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Hi All,

I am new to the board and just need to vent. My Sister-In-Law was diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC in November of 2003 and died in November of 2004, she was 47 yrs old and way too young to leave this world. She fought so hard and tried everything she could to stay alive (Chemo/Radiation, Iressa). In July of 2004 my Father-In-Law (her father) was also diagnosed with Stage IV NSCLC and is undergoing Radiation only, because he is afraid to try Chemo after seeing his daughter go through it. I just found out that my Mom has Breast Cancer and I feel like I can't take it anymore. I am just feeling so over whelmed and am still reeling from the shock of my losing my Sister-In-Law. I want to be supportive to everyone, but I am starting to shut down. How do you all deal with the stress of seeing someone you love go through this. I want to help them, but feel so helpless. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for listening and I am going to pray for everyone on this board.


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Hello, casinochicky:

Judging from your user name, I take it you like to go to the casino? I do also, and in fact it is one of the few things that I can do that takes my mind off my cancer.

I have lung cancer, and had lung surgery to remove cancer from my right lung, 4 months ago.

Lung cancer is no joke, and is serious.

The best thing that anyone can do for someone with any illness, especially cancer, is to lend emotional support and be a good listener and positive and hopeful and lend that to the sick person.

The most difficult time emotionally that I had--even though I was extremely sick and nauseated and hurting and on oxygen--was that when I got home to have my husband and children tell me to be positive, and that I didn't have cancer anymore so should not say I did, because it was taken out. I could not make them understand that I did have it--that you are never better than a survivor with cancer and that it is right now either lurking or will or could come to another spot at any given time. I finally was able to get their support but it was hard work.

What I am telling you is to show love, be there for them as much as you can, be supportive, and helpful. Another thing you can do is to take your Mom to her appointments and do things for her--shop, whatever.

Also of grave importance is to talk to her doctors, do what you just did finding this site--look for information--get answers--and make sure your loved ones get information and treatments.

The only way one can get through this is to realize that we are all in need of support and do what you can. We never know from day to day when or what will get to us, but one thing is clear--nobody knows the day or hour we die. So live and be as happy as you can and help your Mom and loved ones be happy.

I hope this helps


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Yep, cancer is the pits. How do we caregivers get through it? Well, the patient has to battle for his/her life and they need caregivers who can help them fight the disease and the system. So, we have to be strong and positive, and encouraging and cajoling. To do this, we have to take care of ourselves both physically and emotionally, as well as spiritually. Tall order -- but it is the order of the day. With the help of your spiritual source and your friends, you can persevere. And it is worth it. Don

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The people you mention do not live with you, correct? There are some emotional things on your plate, to be sure, but it's still secondhand. You only have to have on your "brave face" when you are around the sick family members, it's something that dances through your mind a few times every day, but it is not something you are living with every single minute.

Yes, it's hard. Get over it. Feel like you're falling apart? Take some time to yourself, a weekend, three days, whatever and have a HUGE pity party. Wail over "poor me" and take it all as personal as you can, let it emotionally pull you through the wringer... When you're all cried, kicked, screamed and pitied out, pull yourself together and step back to the loved one's corner and support 'em. If you need a "composure break" sometime in the future, take one. I wouldn't suggest taking that break when your loved one is in a deep valley, but I would suggest taking care of yourself before taking care of others.

Have you ever flown? Read the card in the back of the seat regarding the oxygen masks that magically fall from overhead? The instructions say to put your own mask on before helping anyone else - you need to remember that. To help others, YOU need to be emotionally stable. Get yourself to that point and then do what comes natural.

Really, it's not all about you. It's not ALL about the patient, either. We're all in this together.

Good luck,


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Welcome -A-

Hang in there, what may not work on some will work on others. I have had two surgeries, 33 rounds or chemo with radiation, two additional full strength chemos and then 4 mths later the cancer was back in both lungs.

I have to believe that I will win this time with the chemo. I have a 8 and 13yr old who need me and am willing to go down fighting this beast to win. Everyone is difference and responds different!

Hang in there!

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A, you just gotta believe and stay positive that they will get you through this. I imagine your mom is the one who you will be with to help her go through this transistion. Breast cancer is very curable at least you have that on your side.

You have to also take one day at a time. Be there for your mom, help her as much as you can. In helping her you will also be helping yourself.

I know this is all so overwhelming for you but life throws us curves, it is up to us to step up to the plate and try to get a hit, or just stand there and strike out. I don't know about you but I want to be on the winning team. But first you have to swing.

Just be strong for your mom and show her all the love you can, as she would do that for you. You are a wonderful daughter and helping and supporing her will make so much difference in her recovery.

We are here for you, anytime. You are not alone.

I pray for health for your mom and your SIL father, and strength to get through this.


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Dear "A",

God knows what a shock this is to anyone. The best you can do is to keep your faith that somehow there is a rhyme & reason to the universe. Just believe that God in His infinite wisdom will help guide you through. I know that can be so hard to believe right now when you are so angry with Him but that is the only way I can tell you that I have found the peace & serinity to get through this.

You are in my prayers,


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Thanks so much for your replies. You all are so helpful and I love this board. I think Snowflake was correct. I was having a pity party yesterday and for that I apologize. I know that what I am going through is nothing compared to what you Suvivors deal with everyday. I am going to get myself together and jump back in full force.


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No need to apologize. None at all. If there is one person dealing with this illness from any angle who says they've not had at least one realy good pity party, well, they are probably being less than truthfull :)

A suggestion for the future: Many years ago I was taught the idea of the "mini-vacation". Could be as little as a few miinutes or as long a a few hours. What it involves is a complete focus on something I realy enjoy and I do NOT allow myself to think about cancer ... at all!

As an example: I play poker on the internet. I play everyday. I play at VERY low stakes which reduces any "gotta win" pressure. I play for at about 2 hours each afternoon. For those 2 hours or so I focus so much on the game that I am, at least in my mind, literaly "cancer free". What little pain is left over from my meds goes away, along with a lot of the "foggy head" feeling the vicoden gives me. I seem to forget about the muscle weakness and my shortness of breath. I seem to cough less. In other words ALL the symptoms of my disease, both physical and emotional seem to lessen considerably or go away all toghether.

Once the "vacation" is over then it's back to taking care of whatever business needs to be taken care of. 90% or more of the time I come back to that business with a better attitude and more strength than I had before.

Now, that's just an example of what works in my situation and based on who I am and what I like to do. I'm sure you can find something that will give you the type of "vacation" you need each day.


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i completely understand. I lost my mom and dad 9 months apart to Lung Cancer and the day we burried dad my sister was dx. with breast cancer. I was just going through the motions of living from january 2003 until just a few weeks ago when my sister finished chemo.

i lost mom in august 2003 on my birthday. dad i lost in june 2004. There is no magic words or ways to make you cope, you just do, you just sit on the bus and ride through it without making any major life altering decisions along the way. someday you get off the bus and try to stand up after sitting all that time.

thats what I am trying to do now.

hold on tight, you will get through this.

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A and Shelly,

You are both so young. I'm so sorry for your pain. Hang tough the

road is bumpy. You have both delt with alot. I will keep you both in my

prayers. Take care.

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