Cancer was never something I could have done on my own. The support I, along with millions of others, receive has changed my perception of my time with the disease, and how I see myself today. From day one that framework of family and friends changed everything.
My life with cancer is still a life, not a mere number or statistic. I am a person, not a fact. Even though things changed, I am still the same Jack, and that’s how I want things to continue. I wasn’t a victim or even a patient in my own eyes when I had cancer, so the last thing I wanted was to be treated like one. And, as I look back on the early days post diagnosis, it wasn’t in waiting rooms or beanbags that I found comfort, but in the people around me.
Support is one of those strange things that you don’t think you need – until you need it. On the day I was diagnosed and every day since then my worries have always been met by reassurance. Who would have thought that three-years after my diagnosis I could still pick up the phone for a chat with the nurse that was there on day one? Sheena Dryden, a Macmillan nurse, was there then and is here now.
Support comes in all forms. Perhaps, it’s an outlet; someone to talk to when you’re upset or just need a chat. It might be humour at a time when you least expect it. Like when my mates still joked with me even after the cancer, making it feel like I might just be the same person. Or, it might even be tears. Happy or sad, sometimes it was just nice to be able to cry. And, I did along with my mum and dad, and maybe even my sister.
But, above all else, support comes from people, and I wouldn’t be who I am today without them.