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For us caregivers who are now just survivors, how do we explain to family and friends what we're feeling

Posts: 7
Joined: Jan 2012

A short story that in a somewhat light fashion (and who can't use a little of that now and again?) will help you frame yourself and tell friends and family what you might be going through.
The blog is heartfelt,powerful and a little edgy with some offbeat cancer humor because it we don't laugh we'll cry right?
Anyway, here is the post, just copy into your browser, and if the posts on the site help you or others, please share the link or the story
Take Care

Steve Hoogenakker
Don't let the title throw you off, it will all make sense by the end, I promise

The story is here, http://hoogenakker.net/?p=534

I'm pregnant but I don't know if it's a mango or a banana

Excerpt of first 1/3 of story
You’re probably saying, there’s no way someone can link pregnancy with mangos and bananas. When you’ve been a caregiver for awhile, a single parent and a survivor, you can do damn near anything, so here goes, you can tell me if I pulled it off or not!

When women are pregnant, they “know” at least in real life. On TV, there’s the show “I had a Baby and didn’t know I was pregnant on the Womens network, or in movies, there’s the beautiful single person, throwing up at 9 am at work and the best friend, interrogating her with the know it all look of “YOU ARE PREGNANT, AREN’T YOU?” The heroine of the story usually denying the obvious.

Well, in a way, I’m pregnant too. I feel myself changing every day. I “feel” a change in a thousand different ways. When I walked out of the hospital, knowing Teri was going into the hospice, I remember feeling like I was floating outside of my body and felt changed. When she passed and I was speeding back to the hospice, I felt changed. Everything is different, the tv, my sleep is bad, my knees feel weak every once in awhile,(aren’t I supposed to cause that, not get it, what a wimp!) and my work production is inferior in every way My time at home is different, even driving is different. This must be the same for pregnant women, once they know too. Just like I asked Teri how she felt when she was pregnant, there was no way she could tell me what she was feeling. My personality is changing, and I can’t tell if it’s for good or ill.

I’m going to my first widowers group tomorrow night, excuse my poor attempt at humor, but what would the twelve steps of a widowers group look like
Steps 1-11 Please don’t die, I love you more than life itself. please PLEASE don’t go away honey
Step 12 – Oh (*&^@
I mean there’s only so much the volunteers can do after a loss. I needed the miracle two months ago, but as survivors, we’ll take any miracles we can get these.......

gwhite's picture
Posts: 18
Joined: Jan 2012

Steve, your post has touched on one of the silent tragedies of the cancer wars. I have seen both sides of this, one as a terminally ill patient, later as a caregiver who ended up only standing by and watching his love of 50 years die right before his eyes. Believe me, I will take the role of the patient anyday. They told me that I had only 3 more months to live when I managed to pull myself back from the cancer death. I think I had less than 2 more months to live before I was finally able to get control of the grief that lasted for 4 gloomy , miserable, self recriminating years. Else where I posted about some of my published articles on the subject but if you would just like to talk to a friend who promises to listen with understanding , I invite you to contact me by email at maars@charter.net .
God speed you and comfort you dear people as you make your way through the dark tunnel.

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