Until my brother was diagnosed with bladder cancer late last year, I didn't know much about it. When you set out to learn about this disease, it doesn't take long for you to find the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network support community. It's an online place where folks can share their own experiences and information. I thought I would probably check it out, read a little, and then move on to other research. But that didn't happen. I stayed. These folks are great. I have learned a lot and been comforted by their kindness. It is much more than an emotional warm blanket or a group hug. The participants share detailed information about treatments, resources, their surgeries, pathology reports and how to interpret them, and much, much more.
There are support groups like this one for other diseases, conditions, transformational life experiences, and just about anything you can think of. Most of them are probably terrific, too. I can only speak of this one: the sense of respect for one another, honesty, and caring is the absolute best in "high tech/high touch."
Click on the badge and you'll find that I've started a journal over there. "Pinewoodswriter" is my totally unsurprising handle!
Steve's options for treatment have widened considerably now, and he has selected Dr. Charles Rosser at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Orlando. (I might note that Dr. Rosser has very kindly selected Steve, too.) He saw Dr. Rosser for the first time today, and will see him again on February 2 for another cystoscopy. Our brother and one of our sisters were with him today, and that's a big dose of warm fuzzies for me sitting at home on the other side of the state and our other sister out in Phoenix, Arizona.
When I started writing here about Steve's diagnosis, I started a category called "Steve's Cancer Trip." Awkward? Uh huh. I began hearing Joseph Campbell's voice as he described the mythological hero's journey and it occurred to me how many of the experiences Steve has already had and will go through in the weeks and months to come fit into the matrix of the classic hero's quest. And so, you'll see that that category has now changed to "Steve: hero's quest."