Thursday, March 30, 2006

young adult @ gilda's

I just returned home from a meeting of the Young Adult Networking Group at Gilda's Club. You might recall that I had tried repeatedly in the past to attend its meetings but for one reason or another I was never able to make them. Well, finally I did! Though there were only two other attendees in addition to the moderator, the meeting went well. There was a young man named Chad, who is three years post-treatment for colorectal cancer. He revealed to us in the meeting tonight that there's a genetic "marker" suggestive of an increased risk for colorectal cancer, which he and many of his family members have unfortunately. Looking at him, however, one would never guess that he had had cancer or was at such a high risk for it. Lindsey was the other person there. She's in the midst of her treatment for leukemia at Sloan-Kettering. Also the moderator herself offered her own perspectives as a survivor of ovarian cancer.

I was interested in tonight's meeting as an opportunity to meet other young folks, who had/have cancer and to listen to their stories. Except for Laura, I hadn't met any other individuals around my age with cancer, so just being in their presence tonight and listening to them talk about their experiences was for me very meaningful. This explains why in part I was the least talkative at the meeting. I wasn't interested so much in talking about my experience and sharing my emotions (though I did), because I continue to do that in one-on-one sessions with my psychologists. More than anything I wanted to see with my own eyes that I wasn't alone and that there were others very much like myself who shared similar stories and thoughts.

The Young Adult Networking Group meets once a month. I hope to attend next month's meeting as well.


Comment Blogger Kaycee said...

Hey Duane! So glad to see you looking well! I have been contemplating the Gilda's group in Chicago, but keep chickening out... You think it's helpful? I've just finished treatment, but I guess I'm looking for some sort of local peer support. Well hey- keep up the good work. Take care.

9:15 PM  
Comment Blogger Duane said...

Hey there Kaycee!

Congrats on finishing your treatment. I know that must be such a relief in many ways. Water therapy sounds like a great idea. In fact, I was thinking about getting back into swimming just the other day as a great way to get my body in shape. Our bodies have endured a lot indeed and I'm trying to ensure that the hurt it endured wasn't in vain. But I must ask my doc first about the swimming. Because water is a such a great carrier of bacteria, he may want me to wait a few months before entering a pool (eventhough my counts are normal).

With regards to Gilda's, I don't know how the one is in Chicago but what do you have to lose from trying it out? If you don't like it, then you can try elsewhere but Gilda's is indeed a great resource hub. In addition to the Young Adult Group that I attended last night, I do yoga there twice a week. In fact, I attend the Univ. of Chicago and when I return to Chicago in Sept. I might decide to check out the Gilda's Club there. We'll see.

Stay well and thanks for checking up on me.

12:44 AM  

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