I want to take some time this week and next to acknowledge the positive impact of The Gathering Place in my life. Some of you may be wondering how I became connected to The Gathering Place and what my experiences have been as a participant turned professional. I am happy to share this piece of my story with you and hope that you are able to relate in a meaningful way.
A few months into treatment, I went to an appointment with my oncologist and told him that I was feeling depressed. I will admit that I was in a pretty dark, lonely place at the time. Most of my “support system” was nowhere to be found and I spent the majority of my days alone, in bed, thinking about how much I missed my pre-cancer life. Yes, I had my family and a few friends, but overall, I was missing an essential piece of coping with my cancer diagnosis…people whoreally understood me, people who knew exactly what it was like to be a young person with cancer. My doctor responded to my feelings by saying “go to The Gathering Place, just go, and tell me how you feel afterwards.”
A few days after the conversation with my doctor, I took him up on his advice and went to The Gathering Place. I remember walking in the doors and thinking that it was so beautiful and peaceful. Unfortunately, those thoughts did not last long because I was immediately hit with the reason that I was at The Gathering Place to begin with. I had cancer…yes…cancer. That was quite a reality check for me, but one that was also much needed.
I attended a Welcoming Orientation and learned that The Gathering Place offered a support group for young adults with cancer. I talked it over with my Mom and decided to attend the next group. The rest is history….
How did you hear about The Gathering Place? What was it like for you to take your first steps through their doors?