Everyone is affected by cancer. If you are the person with cancer you feel it the most: appointments, treatment, anxiety, anger, fear, depression. And, it's all understandable. I do not wish this on anybody.
But what happens to the people who care for the person that has cancer? Husband, wife, mother, father, child, friend? What affect does it take on them?
We become the support team. People dedicated to supporting the person going through cancer. The person to hug, laugh, cry, listen or distract them from this terrible change in their life. This team is crucial.
In the early stages of this, Christin showed me a bloggers article of a ring system. A system that pretty much stated something very simple, but made perfect sense. A ring system consisting of family, friends and people that are willing to tolerate you. Crazy could leave from the inner circles, but no crazy could come back. If crazy did get back in, it could not get to the inner most circle. So, this meant that the very inner circle was Christin. She could let out as much crazy as she wanted because she had every right. That crazy would filter to me, the second circle, and I would stop any crazy that was trying to come back. I would take it and dispense it as necessary to the other circles when I needed to vent. The circles beyond me consisted of mom and dad of both sides, brothers and sister, and then friends. I'm sure that acquaintances is another circle, but for now, we'll stick with the basics.
Everyone goes through their own feelings and emotions through this and it's normal. Some people become sad. Some angry (that's my category).
Other's have no idea how to process what is happening to a person they love. No matter what the case may be, the support team serves as a balancing act for one another.
Christin has an amazing support team. Her parents were there every step of the way, including taking her and the kids into their home so she could be closer to her doctors and treatments. Josh and Sara, friends of ours in Spokane, would come and sit with us during treatment and help us forget what was going on.
Josh would invite me over at night during my visits and we would talk over a glass of scotch. Our friend Cyndi, from the east coast, dropped everything to visit with Christin over a weekend. My parents back in Texas came during the girls' birthday and reminded us that we are strong and will get through this. Christin's aunt and uncle in Houston took her and her dad in while Christin recovered from surgery. Constant messages of thoughts and prays would come from friends all over the country. In Spokane and Moses Lake, meals poured in from friends across town and strangers around the corner.
It was an amazing thing to see how many people my wife had touched in her life.
If you happen to be part of the support team, I encourage you to find your niche. It doesn't have to be something extravagant or thought provoking. It could be something as simple as just being there with the person watching tv. Someone that sends videos of cats from YouTube.
And, if you're not sure of what to do because you're scared...that's fine. No one expects everyone to jump on board right away. You don't have to talk about cancer at all. You don't even have to talk at all. A hug is perfect during any stage of this battle.
Also, these cards by Emily McDowell are amazing. I cried and laughed the first time I saw these. Be sure to check her out here: http://emilymcdowell.com/
If you would like to find out more information(or more accurate information) on the article Christin showed me, go to: http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2015/06/02/our-family-cancer-manifesto