Joining a Support Group is a Sign of Strength
I always thought of needing support as a sign of weakness. After joining a group myself, I have learned support is not weakness but strength. It is a way of helping each other get past the challenges of living. By participating, it re-enforces the fact I am not alone. Someone always understands from an “I’ve been there” point of view, which is something, our loved ones not always able to understand. I truly love my fellow group members even though I know very little about them personally. They have shown me genuine kindness, acceptance and most importantly, unconditional love.
While CROSSROADS4HOPE certainly helps those living with cancer to cope, another particularly important program is the Bereavement Support Group for those dealing with loss of a loved one due to cancer. I lost my wife to cancer three years ago after 47 years of marriage. To say that I was devastated would be an understatement. I was referred by my healthcare team. I was welcomed by the kind and caring staff at CROSSROADS4HOPE. Most of the participants in the group had lost a spouse to cancer. Some were there a brief time; others had been there for longer period. Only those who have endured this kind of loss can relate to people in the same situation. We listened to each other’s stories. We helped each other to cope with problems associated with our loss. We cried, we laughed and helped each other to heal and get back to living. We made new friends, whom, under normal circumstances, we would never have met. With the help of the staff and friends I made in the bereavement group. I have been able to move on. I will never be fully healed, but I can enjoy the life I have left.
Although had been on your mailing list for some months, I came to the Family and Friends Support Group for the first time today. It was so worthwhile and uplifting. I look forward to returning to the on a regular basis and will share the programs and benefits with my immediate family.
These programs have been so important for my family. It has been so helpful to me to know that I am not alone on this journey and to be able to share with other parents how similar or different our journeys are as parents with cancer. They have helped my sons to know that they aren’t the only kids who have a parent with cancer and have helped them to express their feelings about my having cancer.
Looking back now, I was out “in the woods” seeking the help I knew I really needed but could not define. My family saw me struggling before I was even aware of how down I had become. Sadly, I struggled for far too long before finding help at CROSSROADS4HOPE. My treatments were physically and emotionally difficult. At the recommendation of my health care team, I started attending CROSSROADS4HOPE’s yoga class to help me relax. Along the way, I discovered the organization’s Advanced Breast Cancer Support Group. I started feeling better through my participation. I found I could cope better with my treatments and the emotional challenges I faced. Being with others who understand my thoughts and feelings, means that I will never again have to face my journey alone. Most importantly, seeing my transformation has brought relief to my family because they know that I have gained strength from the support at CROSSROADS4HOPE.
3 Crossroads Drive
Bedminster, NJ 07921