Cancer support groups...did they benefit you? ?!

Question: Cancer support groups...did they benefit you.? .?
What happens when a member of the group dies from her battle or his battle with cancer, does fear grip the group.? If this happened to you how did the members in the group deal with the loss.?Health Question & Answer

Dave, I've seen many of your posts as your wife's battle with breast cancer has progressed, and I have to tell you how special you are. I hope only the best for you both.

When my 2nd sister was fighting breast cancer, I joined a support group and so did she. We both needed to have some people around us that understood what was going on in our lives.

During our time in our support group, we lost a friend. Yes, it certainly made us face the utter reality of what we knew was possible, but it also gave us a chance to really reach out to each other and talk honestly about the topics most people won't let you feel comfortable discussing. I'm not sure "gripping fear" as much as a deep, common sorrow and understanding describes the feeling of the group... and perhaps more than a few guilty prayers of thanks were said that it wasn't the one you loved.

My sister said it was the first time other than with her doctors, she had really talked to anyone about her fears and concerns about her own diagnosis. Like most people in her situation, she thought she had to "be strong" for everyone else and rarely allowed herself to "let it go".

A few months later, my sister died. I still can't think of that time without a feeling of gratitude for those friends. They embraced and supported me in a way only someone who truly understands what it's like to watch someone you love battle for their life can. They were the ones I could be emotionally naked with.

Her group shared so much with me about her spirit and attitude and how much she had encouraged and helped some of them. The amazing gift they gave my parents -- the image of such a positive, strong and giving woman -- truly helped replace the image of her death that we all had through those days and is something I will always cherish.

Even though I live nearly across the country now, and 6 years have passed, I am still in touch with several of those men and women. I am a counselor in a support group now, and I think -- I pray -- we make a difference...

God bless your wife as her fight continues and you as you continue to provide her help and support. Health Question & Answer

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