I have been a member of this group for about 18 months now?
Professionally, I specialize in group work; I care about groups such as these.
With a great group, the individual does not nearly matter as much as the health of the entire group. The group is both the patient and the therapist.
It's not about each individual question and how great every answer is but about 'group spirit'; about group cohesion; belonging, and not feeling alone and isolated. It's about being seen and heard, and about NOT being alone.
That once used to be the case here. Now it's japdip expertly answering just about every question that shows up. (and I thank you for that, japdip and you are doing an incredible job) but that's it. There is no dialogue; no real caring on a group level, and more than anything, the most important questions are ignored. (I.e. on bc 3&4..'Why does nobody answer questions here?') I would think that is a very important question.
We have healingwell, a wonderful person herself going through heavy treatment at the time, and for some time, as our group leader. She shows up sometimes, and just as you begin to notice how comforting her presence is here, she's gone again) Amd, of course I understand but it doesn't feel good.
I have responded, and with a lot of thought, to perhaps 100 questions lately. in the last several days I left two questions. Ignored! feels really bad. all i can say is, that if japdip left a question I would respond to her even if I had no clue how to help her. I would just acknowledge the fact that she asked.
Wow, what a post! I appreciate all you've written and am truly thankful for your concern for the group's cohesion and, personally, for my well-being. In all honesty, I'm having a hell of a time emotionally. I'm typically a pretty stable person. Rounding the bend to almost a year of constant breast cancer treatment, I'm tired. And I'm getting to a predictable stage of treatment -- the end, and all of the anxieties that come with that. I don't have a job to go back to and I'm not sure that if it were still available I could. It involved assisting with diagnostics of voice disorders, including head and neck cancer, and treating and counseling such patients. I stopped into my "old" work yesterday and couldn't stop the tears from streaming down my face as I realized an entire year of my life has passed and life outside of breast cancer has gone on. Furthermore, I knew that as I was visiting there, I won't be able to go back (for several reasons - but mostly it doesn't "fit" anymore). This, combined with Christmas coming up in a week and lacking the physical or emotional strength to "pull it off" as I would of before bc, is discouraging. Especially because I have two teenagers for whom I'd love to make the holiday special -- they've had a "breast cancer year" along with me. In addition, my very wealthy ex-husband is persisting in going to trial to try to block increasing child support that hasn't been increased since 1997, even though it's clear my income (which at this point is $0) cannot compare to his ability to contribute to his children's well-being.
This information may be so much more than anyone wants to know. Or, it may be helpful to anyone else that is struggling with this d$%@m disease and feeling at wit's end. I think one of the biggest things about bc is that it is a lonely disease. No matter how many people you have around you, how many people you e-mail with at the end of the day you are alone with your thoughts, fears, and anxieties.
My wish is for the Breast Cancer Community to be a place where anyone can come and find relief, information and a shoulder to lean on. I can certainly set the tone. From there, it is my hope that members rise to the occasion and help each other here with their own stories of sadness, fear, anxiety and most of all hope. I believe it is through our truths that we bond and become a closer community.
I wish all of you the best and I will make every effort to be here as much as I can. And when I can't, and you don't see me around, drop me a note or private message. It may be that I need someone to reach out to me. I'm just like all the rest of you.
Breast Cancer Community Leader
Thanks again, Chris. I answered longer on your other post where you repeated you comment. Take good care, and you are both in my heart and mind, OK? You can do it. Your emotional state will change back and forth for a while. very best to you, kat
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