Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In reply to a blog posting from a cancer fighter concerned with burdening their caregiver (mom). They have always had a very close relationship and lately it has been strained because of the battle with ph-positive ALL and a recent relapse.

Being given a life altering challenge like cancer to deal with, there are plenty of opportunities to feel guilty, angry, and afraid. Whether you are the fighter or the supporter, these feelings will be there. The trick is to recognize the, accept them as a part of life, and let them go as quickly as you can. Negative emotions lead to stress and create a dangerous pattern that continues to fuel itself. The National Institute of Health (http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/sep2002/nichd-09.htm) released the following paper:

Stress System Malfunction Could Lead to Serious, Life Threatening Disease

"Whether from a charging lion, or a pending deadline, the body’s response to stress can be both helpful and harmful. The stress response gives us the strength and speed to ward off or flee from an impending threat. But when it persists, stress can put us at risk for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and a variety of other illnesses."
The key, even when healthy, is to find proper balance and to discover what works for you, in a healthy way. Below find a response to "Feeling Guilty's" post for help and support. There are some simple, good suggestions for dealing with guilt during treatments and how to approach building your support system. If you need are unable to find cancer support communities in your area, email Support@AmieesPlace.com. You are not alone!

To view the complete "Feeling Guilty" post, visit: http://cancerforums.net/viewtopic.php?p=55071#55071

If I were your mom, and I say this knowing I cannot truly imagine what she or you are experiencing, I would want to know how you are feeling. If it's too hard to talk in person, perhaps a letter or email. Whatever makes it easier for you. Share your concerns and maybe together you can find a local support group in your community for you both to attend. It's difficult at first but it is amazing how many lives are touched by cancer. Reach out and try to make a friend or two that you can lean on, and vice versa. Helping others through bad days will give you strength to get through your own, and make you feel less guilty about reaching out and burdening anyone further. Also, it will give your mom a little room knowing someone else is there for you when she needs a day to herself or to lean on a friend. It may be uncomfortable or even hard to do at first, but making a new friend is exciting for anyone. A friend that understands your situation that you can also relate to is a true gift!


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