After my cancer diagnosis in 2014, I mostly maintained radio silence. Close friends and family knew about my condition, but I didn’t utter a word on social media. I did attend prostate support group meetings where I received valuable practical advice.
But I what really needed was for someone to throw me an emotional lifeline. I got that at Gilda’s Club Kentuckiana, Louisville, Ky., when I joined in 2018. I have found a home at the club, and close friends in a support group to discuss joys and fears. It’s comforting.
I blossomed into a full-fledged survivor at Gilda’s, joining a writing group and served as a judge for a teen cancer writing and video competition. My wife and I also attend Gilda’s Thanksgiving and Christmas Day dinners and special programs such as nutrition for survivors.
Gilda’s Club is my second family, especially its wonderful and warm staff and my fellow survivors in the “Beyond Cancer” support group. I wish I had gone there sooner. Gilda’s also has helped me to face up to my denial of cancer and the anger that goes with hearing that awful word.
The cancer journey puts you on an emotional roller coaster. It’s a dizzying ride. Something needs to bring you back down to Earth.
Gilda’s, take a bow!
© Ron Cooper 2020