Having a cancer diagnosis is an unwanted event. That being said, unexpected things can come during this difficult time.
Recently, I’ve been asking my group members to think about and share their “silver linings” after their own cancer diagnosis, such as what has been positive and what has been surprising. Many have shared that they have received support and kindness from family members and friends, as well as from people they did not know well before their diagnosis. The compassion they receive from others feels good and is truly appreciated. Others said they no longer sweat the small stuff and that they have shifted their priorities as a result of their cancer diagnosis; now they spend their time focusing on the things that have meaning in their lives.
The group also talked about recognizing the importance of advocating for yourself, taking better care of yourself, making amends, letting go of anger/hostility, and educating others about cancer risks and early detection. They all shared that, before cancer, they had no prior support group experience. Now they rely on the group for support, information and connection; sharing their thoughts, feelings and experiences with people who “get it” feels good!
What are your silver linings… or are they hard to find?
Is this something you think about often? Why or why not?
I look forward to continuing this discussion.
Stephanie Stern, LCSW-C is an oncology social worker and the moderator of The MetaCancer Foundation’s Mosaic Online Support Community.
The MetaCancer Foundation provides information and resources focused on the unique psychological and emotional aspects of living with metastatic cancer. Mosaic is a free online support service for people living with metastatic cancer and their loved ones.