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Carol died yesterday, very mixed emotions


gail

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Carol was my cleaning person, and had been for well over 10 years (and all 3 of my cancers). She was also from the town I taught in, and being a small town, we knew each other there. I only saw her when she came in the summers, and then we would catch up on everything.

Last fall she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Her children were all grown, and I think she hadn't been to the gyno for a pap in a way long time.

I spoke to her once after her initial diagnosis, to lend my support, but got the feeling she wasn't interested in talking right then. I told her to call me when she wanted, that I "knew the ropes", but she never did. Through mutual acquaintences, I learned she was not doing well at all, and they hoped she would make it to her youngest college graduation (she did)

I'm writing now because I am obviously very unsettled. I am feeling guilty (I do that so well) that I did not approach her again. My heart told me that I could not be there and watch her die. I had done that after the 2nd cancer with another not-really-close friend, and that was way too difficult. I knew Carol had plenty of family and close friends to be with her.

Deep, deep down inside I know that my decision was correct for me, but it still feels wrong. That's the bottom line I guess.

If you made it to the end of this post, thanks for reading.

gail

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Gail - You did what was right in your heart! That is all that matters. I am sure she was okay with that, as she did have enough loved ones with her. Since my moms diagnosis she has not heard from her best friend for awhile now and it is simply because she can't deal with it and my mom is okay with that. She knows that it is hard sometimes for other people to except things or what they are to say. You did what is right in your heart and should NOT feel guilty

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(((Gail)))

I've been here too. My neighbor two doors down was dx. with SCLC just six months after my dad. I had all the best intentions to be there for him and his family too. I gave info, books, print outs, t-shirts and other things the first week I learned of his cancer. Then I didn't see him again until a month before he died.

I felt SO guilty-like I let him down or could have done more- but in reality, I was the LAST thing on his or his familie's minds. They had each other, and it was how it was supposed to be.

Don't beat yourself up as you grieve her loss. If you thought she really needed you- I know you would have been there.

I'm saying prayers of comfort and peace for her family and I'm saying prayers for YOU too.

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Sweet Gail,

Be as good to yourself as you are to others.

Feel the sadness and treasure the good memories of your friendship and know that you are good and kind and loving, she knows she could have called on you. That was a certain comfort to her.

Love

P

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Gail,

I had the same thing happen to me. I reached out to someone I had worked with for over 20 years when he was diagnosed with advanced lymphoma. At the time, I was going thru chemo and it was a really tough call for me to make, but it seemed when I got up the fortitude to call him, he kind of brushed me off.

Knowing how emotions go with all this, I just left him alone as I knew he had friends and family to talk to and care for him. He just passed a couple of weeks ago, and I felt bad, but I know he did still have family and friends with him up until he died.

It's hard to know what to do, but please don't beat yourself up about this...you reached out, what more can you do????

Cindy

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Gail, so very sorry to learn of the loss of your firend. I think you did the right thing by talking to her and giving her the opportunity to respond. Like many, she obviously didn't want to takl about her cancer. Some people just have trouble talking about illnesses, especially cancer. My husband was one of those people. When friends would approach him about how he was doing...answer was always "fine." You have nothing to feel guilty about!!!

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You did all that you could do... You let her know that you were there and a place for her to find support and to help her through the ropes. You can't hold yourself responsible to her lack of response to that. And it was very wise of you to recognize that she ahd a good support system and to allow yourself the opportunity to step back at the same time.

What a caring, wonderful, and wise person you are.

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Gail,

I am sorry to hear about your friend Carol.

Your story reminded me much of my mom who name is Carol as well.When mom was dx with LC all of her feelings about it were turned inward in what I believe was self blame. :cry: She could not or would not talk to even me about it at times when we were alone. It has taken me two years to understand why she pulled away from me. I think that if my mom didn't talk about it then it wasn't real.Today I am still left with unanswered questions, questions that she just couldn't help me with at that time. Some of the answers have come with time, some I will just have to wait to know.

In time, if you feel that it is right, you might ask her family if she had spoken much about her cancer with them. Certainly Carol knew that you loved her and that is what she needed to know.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Gail,

I have to agree with the rest, you made contact, let her know you care and would be there. It's entirely possible that she just preferred to have her family with her and didn't feel she could deal with any more than that.

When I was diagnosed with my cancer, I wanted my mother, my kids and my grand children around me but didn't feel up to others. My poor mother was stuck with the the job of keeping other people up to date on my progress. To this day I don't know why I felt that way but i did, so in a way I understand why she chose to do things in her own way.

Please don't feel guilty, it was her choice and it had nothing to do with how she felt about you or any one else, we all react in our own way and you did the right thing by not trying to push yourself on her and respecting her wishes.

Kathy

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