Friends are Friends Forever...
Today I lost a friend to lung cancer. A very dear friend that I would chat with, along with some other special ladies, on a daily basis. We called our group the tribe. She was one-in-a-million and I will never forget her.
Who I lean on for support
The funny thing is, I have never actually met her in person. Gen was a friend that I gained from other lung cancer friends. She was a part of a small group of ladies like myself with EGFR lung cancer who would lean on each other every day for advice, wisdom, and encouragement, as well as sharing our sorrows, our fears, our disappointments, and frustrations. I cannot describe to you in words what this group means to me, but they help me on a daily basis.
Coping with the loss
And now our tribe is one member smaller. The thought that our tribe keeps on dwindling is sad and upsetting. We wonder, who will be the next one we lose? And while we don’t like thinking that way, the sad reality of our disease is that this is how it will likely play out.
There are times when I tell myself not to get close to anyone with lung cancer anymore. It’s too painful. I can predict the eventual outcome. But I always go back to the fact that I’m better off connecting with lung cancer friends than without.
Remembering a dear friend
Gen had a deep powerful impact on me, my well-being, and my spirit. She also gave our tribe an amazing gift. She knew she was dying, she knew the end was coming, and she let us all be a part of it. We got to say our goodbyes to her, we got to tell her what she has meant to us. Nothing was left unsaid. So when our tribe got the news that Gen had passed away, we all felt a sort of peace. A peace that Gen knew how much we loved her. She knew how much she helped us and she knew that we would continue to honor her and her lung cancer story by continuing to share ours.
Inspired by my lung cancer tribe
So today for the first time in a long time, I felt inspired to write. Inspired to begin to share again. Inspired to continue to connect, share, and befriend other lung cancer members. Because even though it’s heartbreaking, even though we lose our friends, the support of others who are going through similar circumstances have made me a better patient, person, and lung cancer survivor.
To lung cancer friendships near and far, thank you for being there for me and for each other. Together we are most definitely stronger!
What do you resonate with most, when it comes to advocating for lung cancer?