Friday, January 19, 2007

Combating Cancer Loneliness - Meeting Tia!

As you can see from this photo, Tia and I met today at Dana Farber Cancer Institute - in the cafeteria, actually! I wrote about Tia when I wrote about the loneliness of having a rare cancer. And, for the record, Tia's daughter Liana, who was also present at our meeting, says it's not "rare" cancer, it's "exotic" cancer! Patty was there, too, and the four of us talked about scans and kids and cancer. Tia got her results this morning, and the news was good; her latest met hasn't changed in size. My appointment, a second opinion with an oncologist at Dana Farber, was in the afternoon, and I'll write more about it later.

Like ambassadors from Cancer World: those diagnosed with gallladder cancer, we brought small gifts to each other. Tia had a wonderful photo of her son's wedding last weekend in a beautiful outdoor site in Hawaii. We gave her two notecards, each made of art work by our kids. We talked about doctors and scans and living with gallbladder cancer.

So, now I can say that I have actually met someone else with gallbladder cancer! We have in common slow-growing cancer (Tia is 17 months post diagnosis), a fierce will to live, and a hope and faith in the future. Tia is a comrade soul, and I feel less lonely knowing her.

Somehow I feel that this post should be longer, but the beauty of our meeting for me was that it felt like old friends getting back together after a long time, even though we had never met before. The conversation flowed freely, and was mostly about ordinary life, connections in place and time, and a developing friendship. I guess that's all I need to say!


Beverly Lacey said...

Dear Lynne,
Seeing you with Tia brought tears to my eyes. I'm so glad that the meeting relieved a little of the loneliness. You do look like comfortable long-time friends. I couldn't help but notice that you have your old glasses on. Hope this doesn't mean the new ones are giving you problems.

Anonymous said...

Tia is my sister. Meeting you meant the world to her as well. As you know, she is starting Round 2 of "kicking butt" this week. I had a less exotic cancer in '96 (Breast Cancer). My little dabble in trauma pales in comparison to the both of yours. Your blog has been an inspiration to Tia and her family. Information and communication are great swords. Thanks, or "Mahalo" as we'd say in Hawaii.