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My second best friend blew me off my feet with the news of her diagnoisis

Posts: 10
Joined: Jun 2001

After my mother died, I almost died of a broken heart. I was in a state of shock, never in my life did I experience that kind of pain. I became bitter and welled in self pity, pushing everyone and everything that cared for me away. I was in such denial and anger I didn't see depression, and I mean deep deep depression, (for I am a psych nurse)I didn't see it coming. I lost alot of friends except 2. They kept coming back for more abuse I could sling, and I thank God they did. I guess I was so heartbroken and in such pain from loosing my mom that I felt if I pushed everyone away, I was really saving them from the pain that goes along with the loss of a loved one. Did that almost backfire. My 2 best friends, true friends, both have recently been diagnoised with cancer. One, a fellow nurse(who are the worst patients,I know for I am horrible as a pt)with breast ca and recently had surgery and my younger friend the strong gorgeous X Marine, who is raising her 2 strong young boys herself as well as going to school to better herself career wise. An extremely strong willed fighter and great mom as well as friend. This girl use to drag me out of bed literally, no matter how horrible I was to her, she was always there. When I found out about her news I was shocked, as usual she was the fighter, with a positive attitude and not showing any fear(on the outside of course). I didn't know what to do, things were happening too quick, she already had her port a cath in. I was loosing my mind, How could this be happening, (sadly I was thinking how could this be happening to me.) How horrible I feel that I could be so selfish. To heck with me how could this be happening to the strongest person I know and how brave she is. I needed her more than she was letting on that she needed me. I was dazed. I needed to do the right thing, I knew I needed to buck up and stop thinking about me,I needed to be there for her for as strong as she is she is also I imagine, so so scared. I'm scared to death of losing her, I'm scared that I'll get that feeling again that here I am a nurse and I couldn't save someone, someone I love and need. All those "what if I did this or that" just watching without being able to save her.
I wear this gold medal that was my mom's all the time. I went over to her house and took off the medal and put it on her neck for that is what my mom would of wanted(I told her it was a loan only) she was also close to my mom, and she knew how much that metal means to me that she cried for she now knew how much she means to me.
how can I help my friend, who is so strong, how can I break that exterior and let myself in and let her know that I can be the strong one right now till she gets back on her feet. I'm open to any suggestion
thanks sue

Posts: 105
Joined: Nov 2000

Actually, it sounds like you're doing pretty well already. Just keep it up. Ask her what you could do to help, even if it's just little things (like picking up milk at the store).
Don't worry about breaking the exterior if you mean hers; she might need it right now. For yourself, ask her what would help, and do it. Stop worrying about saving her. It's out of your hands. What you *can* do, which is really really important and meaningful, is to be sure to stick around the way she stuck around for you. Your friendship will enrich her life. We all pray that it will be a long one.

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