I’ve been avoiding blogging for some time now, and I’m not sure why that is exactly? I wrote this a few weeks ago and promptly avoided posting. Tonight, all the inspiring talk on twitter about Stand Up to Cancer made me realize I need to post more often, and be open about things, like last week’s specialist appointment. So before I talk about that, I should really post last months entry…..
I would never have said I was a girl who would like to be on a retreat. I do love to talk about feelings and emotions, and I love the outdoors, but being stuck in the middle of nowhere with a large group of strangers?!?! That’s just not me….though many of my friends would probably say that is something I need to do, be okay with the unknown. I generally prefer smaller group settings, something that is more on the level of a one on one interaction.
I am recently back from YACC’s retreat yourself BC, and I have to say it was probably the best decision I have ever made to go on that trip. I owe a lot to a friend who convinced me to come in the role of her supporter, so that I could attend the event. It was a very last minute decision. I know the term “gets it” is over used, but let’s be honest, we want people to “get” us, so that we feel normal again. We want to feel accepted, safe, and that people care about our wellbeing. That is what I got this weekend. Acceptance. Friendship. Kindness. I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you with those kind of details (yet), instead, I will go into this idea of acceptance. Whether it’s friendship, dating, family, etc., relationships make our world. These relationships provide comfort, a sounding board for crazy ideas, and they listen to our shit (that is a skill that so few people have as we are all fixers!). Currently, my family life isn’t what you’d call healthy, my dating life is well…..there’s not a lot going on there, so it’s friends that provide the support, companionship, and love that I need. It’s been a difficult year as many know, and I would say for most of it I was lost, alone, and very afraid…that is until I found a cervical cancer support group. I also found Localife, and made so many good friends there, but I still felt like a bit of a fraud in comparison to the people in these groups as I was dealing with an aggressive pre-cancer, not cancer itself….but they funny thing is that I identified with them so much more! They understand the constant doctor’s appointments, the biopsies, the fear, all the bad things that come with a dealing with any type of cancer. For example, this weekend, I got to talk about how one dates when you are dealing with cancer (when do you tell them? First date? 12th? Never?), how one deals with physical and emotional side effects, and even simply, how does one feel desirable in any way at such a vulnerable time? No one ever told me I was a fraud, or that I didn’t belong, and it made me think that maybe we need to spend more time caring about each other, and not so much time trying to pigeon-hole people into constrictive definitions. That way, we might not feel so alone and less deserving of support when we go through a difficult period in our lives.
This isn’t to say that my diagnosis is the same as everyone in the community, as it comes with it’s own unique circumstances, but that is true of any cancer diagnosis really. What it means is that I just feel a lot less alone. I feel a little more capable of handling my future, and that maybe I can move ahead and work on things I want in my life. I really don’t know what that entails right now, and I don’t have to make the decision today. I do know one thing though, it involves wanting to make more connections with people, both friendship and romantic wise. It’s more being open to any opportunity that might present itself, but also just being okay with what I have now.
That, I haven’t laughed so much in a weekend in all my life! It felt so good to laugh at the same time that you were facing your reality.