When I was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer, I held a Love-in. Not a premature wake where people wear sunglasses to hide their tears nor a you’ve-got-this peptalk, but a time for hugging, eating, singing and dancing. After it was over and I lay in bed that night, I was conscious of the dose of medicine I had received from my family and friends. I felt better even without medical intervention.
I was conscious of the dose of medicine I had received from my family and friends
Every day, my friends walked me back to health.
When I met with my oncologist for the first time the next day, he told me that he couldn’t cure me, that I had less than a year to live (3 months by the charts but he spared me that) but that he had a drug newly off trial that might give me an additional couple of months. That drug turned out to be powerful for me but just as powerful was the realization of the power of the social support around me. Every day, my friends walked me back to health. They listened as I shared both my fears and my discoveries. As one friend put it, they bore witness. My husband was by my side always and together we learned a new mindset about healing and new ways of reaching our inner guidance and restoring our spirits. My children and grandchildren brought fun and joy, also a healing modality.
Studies show that I’m not alone in needing others to help me through cancer. Social support increases well-being and longevity in cancer patients, but unfortunately not everyone has the continual social support that I had. There may be those who are only periodically available, or those who are there but unable to talk deeply with us, and there may be no one.
Our healing circles are safe and supportive spaces to walk with each other through these times. Together, we can find meaning in the challenge of cancer, bear witness to suffering, and explore our own individual capacity for healing.
Each circle is a blend of sharing and silence, compassion and curiosity. Our agreements ensure acceptance and confidentiality. We honor our own unique paths to healing and respect the choices of others.
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