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They say I'm in denial


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Yeah, that's right, I'M in denial. I had quite the break down at a family dinner this evening. My younger brother, who hasn't even responded to the fact that my cancer is progressing, blessed us with his presence tonight at a family dinner for my 91 year old grandmother. We talked about all sorts of stuff, including how my paricipating in a clinical trial at NIH would require me to be away from home for two weeks at a time, every two weeks, would impact our family. My dad said they would "do what they can", not exactly the response I was hoping for.

We have wonderful friends that would drop everything for us, but how do we deal with family that seem to think that this is going to turn out okay, and that we can deal with it? My grandmother and I agreed that whoever gets there first will wait for the other, my mom said that she stayed out of the conversation because it was too difficult. I'm a mess, I guess we're just supposed to carry the load for everyone.

I'm tired. I'm not giving up, but I'm tired of picking up the slack for all of those people that just can't deal.


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We CAN DEAL here.......and our lips are tight! We love you and WILL do what it takes! If clinical trial at two weeks a pop is what must be, we are THERE in less than a heartbeat to do what needs to be done!! And we will LOVE that doggie too! Please let us know if this is what you want. Fred and I and Teddy can be in the car and there in less than 7 hours. Guess we gotta talk soon, huh?????

We are NOT in denial here, Tracy, for we KNOW the road you are on.

More love than you can EVER imagine from here,

Aunt Kasey and Uncle Fred

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I am so sorry. We went through many similar experiences, and not just denial but just plain cruelty-- surprisingly only from John's family. The people you think that you could count on. Talk about a break down, I had one the whole neighborhood heard. My only advice is to let it out (loudly), it feels good.

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Fighting cancer is a constant battle. You have to do what is best for you. I like the 4 words in your last paragraph “I’M NOT GIVING UP”. It must hurt when you don’t get the support you expect from some of your family. With cancer there are times when you have to be selfish and do whatever it takes to survive. I would take all the support from all of your friends. If they will do things for you that your family won’t, let them. You need to spend all of your energy on one thing and that’s beating this disease. Lots of us here consider you as part of the family. We are huge and we have lots of prayer warriors that will be praying for you. Don’t hesitate to call on us. We will do what ever we can.

Stay positive, :)


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You're not in denial, you're just not allowed to even think about what could happen that might touch their worlds. Of course, I'm sure you hear about every hangnail as if it's the end of the world...

Hang in there, Tracy. We're here for you, and we know all about that elephant. Makes a great plant stand...



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I am so sorry that you have all this on your shoulders but right now you have to just focus on you and the fight. Let your friends help, sometimes they are as close as family. Let the rest go. FOcus on what you and your family need to do to get you well!! Do whatever it takes!!!

Always remember you have a whole family right here ready to do anything you may need, just say the word!

My prayers go out to you and your family and your friends!!! We find support in those closest to us, family or not!

Prayers being sent,


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Tracy, you deserve way better than this. I agree with Ernie -- if you have genuine friends who are wanting to help, let them! Of course you'll hear about that too, and from the same family members who are acting so unconcerned now, but you gotta do what you gotta do. As my mother used to say (when she was really mad), I'm going to tell'em how the cow eats the cabbage!



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I'm tired of picking up the slack for all those people who just can't deal.

Well Tracy, that says it all. Don't deal with it. Don't deal with them. I'm not even going to try to figure out what it is that's so difficult for them to deal with. YOU are the one fighting cancer. YOU are the one who has to decide what's best for YOU and of course your husband & kids.

If your friends are the one's you can rely on, then that's where you go for help and to hell with anyone else who has 'trouble dealing with it,' family or not.

Stay away from non supportive people and go with the supportive people, you'll all be better off in the long run. Amazing how this disease brings out the worst & the best in people.

With all that said, I can only repeat what others here have said about this family which you already know gives support when you need it.

I wish you the very best in your clinical trial and pray that it works for you and you get good results from it.

Good Luck & God Bless


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I am sorry :( Not everyone wants to face possible reality. I remember wanting to punch some people who sugar coated things when my parents got diagnosed and I was just so blunt with what reality could be.

I am glad that you have good friends and of course your Aunt Kasey!

I really really hope for good results from the clinical trial.

Thinking of you!

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You are dealing with so much, I can only speculate on how frustrating this must be for you. We get some of that as well - 'but he looks so good!', etc. Sometimes I feel as if I'm out on my own island and no one will row out to visit.

Live your life, love your kids, do what you need to do for peace of mind - and just continue to accept and love the people around you who might be not entirely understanding. That's my advice, for what it's worth.

Mostly, take care and be at peace.


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Hi Tracy,

I think my family is in denial too, not one of them will acknowledge that I'm not going to be o.k. somehow. BUT, they are all there in a heartbeat to do whatever needs done so I can fight. I think the difference is they acknowledge that we're in a big-time fight, but they won't acknowledge that there's any chance I won't win. I'm o.k. with that - their positivity brings me up, which I need a lot of the time.

Now - my husband's family is another story. I remember right after diagnosis, I was all drugged up with painkillers and anxiety medication. We had a 7 week old baby, and my husband works full-time. I couldn't wake up with the baby, and my husband was exhausted. He called his mom to see if she would stay one night with us to take care of the baby and she wouldn't do it. Then, we thought of my grandma, but she couldn't drive all the way to our house by herself. We called his mom back to see if she would drive her over. She said she would THINK ABOUT IT and call us back. I still can't get over that.

I can't figure out how some people think. But you need to do whatever it takes to give yourself a chance. I feel like we're leaning too hard on my family and our friends, with not enough of the load distributed to my husband's family, but I don't care anymore. I know the people that help me love me and want to do it, and they're part of my team.

You'll have to tell us about the NIH trial when you have some time. I'm sorry you're not getting the support you need from your family. I'd get the friends and Kasey lined up for help if you think the trial is a good idea.


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Tracy KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE PRIZE! I don't have to tell you that the prize is you being with your husband and children-CANCER FREE! No matter what happens, who says what or does not say what, you just see yourself where you long to be-cancer free. Don't worry about how you are going to accomplish it-just see it, pray for it,feel it be it!


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Tracy I wish I had the magic words here, unfortunately our families are sometimes the last ones we can rely on in a crunch. Kasey and Fred and your friends will pick up the slack and you'll be able get the tx you need.

Remember that we choose our friends for who and what they are, but the family comes pre-packaged with weaknesses that would sometimes make us avoid them if they weren't related. Rely on the people who want to help and fight for yourself in whatever manner you deem neccessary.

Tell Grandma if she goes anytime soon she'll be waiting a while......you have things to do here first!

Take care


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Tracy, First and foremost you have alot of ambition and you can beat this. Your family are in denial. You aren't. Ger's family was in denial but they did pull through. Sometimes they don't get it cause they aren't living it 24/7 - they were also 3000 miles away. They made 2 trips up in 3 monthes...cause they finally got it. I think as long as you are talking and walking your family might not "get it". Nor.......do they need to because we are all praying that the trial treatment will do you a world of good! Spend your time with your children and husband and enjoy every minute of it. I wish you the very very best. Heather

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I am so sorry.

I've become so aware that real life is not like the movies where the family rallies during serious challenges. Nope, they often time do not get any better than they were, and often their own fears and anxieties make them worse.

I an sorry you aren't getting the responses you want...but this isn't about want, it's about need. Maybe if you tell those who you want to step up that you NEED then to, maybe they will be more helpful? You know them best.

I told mom she has to tell me what she needed, if she didn't I was afraid I wouldn't do everything right...

I think I was better for it.

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Friends and family should

be there for days of sunshine

or days of rain.

Make a clean up in relations

and keep those that will help

you..........you will remember

the date and the occasion when

your choise was made.

Fred and Kasey already are there

offering help, more friends will

share the tasks and you will be

able to have your treatments with

a clear mind and a happy heart.

No denial there just a fact of

life that came up.


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I'm so sorry your family isn't there for you, Tracy. I have found that those people I couldn't count on BEFORE my diagnosis still can't be counted on. Let those help who want to help; they're doing it out of altruism not obligation. And altruism trumps obligation every day.

Take good care of yourself and I wish you nothing but great success with the trial. My continued prayers are with you and yours.



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You already know that people react to an illness of someone they love in strange ways. Some may avoid the subject all together; some may take the denial approach...Just because they have no idea how to deal with it. "Ignore the problem, it will go away" attitude. Sounds like some of your family are taking this direction. I saw similar things happen with my sister after she was diagnosed.

But one thing that is for sure... Your friends (and definitely Kasey & Fred) are there for you and you must take advantage of their offers to help. As friends and family, we feel so helpless sometimes. We really need you to tell us exactly what you need. Be honest. Map it out. Write it down. Drill it into our heads that you need assistance, and don't be shy about it.

It was so difficult to help with my sister since we lived so far apart. However, her friends would ask her (and me), "What can we do to help?". She would say.. "My cooking sucks, and we sure could use a good casserole". Next day, dinner makers were organized, and meals arriveed each evening.

It's just an example, but what I'm trying to say is this... It's all about YOU right now. Getting YOU on the road to remission in any way necessary. So ask for help, and refuse to pick up any one else's slack. Ok, I will now step down from my soapbox.

You continue to be in my prayers. Keep fighting and make those reservations for NIH. Ellie

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Tracy--You have to do what you need to do to fight this disease. You are not responsible for anyone else's inability to deal or to cope. You have permission (like you need it) to put yourself and your children first--and going away for 2 weeks at a time IS for your children if it helps you to beat this disease.



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I am so very sorry you are dealing with this. You are

not in denial, but unfortunatley your family is. I

dealt with the same issue with Alan's sons. It was so

infuriating that I almost lost control. It was easier

for them to bury their heads in the sand, then come

to grips at how very sick their Dad was. It came to

the point I believe they acutally avoided Alan. So

much time they lost. You Keep fighting. There will

be many many people you can count on, it just might

not be the ones you expected.

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Sweetie, I have to be quick--I have a classroom of 3rd graders who just want my full attention for some reason :lol:

I highly recommend any Bernie Seigel's books--in this order

1. Love, Medicine, and Miracles

2. How to be an Exceptional Patient

3. How to Live Between Office Visits

If you go on Amazon.com, you will find many meditation tapes. When I was at my worst I listened every day for 1/2 hour.

I am also sending you a PM


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Tracy, it is sad that you can't get support from your own family. Maybe they will come around if you and Kasey have a frank talk with them. Just focus on what you have to do for your treatment. You can't allow family struggles to take up your energy. Maybe your dad and mom will begin to understand when they see you go get your treatment and have to make arrangements for friends to take care of your kids instead of family. I would be tempted just to drop the kids off at grandma and grandpa's and tell them to deal with it, but you have to find a solution where your kids will be comfortable I guess. Actually, your dad did offer some tentative help from what you posted. Maybe you should outline exactly what it is to him that you need and give him the opportunity to step in and help. I guess if you were just dealing with some jerk at the supermarket, you could go off on him with no problem. But you are dealing with your loved ones. I hope they come around.

Don M

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You know Tracy, my family walked around in a cloud the first few months after I was dx.d. They were all so into how THEY FELT that they didn't stop to think how I might be feeling. :shock::?:roll:

Long story short, I had a blow up one day, and I pretty much lost it and said, to my husband, my daughter, my sister, and a few of my friends, I said: "This isn't about YOU, this is about ME and me dying, and damnit I'm pretty damn scared right now, so can you please put YOUR feelings off to the side for at least one day and maybe allow ME to fall apart or do what ever it is I have to do to get through this crap?" Things did a 180 turn around after that.

I totally understood what they felt like, because I had walked in there shoes when my mom, dad and sister were going through there lung cancer journey. So, I knew how they felt. But I had no CLUE what it felt like to be a Lung Cancer Patient/Survivor. It really SUCKED!

I got so tired of trying to keep a smile on my face and trying to make everyone feel safe and comfortable and not rock the boat..... I HATED to see what they were all going through, but at the same time, they didn't really see what I was going through because I had to hide it as to make them feel better.

My family didn't want to talk about anything negative, such as what if the chemo doesn't work, or what if I get really sick from it? If I mentioned something that didn't sound 120% POSITIVE they would say to me, "Why are you being so Negative?" :roll: Well, HELLO......., my dad, mom and sister all died from lung cancer!!! How the hell do I remain POSITIVE after all that? :roll:

Things REALLY went well for all of us after I blew up. :roll::wink: I was sorry I had to do that, but I was pretty much on my last nerve. God love them all, they have all stuck by me and let me babble when I needed too. It did become a two way street for all of us during my journey, they talk I listen, I talk they listen. :wink:


Feed off of those that offer you strength and support and where YOU feel the safest and most comofortable. Let those that are in denial continue to be stuck in that spot. You have more then enough to deal with. YOUR NUMBER ONE! :wink:

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