T and I were invited by a very special nurse to our 1st educational support group. T and I are both shy about going to things like that.....maybe "shy" isn't the right word, but you know what I mean.
Anywho, it was a great experience and I hope we go to more together and individually. There was a nutritionist, a physical therapist, and a shrink. The physical therapist was borrrrring and a bad speaker, but the nutritionist was great and the shrink was good too. The people we met were very nice also and I wish I had exchanged emails with a few of them. I'm sure I'll see some of them in a doctor's waiting room or maybe even another meeting....that would be nice.
There was something.....comforting?...about being in a room with a bunch of people who completely understand what T (and I) are going through. There was a mix of patients and loved ones in this group. There was one lady there to support her niece. Her, I'd like to keep in touch with. We had the same attitude about all this.
Something else really good came from this meeting. One of the things the shrink brought up seemed to affect us all. It was about support and telling people what you really need. Everyone spoke up about how the people in their lives reacted or didn't react. How this experience lets you see the people in your life through new eyes.
Those that are very supportive that you never expected. I have an old friend from high school who I haven't spoken to since who has made a continuous effort to contact me via Facebook from time to time. She has breast cancer, but is further along in her treatment then T.
Then there are those that you expected to be there, but haven't been.....sometimes you discover that certain people aren't worth the effort and you just cut them loose.
Everyone did make 1 very important point though....about the people who are in our lives that we DO know care, but have not been there for reasons we can only guess......perhaps they are scared they won't know what to say, or afraid they will disturb T while resting, or just don't know what to say or how to be. They said you should TELL those special people in your life what you need from them......so we've started doing that.
I can't speak for all cancer patients and their families, but for us the answer is simple. Be who you've always been. Assume we always want you to call...to text....to email...and most of all TO VISIT. Don't be afraid to do any of these things, any time.
There will be days when you call, text, or email and we will say, "not today".....but don't let that stop you. Be persistent. There will also be days we have to cancel last minute because we never know when the nausea or exhaustion will hit hard, be understanding......we hate to cancel at the last minute too, but sometimes we have no choice. Also understand that we can only handle 2 or 3 people at a time in our tiny home, and don't want everyone visiting at once anyway. Having company on a few days with different people is way better then having a lot of people all at once and being alone the rest of the time.
It worked, by the way, telling the people we care about what we need. Several friends have already called, emailed, texted, and visited and others plan to next week and regularly. YAY!
I love you guys....you know who you are.
Next chemotherapy is tomorrow.........here we go again.........I love you baby!