Remembering how I needed to talk...
Whether you’re a patient or a caregiver, whether you’re coming to grips with a recent diagnosis or you’ve been fighting these battles for years, there are a lot of layers and feelings to this experience. There’s a lot to process, a lot to keep track of, and hopefully some little victories to celebrate along the way.
I know this because I remember when my Mom had stage 4 non-hodgkins lymphoma - from the day she got the call to come in for a biopsy, to the day her hair started falling out. From the day she we scheduled her bone marrow transplant to the day they declared her cancer-free.
Sometimes I didn’t really want to talk about it. Other days, it was all I could think about.
If you’re anything like I was, you’ve got persistent questions bouncing around your brain. Maybe you’re becoming more reflective, seeing things from a new perspective, or finding deeper meaning in different aspects of your life. You might also be frustrated - overwhelmed by symptoms and side effects, haunted by the smells of the hospital, or tired of managing the logistics of treatment and life.
Whatever is on your mind, it can help to talk it out.
“Easier said than done”, you might be thinking. You are not alone. The research shows it can be hard to communicate with those closest to you - you don’t want to worry them and you don’t want to add pressure, so sometimes it’s easier to just stay silent.
I remember most days I was silent. I’d only cry when I thought no one else could hear me. Then one night my sister was in the next room, and she heard me. She came in, pulled me close, and gave me the most important advice of my life:
“Never cry alone.”
Fast forward 10 years: my family has won our battle, and I’ve taken a job at a healthcare company called Pack Health.
I work with a team of Health Advisors who support people like my Mom and our family, providing a space to talk talk things out one-on-one. It’s a safe space, a weekly phone call with someone who will listen and help however they can - but perhaps more importantly, someone who you can talk with about anything.
Pack Health is dedicated to helping you with everything from budgeting and logistics to healthy eating, exercise, and emotional support. Anything you’re shielding your friends and family from, but kind of need to talk about, your Health Advisor is here to listen and help.
As you may have seen in previous articles, we’re offering this service free for members of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We have grant funding to cover 3 months of membership, and there’s no credit card information required. It’s just free support on your schedule.
If you think this would be of use to you, click here for more information and to become a member of Pack Health today.