Last updated: September 2023
Who is your family? It may be your mother, father, siblings, aunt, uncle, and cousins. It also may be your closest friends, your best friends, the friends you have had for decades, or it may be a combination of both. For me, it is all of the above and then add in some rockstar lung cancer survivors! No one said this life we have been given was going to be easy, but with some really great family supporters, it can make this fight we have every day, just a little bit easier to deal with.
Building A Family of Support
I have not always had the best or the closest relationship with my mom due to some pretty harsh disagreements in my 20's. But I do thank my lucky stars that we had started to reconnect in 2010 and have only gotten closer and closer since. What happens when you don't have your mom to be by your side during this? I am grateful to have an awesome family who watched my grandfather fight this same disease, so they are very sensitive to what I go through and always offer any help to me. I am married to an absolutely wonderful man who has my back 24/7. He does anything and everything he can for me and I couldn't ask for anything more. I have some awesome kids, my daughter is my mini-me and is the most caring and intelligent young woman in my life! My step-sons are genuine, they may be boys, but they have a soft, caring side to them that not everyone gets to see. I get to see it and am grateful that they do have such a caring side to them that we get to see.
My family matters. My friends matter. My lung cancer friends matter. I often think, how does someone get this diagnosis and deal with it without the support of family and friends? We may not always have someone close at all times but it is something we can all use! Even if it is someone you have found online that is fighting the same battle as you, being able to connect with them and chat about life, how to deal with this disease, anything that helps you feel like you are not alone, is super important.
Support Matters When Fighting Lung Cancer
There are some days where I feel like talking to family just won't cut it. Sometimes I just need my husband and daughter to make me feel like the normal wife and mom that I am, minus this disease. Sometimes, I just want to talk to my mom and get that motherly advice. Then other days, I just want to talk to my lung cancer peeps because they ALWAYS understand. Then on all the other days, I don't want to talk about this disease, I want to talk to my friends, those that were there before this disease and have stayed with me throughout this ordeal.
We all need laughs, lots of love, and lots of hope in our lives while we fight this disease. The only way I could get all of those that I need is by surrounding myself with so many wonderful people in my life. Those complete strangers I once met online after diagnosis, are now my family. My own family is more important to me now, more than ever and my friends, they are now my family as well. So to me, I have a HUGE family and they all support me in all the ways I need. I hope you all have one as well. Live Life Now!
Happy Lung Cancer Awareness Month! What does self-advocacy mean to you?