Breast Cancer Awareness Month
To have cancer is horrible! There are many ways to describe it; frightening, scary, painful, depleting, maddening…and I could go on and on, but you also hear about how it helps people connect with others, change their life styles for the better, strengthen relationships, and bring new meaning to life. While there are many doctors, nurses, friends and family that give support through the most difficult times, there is no way anyone can truly understand what it is like to have cancer unless they themselves have it. This is why connecting with others who share this experience creates a bond like no other.
When I was first diagnosed I had only been living in Florida for 6 months. We moved here knowing no one, no family, no friends, we wanted an adventure. I wasn’t expecting the adventure to turn out this way but I am so grateful that I was able to make connections with other women in the area that were going and had gone through the same thing I was facing.
I remember many of my frantic phone calls to other women in a group called YSC, Young Survival Coalition. I needed answers about treatments, where to turn, how to handle certain situations, and to just have someone listen to my fears and reassure me as best they could. I am very lucky to live in an area that has wonderful services available for young women facing breast cancer. Our YSC affiliate (what I call the cancer chicks group) meets every month and has created special relationships within the members. We attend events, conferences, and benefits together and many of the women help each other out and socialize with each other beyond the parameters of the support group. They are true friends! There is another wonderful group in this area called Breast Friends that also does amazing things for women with breast cancer.
No one should face this disease alone. No one should also face it without the support of others who have…been there…done that. These are the rocks that I rely on and aspire to be like. Check out these websites. If there is no group like this in your area for what cancer you are facing, call the American Cancer Society. They are a great resource and can point you in the right direction to got hooked up with a support group. Don’t be afraid. Many of the groups turn out to be fun, wonderful experiences. They are not just a group of dying people sitting in a room complaining about their illness. They are groups of people who want to live, want to help support each other, want to encourage each other to push themselves to their limits and want to not feel alone during their darkest times.
These wonderful people “get it” and they “get me”. A big hug and thank you to all of my breast cancer peeps this month. You are truly special people.
Choosing healthy living over dying 🙂