Continued from Support Through a Diagnosis
My family (who are in New Zealand) were also incredibly supportive. They checked in with me often, talked through my options and decisions with me, and made sure I had the support I needed.
My sister was upset and struggling with the idea that I would have surgery to remove an essential part of my body. She is very informed about the power of clean, healthy eating and living, and will always gravitate towards more natural solutions. I was thankful for her input and for her encouragement to consider alternative treatments without being pushy or overbearing.
She sent me a lot of books (including The Eden Prescription), many of which I only glanced through or read a few chapters, but it was her way of doing something useful to support me. It was nice to have the books not only as a source of information but also a reminder of my sister’s love and support. If I was having a particularly rough day I would catch sight of a book she’d sent and it would give me a sense of comfort and the knowledge that I was supported.
My Mum had already planned a trip out to visit me, so it was comforting to know she would be there in person. She was concerned and willing to help in any way she could. She would have jumped on a plane and been by my side if I’d told her I needed her at that moment. She made sure she was here for my surgery and the weeks following.
My Dad called a lot, listened, made me laugh, and let me know he would be there for me in any way I needed him. Although he was on the other side of the world, he made it abundantly clear that he would be a source of strength and support. And let me tell you, it’s one thing when your Mum cries (probably because most of us are used to that at some point in our lives), but it’s a whole other thing when your Dad cries. We cried together. It was gut-wrenching, yet at the same time it emphasized how much he loved me and was walking this journey with me.
My brothers called, texted, checked in, and kept up with what was going on. They talked to my parents or my sister so everyone had the latest updates. They gave me websites or articles to check out, talked about my medical choices and threw in a good dose of humor to make me laugh when I needed it. They showed me how much they cared just by keeping in touch and in the loop.
I learned to identify, accept, and appreciate my family’s support in whatever form it came. I recognized that they were each in their own way reminding me that they loved me and they were rooting for me to triumph over my cancer. I believe it was a major component of me keeping my sanity throughout the process!
Have you ever been supported by a family member? I’d love to hear your story. Please leave a comment.