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Friends and Cancer
Old 06-03-2007, 10:50 PM   #1
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Friends and Cancer

I know there was a study done a few months ago about cancer deaths decreasing and that was certainly good news.

The thing is DH and I are having a tough time lately with all of the rotten news we've been getting. In the past 7 days, we have found out:

DH boss has breast cancer...she's 53
DH employee has prostate cancer...he's 49
DH (another) employee has bladder cancer...he's 54, and yesterday we found out a dear friend of ours has uterine cancer. She's 61.

It's gotten to the point that I don't know what to say. I'm trying to do and say the best things possible, but it seems that I am beginning to feel numb and am at a loss for words.

Sorry guys, just had to get this off my chest.
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:17 PM   #2
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It's gotten to the point that I don't know what to say. I'm trying to do and say the best things possible, but it seems that I am beginning to feel numb and am at a loss for words.
I know what you are feeling, practicing in a major cancer center.

I have no sage advice; it's such a personal thing. The only thing I'd pass along is to remember that you don't have to say anything. People will get the message of love and support mostly from your presence alone.
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Old 06-03-2007, 11:24 PM   #3
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Thank you Rich.
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Old 06-04-2007, 09:42 AM   #4
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BBBamI, one person's experience, for what it's worth: I very much appreciated the concern, offers of support and the chance to talk with my closest friends and family. In the larger circle of friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers who end up knowing, I appreciated it when they left it to me to bring up the subject.

Actually, most everybody was great, so I think you can trust your instincts.

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Old 06-04-2007, 01:42 PM   #5
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It's gotten to the point that I don't know what to say. I'm trying to do and say the best things possible, but it seems that I am beginning to feel numb and am at a loss for words.
I know how you feel. I lost my brother to cancer at the young age of 39 many years ago. I'm going through some PSA screenings myself at present, and have thought hard and deep about cancer and the meaning of life. It's not a cheerful topic, but it's something every one of us has to face, our mortality. If not cancer, it will be something else. I don't think those going through their ordeal now are looking for any specific word, it's just nice to know someone cares. Maybe all you have to say is "I care about your situation," and if you are religious offer them your prayers.

On the good news side, as you noted, we've made and are continuing to make enormous strides in the battle against cancer. I think if my brother had the same cancer today it would be curable. Prostate cancer, which I've read a lot about laterly, has a 99% survival rate for five years, and something like 92% for ten years. Other cancers may not be as high, but their survival continues to increase, especially if caught early.

So, hang in there and let's all be thankful for every good day we have to enjoy God's blessings.
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Old 06-04-2007, 03:50 PM   #6
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I lost four friends/co-workers in the last 15 months that I worked. In fact, that was one of the things that motivated me to look for any way to RE. Suddenly losing people that I saw five or six days a week was a real wake up call to me, making me realize that I was spending too many of my remaining days being unhappy in an environment that I could barely tolerate. When I get down these days, I think of those friends and how they were robbed of any chance at a retirement. It doesn't exactly cheer me up, but it makes me appreciate the opportunity that I've been given to enjoy life on my own terms for a change.
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Life is too short....
Old 06-04-2007, 03:58 PM   #7
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Life is too short....

Over a two year period several years ago, my DH and I lost 13 family and friends ranging in age from early 40s to mid-80s; for awhile there we were going to funerals every month or so. Nothing prepares you for a chain of losses like that, but it sure helps to clarify what is important in life.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:51 PM   #8
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Maybe I should listen more to the one who is frightened or has pain. After all, my friend is the one that matters.

Life is indeed precious.
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Old 06-05-2007, 12:03 AM   #9
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My brother died about 5 years ago in his early/mid 30's from pancreatic cancer.

In observing him, the most important thing was simply being there with him and spending time together.

Saying "I'm sorry" or trying to give condolences really doesn't serve any purpose and only makes things awkward. Things like that generally don't need to be said.

Also, he didn't want to be looked at differently or sick. He did appreciate people understanding that sometimes his cancer meant he was limited in what he could do or how he could do it, but he still never wanted anybody's pity.

I think that's really the point I'm trying to communicate, now that I think about it. People with cancer don't want pity or condolences usually... most of the time they just want to share some good times.
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:59 AM   #10
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I have been relucant to mention my condition until recently but in Jan 2007 I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Fortunately they were able to surgically remove all of the tumor but did find cancer cells in two of my lymph nodes. As a result I have had radiation and am in the middle of chemo therapy. Hopefully this will kill any of the remaining cancer that got left behind.

It's tough living with this diagnosis especially when you look at the 5 year survival rates. I am blessed to have family, friends and my church who continue to support me during my recovery. To me the worst thing would be to go through this alone without family, friends and faith to carry you through.

I appreciate people asking me how I am feeling but don't want to dwell on my condition. I am trying to concentrate on the living part and not the potential negatives of this disease. Little did I realize when I picked this user name that it would have a more important meaning to me in the future.

2sson2tell

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Old 06-05-2007, 10:00 AM   #11
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They say the first thing that goes with this disease is your ability to spell.

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Old 06-05-2007, 10:14 AM   #12
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I have been relucant to mention my condition until recently but in Jan 2007 I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
It's amazing that you have the serenity to share that with this anonymous group of well-wishers. I'd like to wish you all the best and would love to hear any observations you are comfortable sharing as you battle this monster.

Best wishes for a great response to treatment. I've seen such responses many times.
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Old 06-05-2007, 10:33 AM   #13
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2soon,

It sounds as though you've got the right focus and I wish you all the best.
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Old 06-05-2007, 11:51 AM   #14
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Recently, my daughter-in-law's father was diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer in a different area. I am really depressed about it for several reasons, but primarily because my daughter-in-law is 25, an only child and this is really hard for her. But also I really admire and like her father who is a pediatric surgeon and has done a lot of good in his life for many many children. And, finally, he is my age, 58.

The grief of losing friends and loved ones takes a real toll. And I don't know how one deals with it at this stage of life when it seems that almost everyone and everything is up for loss.
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Old 06-21-2007, 09:27 AM   #15
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Thanks for the words of encouragement. I start my next chemo on the 25th and will have two more after that. At that time my oncologist will reevaluate and decide if more treatment is necessary.

So far so good.

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Old 06-21-2007, 12:59 PM   #16
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For what it's worth, 2soon, I've been thinking about you and hoping for the best.
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Old 06-21-2007, 03:55 PM   #17
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As someone who lost his brother at a young age I can empathize. I have been following a blog by a cancer patient named Leroy Sievers on the NPR website. He has posted since Feburary 2006 and is amazingly honest and open with what its like to be a cancer patient and what they need from family and friends. Check him out at:
NPR: My Cancer
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Old 06-21-2007, 11:10 PM   #18
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The subject of cancer is often avoided, but it`s good to hear people sharing how they feel when they have lost someone they love to cancer or they have the disease themselves.
I was overwhelmed over a year ago, not by grief or sadness but over a friend`s recovery from prostate cancer!
Never say never!
He contacted me to ask if I could help him because he was due to go into hospital for laser treatment for prostate cancer.

Because I use natural health products myself and know how powerful the effect of good nutrition can be on disease, I suggested that he perform a colon detox. It would help remove years of plaque build up and prepare the colon to do it`s job more efficiently in absorbing essential nutrients.

After a week of that I then recommended an ionic mineral solution to give his body all the minerals and trace minerals in balance to help strengthen organs and boost his immune system, a powerful antioxidant to fight free radical damage and help bring down inflation, and noni juice which contains two powerful compounds, polysaccharides and xeronine, claimed to be anti-tumour which have merited further research by Scientists.

He started this regime only 3 1/2 weeks prior to his submission to hospital. On the day of the operation after he was taken into the theatre, the surgeon decided to cancel his op because he could not reach the cancer cells with the laser. The tumour had shrunk back! I was elated but not surprised.

He had to go back to his doctor to be re-assessed, if that`s the right terminology, and after another 2 months or so of examinations and tests he was diagnosed as clear.

He`s still clear to this day and continues to take his minerals and antioxidants. His experience still excites me and him too. He talks about it to help other colleagues know about the importance of nutrition.

Dr.Linus Pauling, noble prise winner twice categorically stated, "You can trace every sickness, every disease and every ailment to a mineral deficiency." I believe in that explicitly and have seen the proof.

Keep on trying not just hoping folks!

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Old 06-22-2007, 03:18 AM   #19
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Maybe I should listen more to the one who is frightened or has pain. After all, my friend is the one that matters. Life is indeed precious.


My Mother died of cancer in 1997. It was a time of rapid learning for all of us concerned. Listening and sharing is very powerful and Love is indeed precious.


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The grief of losing friends and loved ones takes a real toll. And I don't know how one deals with it at this stage of life when it seems that almost everyone and everything is up for loss.


With every loss there are gifts. I know that sounds Pollyanna-ish, but we can't change the fact that the other side of Life is Loss. We have to make the most of Life. It's easy to take so much of Life for granted every day and the loss of loved ones make those days more meaning-filled. We're all in this together... truly, love and connection are all that matters.

Gem2007, your story is fantastic and very hope-filled! I can also recommend Sanoviv Integrative Health Care - Home as a medical institution. They deal with illness through a blend of Western medicine and nutrition.

2Soon - hang in there and keep the faith!

Be well, Everyone.

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Old 06-22-2007, 03:43 AM   #20
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You bet Billy!

If you care enough for people you will stand up for what you know is right even although you are afraid and facing almost total opposition.

Love is the most powerful motivation not fear!
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