Not long after I was diagnosed, I had a dream. This dream was one of the kind that seems to last for a long time and was very detailed. In the dream, my family moved to a new home. The home was in a gated community and, yep, each home had a family member that had cancer. Remember, this was during the period of time that I was very depressed. I just thought this was yet another very weird dream of mine. Little did I know the meaning behind this dream. In the last almost 6 years since my diagnosis, I have met hundreds of survivors and have consider many of them my very close friends. I have traveled with several, cried with them, and had a blast with them. I have the most wonderful family and friends; however, they are the first to say they do not know what I feel because they are not survivors. My survivor buddies have been there and continue to go through tough times. They think that talking about bowel movements is just part of a normal conversation. If a problem “ain’t cancer, it ain’t a problem.” I have grown to love all of these women. Unfortunately, I have lost three beautiful, young survivor friends to the ovca (ovarian cancer)monster in the last 2 weeks. I plan to use this blog to help me sort out my feelings of loss. Ann was a firecracker for sure. She liked bows and arrows, absolutely loved her motor scooter (even buying a lighter weight one when she could no longer handle hers),and loved flamingos. Monica was a woman of sweetness and intellect. Her Brasilian heritage fascinated me. I loved all the pictures she took and the pride she took in having both that history and one of the Appalachian mountains. Her love for her family was rich and gentle. Svetlana was a woman of style. I knew her for the longest period of time and attended several second and third opinion doctor visits with her. I loved hearing about Serbia and talking about thrift shopping. I feel so humbled and honored to speak at her service tomorrow.
So many people question whether or not getting to know so many survivors and then losing them is, in fact, emotionally healthy for me. Others ask me how I deal with so much loss?? For me, loving them and caring for them is my lifeline. I receive so much support and comfort when these friends are there for me. Yes, it’s the club no one wants to be in. However, I am in it and I have always had problems doing things half-way (I thought of another word but choose not to use it since this is only my second post 🙂 Yes, I do have to balance this carefully and it has been hard recently seeing the suffering and experiencing the loss. However, I cherish all my time with them and, for me, life is all about relationships and these are as genuine as they get. I shall remember them always…
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- Tagged: Death and Dying