I am fond of thinking about the perks of my situation. I admit I do live with a little denial and I do look at the sunny side of things. That said, I feel fortunate to have met some amazing people on my trip through the healthcare system this year. I do feel that the human spirit is alive and well and highly under rated.
I will mention three of my favorites.
I met Susan in February at a Caring Hearts Support Group. I got to know her better during a class we took to help manage breast cancer. I was drawn to her by her intelligence and more so by her feisty spirit. She had been a nurse. She had liked to swim. She was over 5 years out with breast cancer. Then she had a recurrence, metastasis to her lungs.
I knew her during the time she was fighting to survive. I knew her during the time when her fight failed. I knew her during the time she accepted her situation and started planning her last months. I saw her go from angry to anxious to calm and accepting. I saw her at peace. Maybe it was because she was no longer forced to strive. Maybe her body was no longer a battle ground. I went to her memorial and I wept my loss of an amazing person.
I met Ginny at another support group. I knew her over a few meetings. She asked the group if someone could help her when she started her chemo. I volunteered. She lived alone. She had one brother locally. Most of her friends had moved on. I gave her my number and said I would be available to her at any time(safety net).
Over the course of 6 months, we did a variety of things. I took her to her treatment for two days. A lab appointment. A doctor’s appointment. I would pick her up for our support group. I would pick her up for lunch and a trip to a store once a week. I got to know her better.
She has a cancer with a questionable prognosis. She had a lot to work through and she is an example of self management if I ever saw one. Through all her severely ill times she has managed. She cooks for herself, she manages her meds, all her tasks of daily living. She cares for her two cats and a blog that has a 1000 visitors a day. Through days where she has spent barfing in the bathroom, weak from therapy, unable to do many of the things she once did, I have never heard her complain. She takes one step at a time and keeps on going. A truly amazing woman!
Stefan is a big guy. Energetic, smart, wonderful to know. If he were not married, I would easily fall in love with this guy. He is a professional. He has great energy. Very interested in people around him. He is working very hard to control his cancer. He will happily help you, too. He has what people like to call a great attitude and he has a brain tumor. Every bit of news he gets is bad news. Now it’s in his lungs. I’ve know this man but a short time. I have not done this for myself or for anyone else. For him, I would scream from the rafters to say that it’s totally unfair that this man is so sick.
Everyday people doing their best to survive and to live. These are three of the many I have met this year. The amazing human spirit in action.