Since I found I had cancer I have had to talk to many people about it but only a few really understand what it really mean when you say you have phantom breast sensation or that when you say felt so cr*p with chemotherapy they really KNOW what you mean.
All during treatment I actively avoided talking about my cancer to anyone else who had it. Odd, I know, but I didn’t want to be defined by my cancer, I didn’t want every conversation to be about cancer. I had one good supportive friend and she was so good, I didn’t feel like I needed anyone else. Be assured I would seek help and answers should I need them, but with this friend it was enough.
In the same vein I avoided talking about it to anyone else unless asked directly. Even then it was a bit tedious talking about me all the time. my job involves listening to and helping others. Not doing that was difficult for me, that is what defines me more.
Anyway, I will get to the point. I met another woman who had been through the cancer mill at the same time as me. I knew of her as she is the wife of my husbands work colleague but we had never met.
I passed on my phone number and email and eventually she got in touch. Yesterday we met up over a long lunch and talked about our experiences, about the positives as well as the negatives, how we felt.
We are both returning to work and have got hair on our heads and growing nails. it felt good as neither of us felt sorry for ourselves, we were amazed at how we got though everything we did and survived. We were relieved that we weren’t unusual in our thoughts and feelings, frustrations and joys. We hadn’t had exactly the same experiences but enough to make a strong connection.
We were onto other topics of conversation after about half an hour, reading groups, dogs, children and husbands. We will meet up again and I know we are going to be friends.