When battling cancer, it’s important to have a strong support system. Having support on this cancer journey was so imperative for me. From cancer support groups, family support, support of my peers and loved ones, counselors, etc. Those of us living with cancer and other medical challenges, we often benefit from the practical help and advice we receive from others who have lived through similar situations. Although I didn't engage in brain cancer support groups due to the distance from the Hope Lodge, I was able to talk with other patients in Hope Lodge where I stayed on a daily basis. Support of other patients brought cancer patients together from all backgrounds and most of patients in which I met were followers of Christ. When you face obstacles in life, having this type of support is essential in overcoming medical challenges.
A strong support group has proven to be highly beneficial to both the patient and caregiver. There are many positive benefits to having a strong support system before, during, and after a major health scare. Strong support systems can result in a healthier well-being of the patient, development of better coping skills with the disease, and a longer and healthier life for the patient as a result of the amount of support. When loved ones couldn't be there physically, they acted as a form of social support by calling, texting, facetiming when I felt up to it. Social support from those who genuinely care can help reduce depression and anxiety for us as patients. They can often help reduce the stress that comes along on this journey. In most cases its not a matter of if it’ll come, it’s when. That too, is where my faith came into play!
Post cancer, I remain in close contact with my fellow survivors. Our tribe of cancer patients and survivors thrived and provided a safe forum for exchanging perspectives, sharing concerns, and gaining confidence to face the future. Many of us check in and are often reminded of how blessed we are to be alive today. I often reflect on the Family, friends, and loved ones who would visit, make calls, mail cards, flowers, books, prayed for me and with me, and most of all they told me consistently that they loved me. With my fellow throwers, it is our belief in God, faith that he’d see us through our journeys, and lean on the strength of each other to help us press on. God places these individuals in our lives to be there for us in our time of need. My circle of support continue to be there as I navigate in my recovery and work to become the best version of Simone! To anyone battling, continue to build lasting relationships with those who want to be there.