Are there any benefits to joining support groups?

This is the question that has been on my mind for the last couple of days following a chat with my best friend. The discussion wasn’t about me or cancer but it touched on how slightly less painful this journey has being knowing there are other people going through the same situation as I am. We talked about how it helps to put things in perspective knowing some people have it worse. My friend didn’t share this sentiment as she believes in finding solutions (she’s always been the more logical of the two of us) for problems rather than seeking solace in the fact that other people have it worse.

That conversation lingered in my subconscious long after the conversation was concluded. Tonight, I finally understood why the conversation has been plaguing my mind. I am an empathetic person and I wish so much that there were no sicknesses or challenges in the world but we all know that’s not the case. I finally realized today (whilst reading the sad story about a family that had been in a fire) the reason support groups have helped me.

Cancer is an horrific disease and I know after a while, even the people that love us so much become immune to the word and it doesn’t carry as much weight as it sounded the first time they heard it. However for those of us dealing with it, cancer is even scarier than we anticipated as we watch so many beautiful women pass on at very young ages.

Been on a cancer support group helps to put things in perspective. I could easily go through life (without a support group) thinking my case is the worst ever and live my life feeling sorry for myself. However, been on a support group and reading about people and their many challenges ‘forces’ me to be thankful. It doesn’t make me complacent or stop advocating for a cure but pending when my prayers would be answered, I have a few groups that help me put things in perspective. Support groups remind me constantly that in spite of everything, things could be a whole lot worse and for that – I will always remember to be grateful for every little blessing in my life.

I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”
― Anne Frank

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