Dear Abby: A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. I’m only 34. That’s what I keep repeating to myself – I’m only 34. I feel lost. I’m mad at God and have lost my faith. I keep wondering, “Why me?” “Why my family again?” “Why stage 4?” I cry alone in an empty house because I don’t want to stress out my kids and my husband.
The support groups are 30 minutes away and feature mostly breast cancer patients and survivors. I’m a nurse, and I feel out of control. All my decisions are being made when I’m unconscious or barely out of anesthesia. My world has been turned upside down. I’m not hanging on well at all. Because my control is slipping, I have lost my grasp on the person I once was. I was a strong woman. I don’t know what to do. Help! – Nurse who is Now the Patient
Dear Nurse: Right now you are feeling vulnerable, which, under the circumstances, is normal. You should not be crying alone or isolating yourself as you have been doing. You need more emotional support than the support group you belong to can give.
It may help you to contact the American Cancer Society because it provides support and information 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to those facing cancer. Trained cancer specialists are available via phone or live chat and can offer you not only accurate, up-to-date information, but also connect you with valuable services and resources. The phone number to call is 800-227-2345, and the website is cancer.org. Please don’t wait to reach out. My thoughts are with you.
Dear Abby: My in-laws take frequent vacations and ask my husband to dog-sit. He always says yes. They are gone seven to 10 days at a time and I don’t think we should feel obligated to always agree. My husband says that since we’re family it’s our duty.
This disagreement comes up every two to three months (every time we have the dogs). I am not willing to do this anymore. I’m not sure how to discuss this topic. – Free Pet Sitter
Dear Sitter: For your in-laws to expect you to take care of their dogs every time they decide to leave town seems excessive. Because it bothers you, tell your husband he can dog-sit at his parents’ house, or from the moment the dogs arrive they will be his sole responsibility. And then stick to it.
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