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New Friends

New Friends

On your journey, you will meet amazing people, just like you, who unfortunately also have the same bladder cancer was you. These people are amazing. Let them in on your journey, share your fears and worries with them, laugh with them, cry with them. Embrace these new friends. If there is ever going to be someone who totally understands your journey, it will be them.

You will have a lot in common

You will find that even though your journeys are different (after all, we are all very different individuals who experience things in our own reality), you will have a lot in common. From learning about the disease to being able to lean on someone who has experienced something similar.

The support you get is second to none

I used to be one of those people who thought I could do it alone. That I didn’t need “other people” to help me on this journey. I didn’t need support from others, nor did I need friendship. How wrong was I? The support and help you get from these wonderful friends is second to none. You bond over scan results, rubbish days and good days. It has helped me not only get support but to support those who need it, too.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you HAVE to bond with people going through the same thing as you. It does, however, enrich your life. It makes you realize that all of our stories are unique and amazing. The things we have gone through, the treatments that we have faced, and the repercussions of these treatments.

Hearing firsthand experiences

Who else is better qualified to speak about having your bladder removed than someone who has already gone through this treatment. Who else can tell you firsthand about BCG or chemo? Who else can really understand your fears? Your worries? Who else knows the shadow of a recurrence better than someone who is also going through the same?

Stories of hope and resilience

Life is always better with friends. You will build up alliances from all over the world, how magical is that? From something that is such an awful and traumatic time in your life, you will find that it is always better to share how you are feeling and others can sympathize, even empathize with you. They can share their stories of hope and love, their resilience in adversity. You will get strength from being part of their world, as they will from you.

We need to feel part of something

We as human beings, need love and kinship, we need to feel part of something, whether that’s a group of musicians or a group of people who share the same illness. It is what we do! We build each other up, we celebrate the small things with each other. We are there when others find things too hard to deal with. We encourage others when we feel they need it. We console each other when the chips are down. When other people sparkle, we can sparkle with them, making us realize that this is what life is all about.

Putting things in perspective

You will look forward to chatting to these new wonderful friends, sharing life stories, and if you are really lucky, maybe you can actually “meet” them in real life. I have had the pleasure of meeting a few people with whom I ‘speak’ to on the internet. Wow, what wonderful kind friends they are. I have listened to their stories in awe. It makes me feel humble about what I have been through. It puts life into perspective, and if you are having a rough time and are feeling a bit sorry for ourselves (because we are allowed to feel like this), it is these new friends who bring sunshine back into your world.

It may also open up a whole new group of people to speak to. I found a friend in Rachel because we both have urostomies. Her story isn’t of one bladder cancer; however, we have made a friendship on a having something in common. You get to be friends with truly wonderful, inspiring people. Friends who you never would have crossed paths with before bladder cancer.

Friends who encourage you

Friends who champion and advocate for bladder cancer, friends who have now found a purpose in their lives. Friends who go on wonderful adventures to raise money for a cure for this evil disease. Friends who encourage you to be the best version of you that you can be.

To every single new friend I have met on this incredible journey, I am so very glad that I have met you. You have each taught me how to stay “living” on this rubbish journey. You have taught me compassion for others; you have shown me that it’s ok to be scared and anxious. That it’s ok to be on this journey to laugh and not take life too seriously.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being on this rollercoaster ride with me.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.