Losing Our Sisters and Brothers in Our Lung Cancer Community
Last updated: February 2023
Throughout my lung cancer journey, I’ve met so many wonderful people who are also fighting lung cancer. With some people, you build a close relationship. Sometimes, they are just passing through. Some stay in touch, and some become Facebook friends, maybe saying "hi" once in a while. Maybe you wish each other “happy birthday” once a year or occasionally like and comment on each other’s statuses. Regardless of the kind of relationship, these people are still a part of our lung cancer community. We all share a special bond.
The relationships with those in my lung cancer family
Maybe, there's a group of people that you get close to and have a special friendship with that is unfortunately brought together by lung cancer. Those special friendships need to continue to grow and flourish because our time on this earth is limited. My husband once told me that my group is a ****-up group - but it’s a good ****-up group.
We’ve gotten so close so quickly because we live our lives in a compact way. So we build a special bond fast, but it usually ends sooner than other relationships because of lung cancer. What my husband has seen is love, compassion, empathy, and support. He told me once, "your lung cancer family should be an example for the rest of the world to see how we should be on this earth with others!"
My lung cancer family and I stick together
That is what I love most about my lung cancer family, or group. We are all there for each other, and when we lose someone, we all hurt. Sometimes I ask myself, why they couldn’t they just live a little bit longer? Why didn’t the treatment work for them like it has for others?
Remaining grateful for the time we've spent together
It’s always a why question for me. I need to understand that it was their time to go, and to be thankful that I met them and that we had a close relationship. I tell myself that they left this earth knowing they were loved by me, and I helped make a difference in their lives in some way or another.
Hearing of someone passing away hurts
their children grow up, graduate high school or college - and I did. Some won’t be at their children's weddings, and I have. So, you see, it affects me in many ways. I still like to think that they are all watching me from up above and blessing me with the things they couldn’t do on earth.
Remembering one special lung cancer sister
One lung cancer family member in particular won’t be going to Greece with me. It was her dream vacation and now I’m going without her. My lung cancer sister wanted to go to Greece together because that was her dream vacation, but she passed away recently. Her last words to me were “Hang in there. Workout hard for me. Do it for me.” That was on a Thursday, and by Sunday, she was gone. So, I did just that and dedicated a workout for her. I think of her often and another lung cancer sister I lost a little over a year ago.
Their memories keep me going and I know they both passed the torch to me so I can continue to advocate.
What healthy habits do you use to improve the quality of your life?