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Trying to be strong but I feel like my family is cursed


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It's been a rollor coaster ride since 2002. In 2002, my mom died then after an agonizing 3 months in the hospital my father died, then 3 days later my husband was diagnosed with nsclc. Then early last year my poor step mom who barely had time to grieve for my dad was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I keep trying to stay stong for my husband and our 4 and 10 year old daughters. But all this death and sickness begins to feel like punishment for some wrong I have done. Now I know that isn't the case at all, and my faith is strong, but there are days, like this last Friday, when yet again another family member, this time my step father who raised me, was found to have cancerous polyps in his colon. I swear there is a big scary monster just waiting to pounce on another family member, I only have my sister and kids left who have not been touched directly by grave illness. I am so scared to go and have a physical or even think about any ache or pain I have. My husband is Stage 4, and is beginning a clinical trial at the Karmano's Cancer Institute in a couple weeks.

Thank you for listening.


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Dear Erin,

Oh Erin, I am so very very sorry you are having to go through sooo much in such a short time. Your plate if over flowing and you have the right to VENT! Your amoung friends and we're here for you. ((((((ERIN)))))

I've been where your at and it's no fun! It will get better in time. It's okay not to be STRONG ALL THE TIME! You can fall apart with us!

Don't pass up those yearly checkups though. You don't want to do that!


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gosh i know how you feel. my mom was dx. with NSCLC, Feb/03 she died Aug/03. Also in August /03 my uncle died the day mom was burried and our priest (know since I was baptised) died 1 week later. then in October my nephew (17) was killed in a car accident, another Aunt died from a sudden stroke, another uncle passed from cancer. November brought a step-aunt's death from cancer and January 1, 2004 my 34 year old cousin passed from oral/mouth cancer. then 1/21/04 my father was dx. with SCLC. so my year is repeating itself.

i know how you feel numb and like its a movie your watching and cant escape from.

i am here if you want to vent.

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Erin, I understand, a bit, how you feel. Dad was dx nsclc Jan 2002-then Mom was dx ovarian cancer in April 2003. Dad passed on Dec 23, 2003. The night of his funeral I found out a dear, and young, friend of mine had breast cancer... Then we had a bit of a scare with my husband, high liver enzymes, I thought-sure, cancer again, why not? Fortunatly there is no concern there, he has a 'fatty liver'...BUT, I was so overwhelmed by it all, it felt like the terrorists found a way to spread cancer!

I am so sorry about your husband, having young children myself, I can't imagine...but you must try to take care of yourself, physically and emotionally. It is so good that you came to vent here, please continue to do so.

Its weird, but when I was in the small health store in the gym that I go to, I found a card with the quote from Buddha on it, and for some reason it really helped to put things in perspective. Thats why I have added it to my 'signature' here.

I don't know how to help, except to say that you are amongst friends here, and when you need to vent-we can take it. Whatever we can do to try and need help to carry on. Lean on us. Take care, Deb

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I've tried and tried to come up with some bit of advice to help you cope, but I'm out on a coping limb myself right now and beginning to think the darn saw is on the wrong side of me (closer to the tree). I'll try with some of the basics that usually work for me:

Deep breathing - when the stress seems to be too much, take a time out. Take at least five long, deep cleansing breaths and tell that little voice in your head to give you a flippin' break.

Change of scenery - take a mini-vacation with those you hold near and dear. If hubby is able to take a weekend trip, pack up the family and do a sight-seeing tour, even in your own town! Play tourist and make memories and leave all the bad crap at home (don't worry, it'll wait for you, but may not seem as big if you approach it with a lighter load on your shoulders).

Humor - do something that makes you laugh...not a chortle or just a giggle, something that makes you laugh until you hurt. It helps with the mental stuff...

Get your affairs in order. My big pressing "need" was to make sure everyone was taken care of if something happened to me. After I got all that paperwork complete, it felt like a weight had been lifted (cancer didn't go away, but it was something less to worry about were things to "turn ugly" down the road). Affairs should be orderly, there's always that random beer truck....

Know when to say when - if it's too much for you to handle on a daily basis, talk to your doctor and get some medication to help. Better living through chemistry.... If you just need someone to talk to, try counseling. A good counselor will line you up with coping skills and help you pinpoint your "triggers" to feeling overwhelmed. If you are a religious person, set up an appointment with a clergy member and turn it over to your higher power.

Take one day at a time...(and it is just as scary as the monster under the bed or his sister in the closet....try to keep the lights on in your mind to keep the boogeymen banished...)


aka Snowflake

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Erin, I am so very sorry you and your family are going through all this. I watched a dear co-worker go through a similar time a couple of years ago, and then I watched that dear friend become very ill herself from the stress of it all -- So I'll just add a gentle reminder that it's very important to take care of YOU, even in the midst of all this. (My frieind endured over a year of attempts at a diagnosis before she was finally found to have MS. The stress gave her many different symptoms that kept disguising what is already a hard thing to diagnose, I guess.)

I will keep you and your husband and family in my prayers.


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Dear Erin,

What an awful load you are having to bear! My heart goes out to you. Is it my imagination or are there so many more cases of cancer these days, it certainly seems like it?

Please do not neglect your own health, if you do you won't be able to be strong for your family! I wish you strength and will be keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. PS I do love your name it reminds me of Irish fields of green!



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Dear Erin,

I wish I could offer more, but I can only offer that you are not alone. I have days where I feel the same way. My situation is different than yours, but there are days when I feel as if I am being picked on. Try to stay focused on the positive things. I just came across this web site yesterday, but it has given me comfort already. My scenario doesn't feel quite so lonely any more.

Love and Peace, Rikki

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