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Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions). Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions).

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  #1  
Unread 07-15-2007, 01:13 PM
Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions).

I am currently helping out my cousin who has cervical cancer stage 3b. Her cancer is slowly progressing even with aggressive treatment. She has recently tried Gemzar, and is currently doing internal rads. They have not done any surgery yet, and I am not sure that they are going to ever. My questions is this, she is slowly pulling into herself and closing off to us (her family) and I am not sure how to reach her? I remember being so scared when I was dxed with CC and BC. My CC was not near as advanced as hers though and the treatment was much different.. Can anyone help me find some words of comfort for her? Any ideas on how I can make her more comfortable during treatment? I am worried on so many levels for her. I know that she worries that she could have mets to other areas of her body, and I am sure that is playing a big part of her pulling away from us.(Her first pet scan was clear, but that was 2 yrs ago b4 her recurrence) I am scared for her that way too. Thanks for any ideas n such. Jenn
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  #2  
Unread 07-15-2007, 01:23 PM
Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions).

First, Jenn, thanks for being there for your cousin and understanding where she is at. Having dealt with cancer before I think you have a better appreciation of where she might be emotionally.

It sounds like she may be dealing with fear which can be stifling for those of us who have had recurrences. An SSRI has helped me to not only put my concerns into words but to deal with the fear so I am not incapacitated. I have found this to be one of the best decisions I made. Does your cousin have anyone accompanying her appts? Maybe that is something you can do, just to listen, take notes and be a quiet support. Otherwise I would say keep making yourself available. Since your encounter with cancer has been more successful thus far, you may appear as a threat to her, unintended, but one none the less. Be supportive, loving and encouraging to her. Reach out with emails, notes, small gifts, etc. Anything to let her know your love.
Blessings.
  #3  
Unread 07-15-2007, 01:25 PM
Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions).

I am sorry to hear about your cousin's dx and her withdrawal. I think that's a common reaction to a devastating disease but understanding that she's protecting herself will help you continue to reach out to her. She needs you!

As far as words of encouragement, I see your tag-line quotes scripture. Maybe it would be of comfort to her if you share the Roman's Road (vs. 6:23 ...the gift of God is eternal life, vs. 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord" and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved, vs. 10:13...for everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved..."). I hope that helps, it was of comfort to me when I was facing the uncertainty of cancer, surgery and the outcome of everything.

Good luck, thanks for being there for your cousin.
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  #4  
Unread 07-15-2007, 02:19 PM
Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions).

I used to accompany her to her Apts, but now she is hesitant to tell me when they are. She refuses to see a ssri, so that is not an option. It really is like she is cutting us all off because she thinks she is dying. Even her sister has a hard time reaching her. I so hope that I am not a threat to her! That would break my heart. I am giving her space now, but I can't offer her my love and caring if she won't answer the phone or the door. She used to be very religious, but now doesn't like us to even mention God. My mom has given up on her (for the time being) but I am not going to. Cathy(her sister) and I just keep banging on the door(metaphorically speaking) and hope she will open it. Thanks to both of you for your ideas. Echo, I am going to send her a card with those verses and see how she reacts. I know she doesn't want him mentioned, but maybe it might begin to reach her.
I know I sound a little down and out, but I just hurt so much for her. Jenn
  #5  
Unread 07-15-2007, 05:11 PM
Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions).

Oh precious too-warm, what a wonderful friend/relative you are. I can tell you care very much for your cousin. She probably does think she's dying, and she might be - in which case you are so doing the right thing! Keep trying, don't give up, send her cards, call her, pray for her, but also know that this is her process and she has to do things that are best for her. Don't take on what isn't yours. If she keeps pushing you away it's not your fault, it's just what she needs to do right now. Echo
  #6  
Unread 07-15-2007, 07:37 PM
Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions).

Sorry about the pain of the cancer and all the concerns. A very tough one, but I think you are getting a lot of good and sympathetic advice here. Hope it helps all you and your cousin.

About the religious message she amy or may not want to hear... I know that I personally am not religious, at all, but when somebody wishes me well in their own "tongue" I get a true sense of where it is coming from, and I know and accept the honesty and sincerity from where it came. There is one thing about expressing oneself truthfully, and it is something else altogether preaching to somebody who isn't or doesn't want to be in that same space. This isn't a time for argument or testing beliefs, right ways or wrong ways according to the beholder. I don't mean this to sound harsh at all, and please forgive me if it does come across that way. Well wishes and prayers pure and simple are great.
  #7  
Unread 07-15-2007, 08:51 PM
Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions).

  Quote:
Originally Posted by folky
Sorry about the pain of the cancer and all the concerns. A very tough one, but I think you are getting a lot of good and sympathetic advice here. Hope it helps all you and your cousin.

About the religious message she amy or may not want to hear... I know that I personally am not religious, at all, but when somebody wishes me well in their own "tongue" I get a true sense of where it is coming from, and I know and accept the honesty and sincerity from where it came. There is one thing about expressing oneself truthfully, and it is something else altogether preaching to somebody who isn't or doesn't want to be in that same space. This isn't a time for argument or testing beliefs, right ways or wrong ways according to the beholder. I don't mean this to sound harsh at all, and please forgive me if it does come across that way. Well wishes and prayers pure and simple are great.
Folky, I understand what you are trying to say. You are not being harsh at all, hugs. I do not plan to preach at all but to word it as if I were praying those for her. She was/is a very religious person, and I feel like maybe she has just kind of lost hope in her beliefs right now. I know that on some level she would smile when she read those verses. Thank you for reminding all of us that not everyone is of the same faith, and that we should take care not to hurt our relationships or someones feelings over these types of things. I am very glad you responded and thank you very much for your kind words. Jenn
  #8  
Unread 07-15-2007, 11:08 PM
Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions).

Jenn - I'll pray for strength for you to keep trying to reach your cousin - you're doing the right thing. Even if she needs time to absorb all that's happening to her, it's vital that you keep trying to stay a part of her life - she will need you at some point
  #9  
Unread 07-16-2007, 11:37 AM
Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions).

dear too-warm-n-cozy and folky: if only the rest of humankind could live by your messages and examples, this would be a better world. too-warm...you have a good heart!
  #10  
Unread 07-16-2007, 01:29 PM
Dealing with cancer questions(support partner questions).

No other words I can say but thank you sooooo much. You all have given me the strength to keep plugging away, and I will. Hugs to all, Jenn
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