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 Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest

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Spook
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PostSubject: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:45 am

I know we're all feeling incredibly gutted, powerless, upset about what Stacie's going through. Sad

I lost a dear friend, Vicky, when we were 21. Kind of lots of similarities in the circumstances. She went into remission from leukaemia once, then it came back a second time pretty quickly. She was so sick and went downhill so quickly there was no talk of a second bone marrow transplant, which in some ways makes me more optimistic for Stacie, as at least they're considering it? Vicky was treated in the same unit as Stacie and obviously things have moved on a lot in the 14 years since she was treated there too. 

It's brought back a lot of memories and hidden guilt. I had no idea how to deal with my friend being so sick. I was pretty useless to her. I visited her a few times, but I found it horrifying, and that was probably written all over my face. Sad I didn't know what to say to her. I was paranoid about making her sick, and because I was depressed and my own immune system goes under when I get depressed, I had lots of colds, sore throats etc which meant I had to cancel seeing her sometimes. And other times she would spike a fever and have to cancel visitors. 

I just feel so bad that she was going through the very worst ordeal of her life and I was a bad friend. When my first boyfriend dumped me, we were 18. I thought that was the worst grief of my life. Instead of telling me to get over it etc she drove over to my house and made me come out shopping with her. I was grumpy the entire time, but she was there for me and she loved me. It hurts me that she died without knowing how much I loved her and with all those things left unsaid. I wish I could've scooped her up in my arms and raged with her about fucking cancer and how I wished I could take it away from her poor broken body. I was often a selfish and bad friend, wanting to do things I wanted to do, and all she did was want to be my friend and accept all those flaws. I'm not half the person she was.

So that's about it. This probably reads incredibly selfishly. It's not about me, I realise this! I just wanted to get this off my chest.

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Red
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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:11 am

(((Jane))) I'm sure you were an amazing friend! You don't give yourself enough credit. I'm also sure that most of us look back at our 18 year old selves and marvel at how dickish we were at times. Being a teenager is often about being hedonistic, self-obsessed, discovering oneself over others and being a bit of a cock at times. I'm sure we were all lovely when we needed to be too. Don't beat your former yourself up. You did all that you could at the time xx
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katylm
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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:28 am

Wise words from Red. Most of us were completely different as teenagers /early 20s to how we are now. Let yourself 'forgive' the younger you as that is not who you are now.
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sparkles
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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:31 am

Try not to give yourself too much of a hard time over it. We all act in a different way when we were younger and I'm sure we all did or said things we wouldn't now. You say you were depressed, you had a lot to deal with yourself too. Try to be kind to yourself and look for different memories of your time together to focus on. You did visit, you did support her.

A friend of mine got lung cancer at 29. He was a lovely bloke. It was 6 weeks from him getting ill and dying. It was awful, they thought he had tb for 3 or 4 of them weeks. Then he was moved to Christie's in Manchester. I was just down the road in Fallowfield as I was 19 and in the first year of uni. So I went up to visit him a couple of times. One was the day before he died. It was awful. Really horrendous. He was so ill and had been fine a few weeks earlier. He was embarrassed too by how ill he was. And so many friends didn't make the journey over to see him. They thought they had more time, didn't realise how ill he was or just thought it was too far. :-( But you don't know at the time what is going to happen.

Sorry for adding to your ramble with my ramble! It's strange how something can bring up such vivid personal memories.
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coxshaw
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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:01 am

Oh Spook, I can feel your pain reading this. ((( )))

I think most 18 year-olds are ego-centric. You weren't being a bad person or a bad friend.

I was 18 when my mum had her first cancer. I was not there for her. I was very busy in the throes of my first proper relationship, with a man who was controlling and manipulative. But at the time, I thought we were Romeo and bloody Juliet. I neglected my mum because I was too busy, and because I was afraid of her illness. I didn't give her very much in the way of support- either practical or emotional. One awful memory involves my horrible ex actually shouting at my mum on her own doorstep. I can't remember the circumstances that led up to it, but I'm certain she didn't deserve it- cancer patient or otherwise. And I did not stand up for her. That memory still makes me feel sick.

Many years later, I had a heart-to-heart with my mum and apologised profusely for my selfish behaviour during her illness. She just held me while I cried and told me it didn't matter. She said that it in a funny sort of way it helped her. Because everyone else was tearful and treating her with kid gloves, and there was I just being an ordinary, selfish, hurtful teenager, carrying on as if nothing had happened. 'Business as usual' type of thing.
I expect mum said that to make me feel better, but I like to tell myself there was some truth in it. Perhaps Vicky felt similarly about her situation.

And I know I was 'lucky' to get a second chance with my mum. I wish she hadn't got that second cancer, of course. But it gave me a chance to be the daughter I wanted to be- to nurture and support her, to look after her, and I know I did an admirable job of that the second time, thus allowing me to settle some of my demons from the first time.

Sorry...I have ended up rambling but I cab imagine how this hurts Jane. Be kind to yourself. xxxx

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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:23 am

I just want to give you a huge hug ((((((Jane)))))))

Vicky will have known you loved her.  She really will.  You did visit, and you were there for her. And you honestly and truly did the right thing in staying away when you were ill. She won't have noticed, or cared about the expression on your face. She will just have been so pleased to see you.

This is my take on it: When you have cancer it's like your life goes into a bubble and even though you stop living and start existing through cycles of treatment, those moments when someone visits or calls it's like a glimpse of how life is actually continuing for other people, that life is being lived.  I found it really heartening to know this.  I had friends who really couldn't cope with my illness, they didn't want to see me with no hair or looking grey and exhausted.  So they didn't. They aren't my friends anymore. And I firmly believe that they lost more than I did.

What you went through then has been part of what makes you you now.  I think your friend Vicky is part of you. You are kind, thoughtful, considerate, loving, and a great friend.  Your Vicky would be really proud of you I think.
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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:27 am

This has stirred up a lot of feelings, worries, fears in me too.

I keep thinking what if this happens to me.  What if it comes back and 'they' decide that it's not cost effective to try and make me better. (How's that for selfish!?)
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Spook
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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 7:37 am

Thanks so much ladies. Your words and experiences mean a lot and I thank you for sharing x

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coxshaw
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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 8:15 am

(((Jane))) Lovely and wise words from H there. It's interesting to get a view from someone who's been on the other side of this.

And (((H))) I don't think that's selfish- I think it's completely understandable. xxx

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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:38 am

None of you are selfish, you are just honest. And that's a good thing. You are fab girls.

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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:23 am

I too lost a friend to leukaemia (Aml) at 18, I was 16 when she was diagnosed and really close to her and her twin. She got better, went to uni, came back for Xmas when she relapsed. By feb half term she died and I hadn't seen her in months Sad

Even sadder now that if she got it now survival rates are so much better, she would of probably live.

The fact you think about her and remember her means she isn't forgottenxx
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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:22 pm

(((Jane))) xxx
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Miss.informed
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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:03 pm

(((Jane))) lots of wise words offered ready from people far more eloquent than me. I do however make a mean virtual cake and cuppa and do a mean virtual hug too

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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 2:36 pm

Huge hugs to you (((Jane)))
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PostSubject: Re: Possibly upsetting - just need to get it off my chest   Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:16 pm

A friend of mine died from lung cancer in 2013. At the time I was recovering from colon cancer. I always meant to go and see her but I didn't. My excuse to myself was that it would bring up bad feelings but, since she died, I realise that I just didn't want to face the fact that she was dying and I wasn't. It's a minefield and I am eternally grateful that I had better friends who supported me through my illness. Unfortunately, we can't go back and correct our mistakes.
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