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A woman standing in the center with a happy expression, surrounded by people emerging from speech bubbles.

Connections

Sometimes, the walk in lung cancer brings about a certain level of fear and uncertainty. There may be a magnitude of positive experiences along the way, and part of them will include the multitude of different faces that relate to each other in one place or time.

Finding comfort in a lung cancer support group

My mother was a bit hopeful in her first lung cancer support group experience. The purpose of a support group is to unite with others who share similar thoughts and comfort that you are not in this alone.

​​Two people in speech bubbles waving and giving a thumbs up.
At the end of the day, family and friends can only relate to the experience to a certain degree. Loved ones are easily the eyes and ears; yes, the ears hold deep when listening to problems or frustrations.

My mom needed that familiar space. It worked for what it was at the time.

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Connections in tough times

Though she found a space at times, things got a bit interesting in keeping up with the chosen connection. She found a little buddy she met through her appointments who battled emphysema. They formed a short-lived bond, though the other lady suddenly became aloof.

​​A speech bubble with a broken heart.
Honesty, my mom felt a little bothered by the sudden broken connection. I felt bad as here it was; she conformed by getting out of her way to meet new people, hoping to feel better about her situation, and then finding the other person who no longer wanted to be bothered.

I don't think the lady meant to be standoffish, but it's fair to say everyone goes through their time in ebbs and flow. Eventually, it did leave my mom removed from the experience by pleading the fifth by not attending further.

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The role of empathy in healthcare

Again, the experiences vary, and usually, if you're lucky, you'll get some people part of your team who make the time less traumatic. My mother wasn't as lucky as her doctor was horrible. Other players showed compassion and empathy; sometimes, it takes one or two to bring comfort and ease.

I think a lot of people forget or fail to recognize that their small interaction with a patient can bring peace or despair. Peace is always the way to go. The problem is that many of these people-related jobs fail people.

Many people forget the endgame, and their opinions and trials with the job get washed over. We always want to see happy staff, especially when ill; however, I think we can safely say that this is not usually the case, and the patient gets the brunt of lingering negativity.

A group of people inside speech bubbles showing support.

Moving forward

Every story will be different for each person, and when trying to build a network of connections, sometimes you have to step outside the norm to achieve it. Joy is not a thing for everyone, and sometimes you may have to be the one that brings someone else that meat of hope despite it lacking in your situation.

As I mentioned, my mom was bummed about it, and I recall the conversation well on how she felt and seeing she needed that special "relatability friend" at that time and in that moment.

Connections are real. Connections are warranted.

 The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile...when you feel like it

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