“Nothing thrives in isolation”
That’s a quote our friend, Chef Jay, unleashed on us at the 2010 Survivor Conference. It’s spoken quite frequently around our office, and we truly believe in its message. We know nothing thrives in isolation, that’s why we’re trying to create a community of cancer survivors and supporters throughout this great nation.
The Mayo Clinic agrees with that idea. In “Relationships key to thriving as a cancer survivor,” Sheryl M. Ness says “Relationships and the give and take that is part of the process of being in a relationship are present in our everyday lives.”
She says it’s the connections between you, your supporters, the rest of your network, and your medical team that get you to the next day, and the day after that. “A few of the key components to a relationship are communication, trust, flexibility, honesty and time. If you’re not getting what you need from a relationship, it might be time to act on it.”
Sheryl lists the following tips to make those relationships the best they can be:
- Be honest
- Give yourself time
- Keep in touch
- Be open
- Give back
People sometimes have difficulty providing what you need because they don’t want to offend you, and you don’t tell them how they can help. Let people in, tell them what you need, and be prepared to talk about it.
We have spoken with sisters who are happy to help clean apartments and draw baths when their sibling was in treatment, husbands who don’t hesitate to shave their heads in solidarity, and friends who will gladly cook meals and deliver them to your door.
We have also heard a different quote that says not having a supportive community is equivalent to smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. We all know the dangers of smoking, so, call in those favours and ask for some support.
When you’re ready, check out our programs for ways to connect with cancer survivors who are your own age like Retreat Yourself, Survive & Thrive Expeditions, and the Survivor Conference. We will also send you a free We Get It DVD with stories from other survivors on isolation, relationships, fertility, and more.
If you feel lonely, reach out.