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Soft in the Eye


SandraL

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As I was out driving earlier today I was reflecting on this site. I had a bit of an interesting week waiting for test results and experienced the usual range of emotions. I was so relieved yesterday with my good news and then went on to read test results that were not so good and those results just break my heart. I also realized that it is just as bad waiting to hear about others results as yours. And how genuinely thrilled you are when people have good news to share.

What I realized today then is what an awesome place this is and how emotionally attached I have gotten to everyone here, survivors, family members and caregivers. It is such a positive place to be and we are like family. I cannot believe how such emotions and relationships can be achieved on a website. But whatever is happening here is just beautiful and speaks volumes for the human spirit. I am so grateful to have found this site and you good people.

And thinking about all that just made me very "soft in the eye". That from a girl who is very good at keeping her emotions in check.

I wish you all an awesome weekend and joy in your heart.

Sandra

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Aha Sandra - another one with a way with words.

I am pretty emotional for some reason today and I joined you in your "soft in the eye" moment after reading your post (so much for mascara that doesn't run-mine must be the cheap stuff!).

I feel just as you do about the wonderful people on this forum - if someone would have told me that I could feel close to people on the internet I would have told them they were crazy. I eat my words.

Wishing all the same good things back at 'ya.

Hugs,

Linda

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Sandra-

I, too, cannot sometimes believe how close I have become to people who I have never really "met" and some people who I have never even seen a picture of. You all have helped me through some pretty anxious times and I am sure I will be asking for support and prayers as I continue with this journey.

You all are the most wonderful people - I love you all. Your post did more than just make me "soft in the eye" - it made me cry!!!

God bless each and every one of you.

Hugs - Patti B.

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Ditto me too on all of that.

Each member makes a contribution here and without even knowing the gravity sometimes, touches another person and leaves a fingerprint (keyboard print :wink: on their heart- all with a simple post. There are times when we lift up and times when we need lifting, but without a doubt we are here for each other through it all.

I'm grateful for all of you.

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Sandra,

I’ve taken a few moments to reflect on your beautiful and true post above, and you are right. These are the thoughts that have come to me as I’ve reflected as to why it is that bonds are felt on this message board.

Bonds between survivors, family members, are caregivers are so very strong. I experienced it first in the chemotherapy room at the oncologist’s office. There was a quiet, humble, and hopeful depth in the eyes of the patients there. Faith was visible (and it still is). Gratitude for love that surrounded us was genuine (and it still is). A Spirit burned to say that there are still good things to see, and meaningful things still yet to do (and it still does). Successes were celebrated (and they still are), because they give hope, they are life affirming, and they confirm the existence of miracles. Bad news is felt deep in the hearts of those who bond, as we know that we are really in a common fight and in a common walk, all of us. Because we are all dependent upon the same blessings, we share in them. We now live in that awareness.

What I experienced in the chemo room, I’ve experienced here.

When I was still in the hospital recovering from brain surgery, a friend gave to me a prayer that he had held in his prayer book for many years. “My Father, I thank you for adversity, for rocking my little boat, for the winds that seem too strong, and for the waves that threaten to capsize me. For all of these things drive me into Your loving arms.”

Survivors, family members and caregivers form such strong bonds for each other, I think, because we know by faith and by hope that we are all being held together in those loving arms. Because of this, we can be there for each other, we can keep our spirits high, and we can trust together in what we cannot see. We can encourage each other to find the grit that we need to see us through for as long as our circumstances permit us to do so.

We learn together that we can’t really get our old life back when cancer strikes, but rather that we have a new life now. That new life includes a deep appreciation and understanding of what other survivors, family members and caregivers have gone through and what we face ahead. That new life together is not what we would have chosen, but it is okay -- because the new life is as people who have discovered a deeper and more meaningful life in the fight.

I ramble. I’ll stop now, before I get “soft in the eye.”

Thanks for moderating an awesome discussion board.

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Dear Sandra,

Your insightfulness has invited the most touching posts in reply to yours that I've read in a long time.

Beginning with yours, which left me watery-eyed, and continuing on as my eyes burned, until now, as my eyes are just clearing - enough to tell you, Sandra, and all who posted in reply, how heartened I feel.

Your insights have given me sustenance and I thank you all, each and every one.

Barbara

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Thank you for all your responses. I too got a lot more than soft in the eye when reading them this morning.

Eyuppie, you have an absolute way with words. You touched my soul. You really need to keep on posting here and sharing your thoughts with us.

Take good care everyone

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Sandra:

Thanks so much for your thought-provoking message.

During the months I've been here (and the almost-year that I was on another message board), I have marveled more than once at the range of my reactions to the postings of others.

When my news was good, others rejoiced with me--even when their own news was bad. And when others' news was good, I rejoiced with them--even when my own news was bad. Likewise, when others' news was bad, I commiserated with them no matter what my own status, and vice versa.

I have never felt jealousy when others' news was better than mine. Instead, I happy danced as if their good news were my own. I've even wished I could trade places with those whose news was worse than mine, especially those of you who still have children at home.

I'm trying not to be soft-eyed as I write this, but I readily confess to having cried over the rest of you (both tears of joy and of sorrow), and I agree with everyone else that if I had been told that my emotions could rise to such high levels for people I've never met, I would never have believed it!

I love you all.

Carole

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(((Sandra))),

Now you've done it. You've caused rivers to form around me as the tears just keep coming. You and others have spoken what has been in my heart for a long while.

After I lost my husband , I continued to come here and some of my family and friends couldn't understand why. But it's the bond among those of us "who get it". It's the bond among those of us who know what is meant by " the new normal". It's about helping to pick one another up on a bad day , praying for those in need and celebrating with those who are doing well. It's about appreciating the opportunity to share each and every day with people who really know the meaning of life.

For me, it's not just about my husband now. It's now about my mom, who was diagnosed last year, and it's about me as a caregiver, family member and friend to other cancer patients. Some days I come for help , some days I come to give help and on most all days I do both.

Sandra, thank you for starting this thread. This seems like the perfect time to, once again, thank Katie and Rick for creating this place for all of us. Love and Hugs to All.

Love,

Sue

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There really is something special about this place...almost mystical in the way it connects all of us.Many of us have never met...nor will we...but I know and care for all that are here.I have been gone for 3 days ...no computer...and have a lot to catch up on but had I read this thread first I may not have posted that whinney thing a did earlier.There are some very special people in this website....those of us who have been slapped by the monster...and those who have taken care of us as we go along. God Bless us all.

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I've even wished I could trade places with those whose news was worse than mine, especially those of you who still have children at home.

Wow, Carole, that did it to me again! I remember writing something like that to Rachel about a year ago, and now I hear she is gone...

Ned

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Carole, Thanks for the reminder of those among us who are parents of children still at home. I am particularly aware of them since my 42-year-old niece with ten-year-old triplets has been fighting breast cancer with mets to bones and liver so whenever I'm tempted to feel too sorry for myself, I think of the mothers and fathers....

Judy on her way to the Rancocas River

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Sometimes I think Larry is only holding on because of our son. He's 14. The same age Larry was when his dad died. That really breaks my heart. Because we were married 13 years before I had Nick. If Nick were all grown up, Larry wouldn't have the guilt he does about leaving him. And I really don't want Larry to suffer because he feels guilty about leaving a half-grown child behind.

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Oh, geez, Lynn. I didn't realize.

I swear I'd trade with Larry in a heart beat (not that it would be that great a trade :( ).

I cannot tell you how much I hate this... I know lung cancer's a roll of the dice and that there's no rhyme or reason to it, but this is just so wrong.

When I was dx'd back in 01/07, my first thought was that I wasn't going to be able to see my grandchildren graduate from high school. Boy, have I learned a lot since then. :(

I know it's illogical for Larry to feel guilty (and I'm sure he knows it, too), but logic doesn't even come into play at this point.

I just hope that he and Nick can get as much "quality time" as possible, although I know it's late in the game for that, too. :-(

Oh, Lynn. You are going through so very much, and all I can write is for you to please consider yourself hugged so hard that you can't even catch your breath!

With all my love to you and your family,

Carole

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Carole, I'm telling you, girl, I love you to pieces! It's OK. Really. Nick and I will get through this.

Larry said something to me that was so profound, many years ago, when he was going through his non-hodgkin's lymphoma. He told me that he felt sorry for me. I didn't understand. He said that he could do something about his cancer, but I could only stand by and watch.

And he has often said since that time, through his bouts of three different kinds of cancer, that he was glad it was him and not someone else. He has never once asked, "Why me?" He would never have wished his circumstance on someone else so that he could survive. He has been preparing me for his death since August 1984, when he got one of the most deadly cancers in existence. A cancer he survived.

Yes, he feels guilt over Nick. But he need not. Nick is his father's son and his mother's son, also. Larry is strong. Larry has made me strong. Together, Nick and I will stay strong. We will survive, and we will do Larry proud in the process!

And I feel your hugs, all the way from Titusville, Florida to Boulder, Colorado. I hope you can feel mine, too.

Your compassion brings out the best in me. God Bless You!

Lynn

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(((Lynn)))

I have a son, Nick, also who was 14 when I was dx'd and will be 16 next month. I know how Larry feels. My hubbie is a long distance trucker, always has been and therefore Nick and I are very close. Sometimes I feel so guilty that I got sick. Just today, Nick was taking a nap and I had to knock on his door to wake him up to go to work. He came running out of the room, crying, and wrapped his arms around me and was sobbing over my shoulder. He had had a nightmare and I didn't make it. It was so sad.

If your son ever needs another teen to talk to, let me know. I am sure my Nick would be more than willing to. Might help them both out.

Its bad enough what this horrid disease does to us adults, but our kids.............

Hugs - Patti B.

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All right!! That's enough of the soft stuff! Time for this crowd to get over to the "Lung Cancer in the News" forum and read all about it ("it" being Barb's and my hilarious discussions about mice and viagra :D)!

For mice, see: http://lungevity.org/l_community/viewtopic.php?t=37552

For viagra, see: http://lungevity.org/l_community/viewtopic.php?t=37568

For more laughter, hang in there as I'm almost done with a new posting on Cancer-Killing Laughter that is much better than my Cancer-Killer Spinach Salad at:

http://lungevity.org/l_community/viewtopic.php?t=37348

Affectionately,

Carole

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.--The late, great George Carlin

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Our kids is right. Us adults can take it...but simply not fair to kids. My 12 year old asked me last night how the cancer in my back was doing. I said fine, pretty good in fact. He says he figured this one should be easier to kill than in my lungs because I found it quicker. Just breaks my heart. We don' t talk about it much, just try to lead a normal life. But I know both my son and daughter think about it more than I would like them to...not at all.

Having said that, I have a happy life. Everyday. And there are some people that I know who do not have cancer including people in my own family who are not happy, haven't been in a long time, and probably never will be. I have often said I would not want to trade places with them, even with cancer. Most days I actually mean that.

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Patti, thank you. That is very kind of you. I have been honest with my Nick about our prognosis. I let him know everything that is going on. But I do try to shield him from the caretaking responsibilities as much as I can. Sometimes I think he doesn't really understand. But honestly, I think he does. He is just still so hopeful that we will get the right treatment to make a difference. And he doesn't talk about it very much. I tell him what is going on. He might ask a question or two. Then he doesn't want to talk about it anymore. He just might benefit by talking to someone of his own age. I'll talk to him about it and send you a PM when the time is right.

Lynn

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Lynn-

The kids just might get a lot from each other. My Nick started doing blogs for Chris (MrsC1210) on her cangrief.com website under Nicks journey with cancer but of course, has not updated in so long since he is a very busy teenager. But - several kids have reached out to him and I think maybe they can all benefit from it. When I was first dx'd, things were horrible between us - he was so mad at me for getting sick. I tried to take him to a teen cancer group but they were all girls there who had moms with breast cancer and he said he couldn't relate. Things got better on their own and I too have always told him the truth about everything. When I was stupid enough to ask the question about how long I had (which I have outlived already) I did decide to give him an idea because I didn't want him to be angry at my husband if something happened to me. I think kids their age really appreciate the honesty. Sometimes he is way too understanding - he is planning a tattoo in my honor - and sometimes he is still a bit in denial. He runs the gamut of all feelings, which, don't we all??

So, if and when you feel your Nick might be receptive, let me know.

Hugs to your entire family-

Patti B.

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