Changed perspectives can alter how we see our future, our relationships, and ourselves. It can cause us to stay stuck in victim-mentality, or can cause us to grow into our better selves.
I remember being a teen-ager and hearing my mother scream for help. She ran through the house calling for me to come next door where our neighbor had fallen in her shower and couldn't get out. Our neighbor was a woman in her 60's undergoing chemotherapy for terminal breast cancer.
I ran next door and into the bathroom where I saw a naked woman, breasts gone, hair gone, white and shriveled, and I stopped in my tracks as disbelief and shock swept over me. Her scream, "Don't look at me!" brought me back to the task at hand and I reached down and gently lifted her from the tub and carried her to her bed where my mother covered her with a blanket and told me to leave. As I walked back to my home I couldn't shake the memory of what I had just seen.
The thought of my father's earlier diagnosis and subsequent surgery for lung cancer was also was a fresh memory in my mind. As a child in the 4th grade, my mother would pull us kids from school to visit our dad in the hospital recovery room - unsure that he would ever come back home. Over the years I have had several friends receive a diagnosis of cancer, and sadly, some have passed away because of the disease. Today, I use these experiences to provide compassion, understanding, and empathy to others who are undergoing treatment for cancer.
One thing I've learned that is paramount to recovery from any medical or emotional challenge is the need for connection. When a person is suffering alone in isolation, loneliness can be more harmful than the disease. A broken heart compounds the effects of the disease as discouragement increases. Sometimes, some feel the only escape from the pain (emotional and physical) is to take one's own life. Connection can change all that by providing encouragement, empathy, and hope.
If you know someone who could use a little connection, please call us. Don't let another life be wasted.