I really enjoyed my first Threesome………

banana for blog

I knew that title would catch your eye and so I’m not going to immediately tell you all about it; whilst I’ve got you here I’m going to keep you here as any blogger worth their salt will tell you is the trick.

A while ago I published a post about Switching Tribes which had a focus on the importance of connectivity with people who had had the same experiences and how central that can be to understanding what’s happened, happening and might happen. It also explored the feelings of people outside of that delicate circle – partners, attuned family and friends and how their perspective regarding supporting someone with cancer needs consideration and unique support too. It’s a good read and I heartily recommend it to you.

*pauses whilst you follow this Switching Tribes link and peruse……….

 

Hello again

Hope that was as good for you as my threesome was for me.

Strength from others is pretty central to cancer patients and sometimes people who you expect to provide that support stay in that hidden space behind ‘I don’t know what to say/do/how to help’ and so they don’t. Listening to the radio this morning I heard someone being interviewed about the loss of their child many years ago and the resulting interaction or lack of that occurred with family and friends after the tragic and life changing event. The lady concluded ‘Please just say something, even if it’s telling someone you don’t know what to say’. This issue kept coming up time and time again during the course I attended recently; interestingly virtually everyone who attended had a ‘no show’, a disappointment, a sadness, a hurt, and a loss of a friendship that up until that point coped well with the smooth path but once the road became a little rocky the momentum stopped and often abruptly so. This leaves cancer patients already bewildered at their own status, doubly bewildered that people they’ve known for ages who may have been a very big part of their lives have opted for the ‘Sorry I can’t make it’ option without even replying to the first rsvp. In my case I’ve had people who heard about my diagnosis initially offer verbal support and then disappear never even to text a quick hello in the ensuing months and aspects of treatment. It’s not that anyone has to of course, but hurting physically is different to hurting emotionally and it all counts and combines together. We know it’s uncomfortable but then so is constipation and shit happens.

Switching Tribes explored how we look to and lean in to our peers because they know for sure what we’re doing, feeling and scared of. Often friends and fellow members of the cancer community become our circle of security and for the most part they are virtual; at the hot desk end of another blog, forum commentator or Tweeter. Social media is a lifeline for cancer patients who enjoy and benefit from the connectivity and filtering that the web and all its options offer. But meeting up in real life is a different opportunity and one that not everyone prefers. We all know the confidence that anonymity can bring and how the written word in whatever format can be easier to share than that which is spoken.

Throughout this past year other bloggers have filled gaps for me in terms of knowledge and awareness, helped in deciding options, forewarned me of pitfalls, empathised at unplanned for outcomes, made me laugh, made me cry and made me think. Two in particular stand out for me Allie from A Moon transiting through cancer and Dee from A young mums journey through breast cancer and beyond . I love both of these titles for their blog because they are about now and the future. I also love reading their blogs and we somehow ‘bumped into’ each other in the Blogosphere last year and made an instant connection. Since that first collision we’ve become good friends and seen each other through dark times and cheered and celebrated the good times too.

This weekend we got together face to face for the first time – hence my first threesome (well what did you think I was referring to? #rude). I was apprehensive building up to the weekend wondering what might happen if we ran out of things to say and of course I was wrong. 100% wrong. Not only did we not run out of things to say we ran out of time with so much still to chat about. Being together for a few days, we had the opportunity to peel back some of the layers of protection we’d built for ourselves and look more deeply into the ‘stuff’. Long into the night we talked until Dee declared ‘basically it’s all shit really’ and we decided that it was time to try and sleep. That might sound like it was a very negative conversation, it wasn’t, it was just honest. Being together, understanding each other, we had the luxury of pure honesty.

Everyone brought something to the relationship- their perspective and insider understanding, we were one tribe.

cakes

Two other notable highlights of the weekend were the sumptuous and amazing cupcakes that Allie brought with the words #survivors #hope and #friendship on them alongside bras and breast cancer symbology. They were truly a gift. And the other notable thing, although this time for its lesser position on the table of temptation was Dee’s suggestion that I make some banana tea to help me sleep through my current night time nonsense. No. Just no. You try it Dee and let me know, THEN I’ll consider it.

Thank you both for being you and being here.

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’

CS. Lewis

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5 thoughts on “I really enjoyed my first Threesome………

  1. Definitely a no to the (rather wrong looking) banana tea – fair play to you though Dee for the idea! Maybe the Queen would like join you in a cup?! 😉 Big love xx

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