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Just wanted to address a common theme that I've heard here the last few days:

As caregivers we don't have to feel guilty for having feelings. We don't have to be strong and never cry. We don't have to be ashamed of fears that come out of nowhere (or don't) or thoughts about our own mortality... We don't have to feel guilty over being devestated over the impact cancer has had on our loved ones, our families, and us.

Feelings aren't things that we can control. I was listening to a psychologist speaking about Iraq veterans going through PTSD and he said that essentially feelings happen TO us. Seems to apply in so many circumstances. We don't get to choose feelings. We can choose what to do with them... and how to act on them, sure, but they happen to us pretty much without our having any control. So beating ourselves up for feelings does nothing but make the situation worse.

This forum is a place of support for caregivers. It's a place to say the things that you can't say to people in your life who don't get it. It's a place to hear that you aren't the only one who felt that. It's a place for YOU to air how YOU feel. When you're in a caregiving situation you try very hard to remember that the situation isn't about you... and you focus on the feelings of the survivor and even of others in your family, but not necessarily your own. This is a place for you to feel your feelings and get support for them.

So don't apologize... Don't feel that you aren't strong. The hurt and the pain and the worry are excruciating. We're here to celebrate the good and support through the bad.

Hang in there all and feel what you need to and know that that is what this place is for.

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Remember, IF you keep it all bottled up inside, YOU WILL EXPLODE!! Come here let it out and We can help or just "Listen" Well said by the way could not have said it better..

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I have been missing in action for a few days but I totally agree with what you said. This is THE place to whine, vent, express feelings, etc.

Actuallly you are being SELFLESS to share how you feel b/c odds are there are others reading it who feel the same way and are so glad to know they are not alone.

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Thank you for your post. I am told often that I am being strong, I just feel like the feelings are locked in my brain. I let them out sometimes. Yesterday my neighbor came over and asked how I am doing, I had to tell her "I don't know". Tonight when I began reading the messages my chest got tight and I have to sit up straight to breathe. I was switched to Effexor for depression before we got the diagnosis and it really helps but the panic attacks come when least expected.

How do you put what you are feeling into words? I can't find the right ones now.


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