Grief as Constant Company
From the day of diagnosis, I have been dealing with my own lung cancer changes. I cannot ignore that I am also grappling with my own finitude as well as others. Life so we know has a limit or end.
In our respective cancer journey, we have experienced grief for survivors who had passed on before us. We surely exit this world at different times. For some, the treatment does not work. For others, it is a dead-end battle. However, to some, they personally stop their treatment and let their illness take its course.
Cancer support on Facebook
The saying “birds of the same feather flock together” is really true. There are a number of lung cancer support groups where openness overflows. Moreover, the struggles and triumphs are shared and appreciated.
But there is great mourning when a member crosses over life. Everyone in the group come together realizing lung cancer is still a deadly disease.
Cancer support over Zoom
The Covid-19 pandemic has hindered in-person events but this has paved the way for more virtual Zoom meetings. Lung cancer advocacy continues to thrive. There are support groups that virtually meet once a month or once a week. A more intimate relationship blossoms during these regular meetings. There is an acceptance that survivorship may be short or long. When grief strikes, the sorrow is deep. We remember the person’s character and their impact on our lives.
Gratitude for our lung cancer community advocates
I am truly grateful to be a community advocate. The role allows me to share my own experiences through articles relevant to lung cancer. I can freely share about my survivorship.
But I also have the opportunity to witness the creativity and courage of fellow advocates. Till our last breath, we commit to advocating for lung cancer through writing. Thus, the degree of grief knocks us more because their presence is obviously felt.
Clinical trials make new treatments possible
There are a number of long-term lung cancer survivors who have lived more than five years. Thanks to research and clinical trials. There are advances to treatment yet lung cancer takes away lives the most and quite at a fast rate.
There is indebtedness to people in clinical trials. They put their life on the line to prove new treatment can work. But the side effects can take a toll. There is more appreciation than grief as one exits life after clinical trials. I owe my life to them. I hope for more survivors to be more open to clinical trials.
Faces of lung cancer in Twitter
Twitter is my new place for quick updates on lung cancer survivors and organizations. I get to react or re-tweet to news and updates. There are survivors tweeting their ups and downs. I really love reading them. In this platform, there is enormous appreciation and recognition as life's journey ends. Despite the loss, we continue to lift each other up.
Facing grief becomes a part of a lung cancer journey. There is always a feeling of sadness for the loss but to the ones who are left behind we move on to our respective peaks and valleys.
Do you find that staying zen through your lung cancer diagnosis has helped you in your journey?