Yep, that's right.
I am your friendly neighborhood one stop cancer info shop.
okay, okay. I'll explain. It would seem that nowdays, whenever anyone I know has another brush with cancer, they immediately think of me.
I have gotten many a call, or email which inevitably begin with "My niece has been diagnosed with...." and usually somewhere in there will be a mention of "...and if you could tell me where I can get info about it..." or "...if you could talk with them about it..."
Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I am usually quite honored that people think of me when they're trying to make sense of a senseless situation. It's flattering to be in a position where people respect your knowledge, and want your help.
The only drawback is...well...I can't always help these people. I guess before I was diagnosed, I wouldn't have known that all cancer is really inherently different. Of course, it's all cancer. And it's all bad. But it's almost like...(and I know, this is a pretty trivial comparison) allergies. You can have allergies to food, or to a substance, or to an element, or animal. But all those allergies need different remedies or treatments. What works for someone who's allergic to peanuts won't necessarily work for someone who's allergic to cats.
When someone tells me they're best friends little brother was just diagnosed with Luekemia. Well...I honestly know little to nothing about luekemia. I can tell them where I went for information. But I doubt that www.colonclub.com or www.uoaa.org would really be of help for a 12 year old with luekemia.
I have more general resources that I can pass on. And there are certain emotional states that are relatable to ALL major illnesses. I can certainly talk to someone about fear and anxiety, and all that good stuff. Body image issues, fertility, side effects...to a degree I can help someone come to terms with most of those topics. But as for cancer specific info. unfortunately, you sorta have to do that on your own.
So in a way, I feel good being that source of information for people. I hate when I can't be of help to someone. I usually do my best. But it's a strange phenomenon when you go from being just a regular every day joe (er...jane) to being that one person to go to for cancer info. I've suddenly become an expert in a field I never ever wanted to be...survivorship.
I suppose I'll wear the title with pride. I mean...hell, lord knows I paid for it (literally and figuratively). I just hope I can do it justice and when someone else who is in the same place I was in a year ago today...I'll be able to help.