• Dealing with loss

    Asked by GypsyJule on Friday, May 17, 2013

    Dealing with loss

    Today I found out that a friend lost her battle on Sunday. I met her in an online group, and she was diagnosed with the same cancer as mine at the same time I was, finished chemo at the same time, and had a clean CT scan after treatment in January. I'm so horribly sad. I've cried all day, and I'm just not sure how to handle these emotions.

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • KateMarie's Avatar

      GypsyJule, I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. It sounds like the two of you fought your battles together and likely celebrated your victories together too. It is totally normal so soon after a loss to have intense feelings of loss. I don't know whether there also might be a little fear mixed in there (since you and your friend had same cancer, diagnosed same time, etc.) for yourself, and if that is the case, that would be a normal feeling too. Any feeling you have is valid. You know we are here for you. Sending hugs your way.

      over 3 years ago
    • KimmieJo's Avatar

      Big hugs Jule. I know it is hard to lose a "sister" who is fighting the same battle that we are - I was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer in 2009 and have also gone through the pain and the heartache of loss of women who have become dear friends and who also understand the issues that we all go through with treatment becasue we all live it. I tend to have a "survivor's guilt" mentality when I suffer this type of loss - it takes me a couple of days to get to the point where I can "function" again and move on - I have come to realize that my friends would not want me to lay down and give in to the "beast" - one of the best ways to honor their memories is to speak out and tell their stories and to "Fight like a girl!"

      over 3 years ago
    • DaveWaz's Avatar


      I am sorry to hear about your loss. I find that it helps me to take a few minutes to write down my feelings simply so I can sort them out (e.g., which ones are fear based, which are truly from the loss). This way I can dismiss the ones that aren't real (e.g., fear based) and focus on the ones that are real (e.g., loss) and then I try to think about the good things that came from having this person in the world.

      Loss is never easy and it is ok to grieve.

      Sending you warm caring thoughts.


      over 3 years ago
    • fastdog's Avatar

      Ouch, that is rough and scary, also, since you have the same cancer. Allow yourself to grieve for your friend, but try not to worry for yourself, we all know we can have the same cancer and the same treatment but different outcomes. I'm on a FB group where we all have the same rare cancer (PMP) and there are a lot of members. Some are up, some are down, some have great success and some don't. Sending big hugs your way.

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1 (Best Answer!)

      This is difficult for any of us..I met a women here who lived close to me and I was so excited to possibly have someone I could get together with for coffee. Within 3 months she had passed away.

      This is where the faith comes into play. We are all connected and we all go on.. Matter does not ever die it simply transforms into something else. We go on.

      You might be finally crying for your own loss too. Sometimes the grief of loss brings out the real grief we also feel for ourselves and how our life has been interrupted and forever changed. Go easy on yourself, take time to rest, try and do something that honors all your losses and know she would not want you to be hurt or sad. This was simply the end of her journey and not yours.

      I know I will see my Mom and my sister again. They are always with me. Always.

      over 3 years ago
    • BuckeyeShelby's Avatar

      Hey Julie. I'm really sorry that you lost a friend. What a multiple whammy. Losing someone you are close to. Especially someone you've fought the same fight with side by side. I hope you are not going through survivor's guilt. Easy to say, not as easy to do. You know we are here to help you through this. Cry when you need to. And it's okay if some of those tears are for yourself. You have lots of virtual hands to hold out here. Hugs!

      over 3 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar

      My condolences. your reaction is perfectly normal. Since I started my journey in July of 2009 I've lost several friends to cancer some have been online only. And each time I had a very similar reaction. it makes me feel sad, guilty and lucky all at once. Just take it one day at a time - acknowledging and honoring your feelings, which you are doing is one of the best ways of coping.

      over 3 years ago
    • HearMeRoar's Avatar

      I'm going to say something that might cause an uproar, BUT this is exactly why I refuse to join a support group. I can't handle stuff like you are going through right now. Sending you warm thoughts.

      over 3 years ago
    • TessElizabeth's Avatar

      Jule, I am so sorry for your loss and for the anguish you are going through. Just know you are not alone. You, your friend and her family and friends are in the thoughts of many of us. I agree with David that writing is a good way to process your feelings and thoughts. If you are a visual person, use pictures as well. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I began an Art Journal whereby I used words, pictures and my own drawings/paintings to reflect how I felt. For example, a picture of a Braques cubist painting was used to express how scattered and fragmented my mind and thoughts were at the time. If you can, take walks. Sometimes, that helps sort out how to handle the flood of emotions that envelope one at a time like this. Please take care.

      over 3 years ago
    • Marianne's Avatar

      So sorry. Hugs.

      over 3 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      Sorry Gypsy, it is tough, a bit of the "survivors guilt" starts to slip in and you have to beat it back. You are completely normal in some of the feelings, but try not to start thinking that you don't deserve to be alive as in the survivor's guilt. I had a friend I played music with that was the picture of health, always eating right, exercised all the time. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor after having a headache. He was gone in 6 months. This right after I had just been clean for 4 years. I had those feelings too. All I can offer is it will pass, be thankful that the stars aligned for you and you are doing well now.
      I wish you the best and comforting thoughts.

      over 3 years ago
    • Pinky7's Avatar

      I am so sorry for your loss. It is hard to here knowing I have Stage 3 with metastsis . diagnosed 11year ago. with clear ct. but still lots of pain. don't know what to do. God Bless you. Pinky7

      over 3 years ago
    • Mel's Avatar

      I just wanted to say I am so so so to hear this :-(
      Sending hugs from me and Chase....

      over 3 years ago
    • GypsyJule's Avatar

      Thank you all. I know I'm not the first, and won't be the last to feel this way, and I appreciate all of your input. Tonight is our local Relay for Life, so I will light a luminary for my friend. She will be buried today at a cemetary across the street from the park where Relay is held. (She grew up in my town, but lived across the state. Her family is bringing her "home" today.)

      @HearMeRoar - I understand your feelings, but I know my life has been enriched by friends I have met in support groups, and I hope that I offer something that can be of value to others as well.

      Thank you all again.

      over 3 years ago
    • rmh's Avatar

      I am sorry for your loss and the sadness you feel. I am feeling sad reading this. I have one good friend. Since high school. Can't imagine her being gone before me ...the sadness would be suffocating. I am not sure if the loss of someone with or without cancer is different. It's a connection you have. Of course you are going to feel sad. I hope you don't feel guilty...just throwing that out there as I have heard this among people with cancer that have friends with cancer. Go ahead and cry. No need to handle your emotions, just let them come out. Think about all the kind words you and your friend had and cherish those. She cared about you and would want the best of health for you. She shared your joy and your clean CT scan. I like to garden - maybe you do too. Go out to your yard and plant a small tree that blooms or some perennial daisies in honor of her life and existence on this planet. As the plant matures you will have a tear of joy because you touched each others lives. Your friend is no more pain, the pain now is in the hearts she has left behind. Go ahead and cry and no one should tell you not to. Thinking of you.

      over 3 years ago
    • 2bbcontinued's Avatar

      Sorry Gypsy Jule for tremendous loss you have suffered. It's rough when you been going through an experience that is not the most pleasant in the world but having a buddy to share the experience with can make it a little better. In one sense your partner is gone. Just knowing she's not there to compare treatments & reactions. You can still bounce things of of her. You will know what her likely responses would. Part of your sorrow & fear may be from reflecting on the similarities between the paths you both took. When I went through a similar experience a few years back, I couldn't stop crying & asking why? It seemed so unfair to me that's she was the one taken. I had no children it. Should have been me that was taken. I couldn't stop crying for several days. It was just so unfair
      Don't know your spiritual beliefs, but I believe they are still with us. They things we learned from them , the experiences you shared. Still with you. I hope this has made a little bit of sense. Once again I sorry for your loss. If you feel like crying, cry.

      over 3 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar

      I understand how you feel. I too am losing (or have already lost) a friend I met on Whatnext. We communicated through email for months, and we even planned to meet for lunch in Florida in March. (We had both planned to travel at about the same time.) Unfortunately her cancer spread so rapidly that she wasn't able to be in the same area when I was there, and we never got to meet. It feels really bad to think that either she's gone, or perhaps, she's not gone but is almost gone. My only solace is that we cheered each other up while we were going through treatments, and while we had very different backgrounds, life histories, and even age, we found how much we had in common. I still wish I had been able to give her a real hug, but perhaps the hugs sent through all sorts of online messages accomplished the same. At least, that is my hope. I think we'll both always remember these friends, and maybe we can be of help to others traveling down the same path. Instead of "Survivor Guilt," try to think about how we can all help the next person who needs our experience and encouragement. Handling cancer for yourself is a downer, and a lost friend is even more so. Even so, we must continue, and you'll find a way.

      over 3 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar

      I also lost a friend in May. She survived 2.5 years from diagnosis til the end. It really upset me because she was so optomistic and led all of us to believe that she was going to survive, even when the cancer had recurred. I had my 2 year follow-up appt the same day I had to go to her funeral. I was extremely nervous at work, doctor, and the funeral home. I met up with other friends at the funeral home, and thank goodness my doctor didn't have any bad news for me that day. I just have to take it one day at a time, and I allow myself to feel sad, and sometimes it's at work. I just keep to myself, and step away if I need to. After what we've been through, sometimes, we need a break.

      over 3 years ago

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