient, caregiver, children, or other loved ones. Our calendar of programs can be your guide to the programming that best supports each group of people we serve.

The services are FREE

Please take care of your own health.

Recently, I was trying to help someone with a lot of past trauma, and had to stop, as I was beginning to suffer “Indirect Trauma”.

I wish both You and your Friend Love and Support during this very stressful time. :wub:

Hugs, and Tears, :wub:

Carla

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Guest DianeATL

As an update, the minor surgery that was scheduled was skipped and a larger surgery is scheduled for the first of the year. While it is a bigger deal, we all are actually pleased feeling that getting rid of all of the cancerous hosts is probably better than just going in and trying to eliminate spots.

We have been staying busy and doing slumber parties to keep from being alone much. That has kept my spirits up but last night I was alone again and giving my stuffed animals a lot of hugs. It's doubly difficult because she hasn't made her condition public information so I have only a limited number of people in the know that I can lean on. I have had others asking what's wrong with me since I have been absent from events and distant when I have been out and about. All I can say is there's some stuff going on that is on my mind.

I was communicating with my therapist this week and told her I may come in for a session just to cry and she said come on down. ;-)

Thanks for all of your support and love.

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Guest

Thanx for the update, Diane. :friends:

Love your new Avatar BTW. :)

Huggs, :wub:

Joann

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Guest Carla_Davis

Hi Diane,

Thanks for the update.

I hope that the Major surgery will be successful.

I want to praise you for your Support for your friend :score:

I am happy that you are going to see your Therapist. :thumbsup:

Please keep us updated on both YOUR staus and your friend

I wish you Continued Success and Happiness in your Journey.

Hugs,

Carla

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