Jun 06, 2011 - 10:46 am
not sure where 'senior' starts but figure from the ages of others here that I'm on solid ground, since I am 61.
I notice that so many here are surviving their journey alone or with little support, oftentimes perhaps because loved ones have passed on or relationships have gone by the wayside as we've grown older.
I was given my diagnosis of cancer of the peritoneum around November with a sombre prediction of my prognosis, but so far I'm not only surviving chemo very well, with no side-effects, but my cancer marker has come down drastically without a hitch. Too much to expect it to continue, but nevetheless, time is on my side to make preparations which are important to me.
One thing I hadn't read in all my reviewing of posts (at least for my type of cancer) is the experience of going it alone, or almost.
I have a kind and gentle family, but a family who found it hard to be with me from when I was young because I had mental disturbance that was hard to empathize with. When I was found to have cancer only last year, they quickly rallied to my support. Then, as it looked like I was settled in nicely with a routine of chemo that clearly I was handling very well, I do not see them again. Life continues as usual.
I'm used to being alone. I'm used to handling, first mental illness, and now cancer (on the whole) alone. Seems only natural for me, but my heart goes out to those for whom being alone isn't so natural - people who have shared most of their lives with partners often for decades, no longer with them, and seen children go in different directions. I've preferred to be alone on the whole, but if I had had children or, at our age, grandchildren coming into the world I'm sure it would have been a much harder time for me. Perhaps I might have been more suported by more immediate family, but as we have seen, that isn't always the way it works.
I wanted by writing this to hold out a hand to all those who are doing it alone for any reason. I personally draw strength from my spiritual beliefs and also from the strength which I gained from surviving mental illness for so long, with conviction and belief in myself. Both hold well now too.
I sincerely hope that that those who find themselves alone now in their journey, find strength in friends, in their beliefs, in the companionship of others who share, in such forums as these. The sharing here is lovely, like a family :)