Make new friends, keep the old

by on February 19, 2010
in Books

Part of the learning experience at the clinic is meeting new people and saying goodbye to friends whose stay has ended.  A two week stay is required but 3 weeks is recommended.  During that time you share 3 meals a day in the dining room with the other patients and their companions.

During my stay, all ages have been represented from the 20’s through the 70’s.  The companions are sons, mothers, spouses, friends, daughters.  Not all patients have cancer.  One man, George, was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.  A young woman in her 30’s, Jodi, had digestive issues and could only eat 3 foods when she arrived.  Sasha just arrived this week from Beijing and is hoping to nail down what is going on with her body…possibly thyroid issues.

I have laughed and cried and learned so much at these vibrant meal time conversations.  You can’t be squeamish talking about enemas or any other issue.  So far no one has left the table early to my knowledge.  We talk about the challenges we face and tips and hints about how to make things go smoother when we get home.

Our group has been quite lively and bonding has been an unexpected result.  We plan to stay in touch with a network group so we can continue to cheer each other on.

I especially miss one companion, Rudi,  reading his poetry after dinner every night.  His poems had a lot to do with our journey in life.  Some made me cry and some made me laugh.  There are so many unexpected gifts that are shared during our time together.

Another companion, Dana, from Connecticut, is an art therapist and led us in an exercise that was unique and insightful.  Our time here is rich and rewarding if you are open and inquisitive.

I realize that everyone has something they can teach us if we are willing to learn.  My new friends are amazing and I have learned so much from each one of them and I know I will continue to learn from them as we work to restore our health.


2 Responses to “Make new friends, keep the old”
  1. Lisa Hufstetler says:

    Cathy & your New friends;

    I am amazed at the dedication and positve spirits you all have. I know I take for granted so much. Cathy, reading your journey makes me realize how valuable our health and our bodies are.
    All I can say is you are an example to me and I truly admire you!

    Thank you for allowing me to share in your journey.


  2. kimberlie says:

    Good luck to you Cathy. Good choice. Chemo just about killed my mom this past summer. She has anal cancer. I trie to get her to go down to Gerson’s but she is just to conventional. I listed her on your email guest list. Her name is Anne Teel.

    Keep strong and we will keep you in our prayers.

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