Thursday, November 19, 2009

Group Therapy

I have found that my healing is enhanced by my interaction with others. I also was surprised by the number of people in our church who were being diagnosed with cancer. My friend Deb suggested that we start a support group for people with chronic illnesses which would meet weekly at our church. Since September we've had about ten participants with about eight people on any given Tuesday. I've enjoyed meeting weekly because it gives us the opportunity to develop close relationships. While there are several different ailments represented in our group, we are able to discuss issues that we have in common. We share our concerns and pray for each other. Most evenings someone leads a discussion. If no one leads, we just talk.

I recently went to the area Multiple Myeloma support group meeting. It is supported by our local Leukemia Lymphoma Society. The planned program was learning about a local hospital's music therapy program. While the program was interesting, the best part was networking with the three other cancer bearers. After the program, the four of us stood around comparing notes about our treatments. That was "priceless." While I don't have "relationships" with these people, I look forward to seeing them again in December. The facilitator said she sent meeting notices to 80 Multiple Myeloma clients in our two county area. I was surprised at the large number. What a wealth of support and information! It's too bad the group meets only monthly.

I participate in another group that doesn't even know it's a support group. I always looked forward to the time I could participate regularly. Too bad I had to have cancer in order to be active with this group! This is our church quilting group. These ladies greet each other with open arms. They have listening ears and lots of experience and advice. I'm not just talking about quilting experience (there is lots of that), but they have life experience, and even some cancer experience. I can choose to talk or just work silently. This group of about 20 ladies carefully make many quilts that are auctioned off to benefit MCC, our Mennonite relief agency, which helps people in need around the world. Visiting and working with these ladies is a high point of my week.

Support is found in many forms. I get support from my family, friends, church, and work. If we are able to find a support group to be with, that is good too. All are part of the healing community. I thank you!


JHNickodemus said...

Support IS important! I'm glad you have soooo much!