Life Support Meeting

As most of you know, my mom has cancer. This is her second battle with this effing disease, and she is currently undergoing chemo (having just finished a quick bout of radiation) to keep the cancer at bay and try to enjoy her life. She is the most amazing person I know, and watching her go through this has been the most difficult crisis of faith I've ever had. However, we get by, and every moment I get with Mom--good, bad, ugly--is a blessing from God and I don't take a single second for granted.

(If you know me at all, you know this is not an attempt to get sympathy or make you cry on this lovely Sunday. All prayers and well-wishes are cherished and making a world of difference for this family, but this is just another blog about my life and what I'm feeling. Just so we're clear.)

My mom has decided to utilize a support group as she is feeling increasingly depressed and frustrated with her current situation. This is definitely outside the scope of something any of us would normally do. We are not the type of people who ask for anything (money, support, dinner, etc.) nor readily admit any kind of weakness. But, of course, nothing is normal anymore, and thus we are learning a great deal about who we are in times of grief and stress. It's amazing, really.

She's not sure what to expect from her first attempt at finding a good group, but I think it's a process. Much like finding the right psychologist/counselor. We all need and expect different approaches and manners of being handled, so to speak. I need tough love and the less-than-obvious observations. ("Oh, you've deduced I may have trust issues? Well done. Idiot.") In the course of making her decision to take this bold step, she suggested I might also benefit from such a resource. And I think she may be onto something.

Don't get me wrong: I have the most amazing, supportive, non-judgemental friends a girl could hope for. Actually, better than I could ever imagine if I was making a wish list of qualities in friends. But (and it breaks my heart to say this) they don't know exactly where I'm coming from. Some have dealt with similar, difficult emotions and are extremely insightful in their gracious attempts at relating. And some of them have been through this same situation, but are at a different stage, whether it be the parent has passed away, the cancer has gone into remission, or they have a better/worse prognosis to cope with. I think a support group will be much like this, but I also suspect the people who seek out meetings will likely be right in the mix of things and in a similar stage as me. This is all speculation, of course.

Perhaps it would be nice to be among people who are totally unbiased (and don't already think I'm awesome, strong, etc.) but are sharing the (sometimes insensitive) thoughts I am. Maybe they have the same uncertainty when it comes to planning their future, unsure of what the next week, month, year will bring. Their own emotions could put mine into perspective, reminding me how lucky I truly am, or allowing me to grieve at the true gravity of what is happening to my mother. And what may happen.

Afterall, it is much easier to cry in front of strangers.

Or maybe that's just me.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more and I really hope this is something you at least consider in some real capacity. As one of your friends I try to understand, but I sit in awe of your strength. And while that makes me a great pretty, pretty princess friend...that's not the support I can imagine helps enough.

    I'm HUGE on support groups and impartial 3rd parties. AND, I totally agree on the crying in front of them thing :).