Branching Out

When I set out to accomplish something, I give it everything I have. I am part of so many organizations in the lung cancer community. But sometimes I feel tension between them. Since losing my soul sister, Kelly Shannon, to lung cancer this past July, I have felt lost. I've felt that I had no one to talk to anymore. It's hard to even look at her pictures without crying. I miss that comrade we had. We talked about EVERYTHING. I miss that more than I can even explain. I need that person to support me.

Building a new community

Then there’s my mom. Considered my caregiver. I don’t feel like I can be totally honest with her sometimes because I don’t want to hurt her. Therefore, along with a few friends, we decided to start a group, unaffiliated with the politics of any lung cancer organization, that is for patients only. It is a private group where we can share among ourselves and not have to worry about hurting a loved one or caregiver. I mentioned this in a previous post.

We can share stories with the only people that understand. That is huge for me and I’ve wanted this for some time. To be honest and open and raw. If you would like to join us, we are on Facebook at Lung Cancer Awareness *Fresh Air*. It's not that I don't want my caregiver to know what's going on, but sometimes I think being a caregiver is the hardest job. I don't want to add more to their plate. We are not affiliated with any other cancer communities. Therefore, I'm reaching out to you through here, so you can find a safe place to talk and get the support that you know is from people have been through it.

Providing a safe space to find support

We just founded the site. So if you decide to join, answer the questions and then introduce yourself. Coming together as patients is empowering. Sometimes I get really down when I hear co-survivors talking about the death of a loved one. I’m not in denial. I just want to be happy and helpful to people like me. A fresh start. You can post photos, share stories and events in your area. As I said, we are not affiliated with any organizations so you can let us know about all of the happenings. We also do are not a medical site. People have been giving advice, but it's best to consult your physician. We don't claim to be a medical organization. We are purely here for emotional support.

Sharing our stories

I love my mom, no doubt -- I totally LOVE you! It's just good to sometimes be silly, crazy, and sometimes be dark and sad. It's great not having people telling me what I should do, but supporting me with their stories. The more stories I hear, the less I feel alone. This is so important to survival. We all need someone to count on. I lost my two major ones. It was devastating. But, I have to continue on and find more support, not to replace, but to help. God bless.

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