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Nurses make the worst patients/my 2 best friends have ca

susiern
Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2001

Please tell me I found the right spot? I have been on the computer for days only to get more frustrated.(I hate computers)
I need your help, wisdom, experiences and support. I have only 2 close friends in this world who have always been there for me, now I want to be there for them. One, who is a great psych nurse (like myself,LOL) was dx with breast ca the beginning of this year. She has had a mastectomy and has just returned to work. I let her go through this nightmare at her own speed, standing behind her in case she fell (so to speak). I didn't want her to feel pressured or anxious if I became too intrusive, well to make a long story short, I know now is the time for me to act. Not only is she avoiding the subject(we nurses can take care of others but are bad with ourselves) its starting to take on a life of its own. She is stressed at work and just resigned. She stated she couldn't deal with the stress. Granted our job is stressful, its not that. An error was made, not a big one by any means, and the boss had a talk with her. Not only did she get parinoid about this, she just gave up. I can't let her do that for if I do, I will letting her continue to avoid the real reason, She needs to face her fears as hard as it will be,(I will be right by her side) she needs to work through this not avoid it. For if she avoids this it will continue to creep back into all other areas of her life. Everyday living will become too stressful for her, it will snowball to the point that I will loose her. Does this make sense too you. I can't let that happen, I know only too well about this, for it has happened to me in another way. What I need from you are suggestions about how I can help keep my buddy's sense of that fight emotion we all have somewhere in us. You can't give up before you even started. She is a very private person who doesn't want to bother anyone (godforbid). I almost lost my will to fight, I came very close due to the fact I thought I could do it myself. Well I was very very wrong and it almost destroyed my life in everyway, I was losing everything, family friends work ,everyone and thing because I became bitter and I let self pity take over instead of letting others get too close. We are from the Boston area and need a very special support group that she would feel comfortable with. Nothing too big. Lets help my best friend learn to Laugh again, and to also let her know its ok to cry too. Thanks Sue

lauramarie's picture
lauramarie
Posts: 39
Joined: May 2001

Hello Sue,
You sound like a great friend. It's awasome you are standing by your best friend. It sounds like it's time for some tough love here. You need to be open and honest with her. Tell how much you support her and want to be there for her. But she needs to take the first steps. Tell her she is the one responsible for how she will get through this. She has two choices here. Now it's time to make one. Face what she is going through and make the decision to fight for her life or lay down and die. Some times we as survivors get a little to comfortable witht he self pity and we forget that we are the ones who are responsible for how we react to what is happening around us.
Next step don't let everything around her revole around the cancer. Rent a really funny video my favorite is "Billy Cosby himself" and have a girls night at the moves. Give her some time to forget the cancer and all the stress and then maybe she will be ready to open up more. I truely believe open honest talking is the best you can offer at this time. Wish you the best. Hugs Laura

24242
Posts: 1417
Joined: Mar 2001

Hi Sue,
I think we sometimes make a conscientous to distance ourselves, often because we don't want the others to suffer around us. Being a mother of a teen son at the time I found myself realizing that I could easily drive everyone away so that I wouldn't be responsible for their pain. Who would want to be? Sometimes death stearing you in the face isnt' so encouraging. Being driven in sain with all the thoughts all the fears. It is truly hard to keep your mind on things,
my eye sight started to go. Lots of changes one has to learn to accept, to be able to move on. Bring your friend to this site and have her read the postings, print them up and give them to her. I was so thankful I was a talker, I talked till I was blue in the face, I am sure people got sick of it. I always liked the friend who asked how you were doing then you admitted not very good and they didn't want to hear any negativity, nothing bad, brings them down. No wonder most sick people say FINE!
Hope to see you again Sue,
24242Tara

bdean
Posts: 262
Joined: Feb 2001

Dear Susie:
My baby niece is an RN; and is so stubborn about discussing her own health, so I can imagine what you are up against. Sometimes we get to complacent about life, and don't believe anything bad will happen to us--just to those around us. Nurses face illness everyday that is not theirs; so maybe when your friend was diagnosed with cancer she just thought about all the patients who have died and just let that thought bore her right into a dark hole where she could lose herself in selfpity and depression. EVERYONE goes through the self-pity thing--we are entitled to that as long as we wake up before a couple of weeks is over, and pick ourselves up and face our dragons--the monsters that haunt us. I found out through the death of my son, that as long as I avoided his favorite things, I was just asking for a belt in the stomach when they came up unexpected. I started out small, buying his favorite cookie again, then all the way up to visiting the accident scene. Some thought I was a masachist(sp.?)- no, just the opposite--by hiding from the truth and not facing the parts that hurt so much--caused an even deeper pain and heartbreak. I have handled my dx the same way. Not hiding from the bad news, but constantly searching for good news or encouragement. I like the idea of getting her mind off what is happening with lots of funny movies or whatever makes her laugh. Laughter is good for the soul and makes the spirit a bit lighter and a person more approachable so she might be more open to help. We cannot get through this alone--no matter how strong we think we are. We have to talk about it or write about it or go somewhere private and scream about it. She is so lucky to have a friend like you--she must start counting her blessings and number you at the top of her list. You can't see the light, if you don't open the blind (on the window or in your eyes). Helping others back at her job would be the best therapy she could give herself. Thinking about someone else instead of dwelling on yourself is a fantastic mood lifter. Good luck and God bless you and your friend. Let us know how she is doing; you will be in my prayers.
Hugs from Brenda

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