Cancer doesn’t discriminate but everyone needs someone to lean on
Over the weeks that i attended the lifehouse i experienced a lot of people and different personalities,i realised that everyone was suffering and dealing with there battle in a different way,i found it hard to relate because a lot of the people there were aged a lot older then me.
Cancer doesn’t discriminate with age, nationality, religion or gender but getting treatment it was hard for me to adjust because I was the youngest person there, and every time for the first few weeks I walked in and because I had my father in law or my mum people would automatically associate them for being the ones being treated, I suppose in away people would look at me and associate me with being fit young and healthy and that’s how it was until a few of the volunteers came over to see how my father in law was doing and asked if he needed any help and how he’s doing and all I remember saying to them ” it’s not me it’s him” but for being the caring and understanding people they made me feel welcome, and right at home.
Being there and being young was a little overwhelming but speaking and conversing with people who are a lot older then me didn’t matter i can relate to anyone i was always positive i always said hello and smiled at everyone I came across as they walked in to the waiting room, walking through the corridors to the consultantion room,sometimes i would just sit there and think how lucky i was in away,
I was a lucky one i had great support from friends and family, i had someone to take me everyday a personal driver and carer basically i was truly blessed.
As the days passed i realised that the people there who were worse of then me, they had to make there own way there by bus, by train or by taxi some you could tell they were doing it tough, the lifehouse is a fantastic organisation and place and the help they try to give is phenomanal they had a courtesy bus and always tried to help out people if they were stuck for travel but they could only do so much.
As the weeks went on i grew a friendship with a man named Elias, he was 75 years old and was doing the same amount of treatment as me he was doing radiation before he had to have surgery ,he was a great and happy go lucky man he was always there with a smile loved to talk to anyone regardless off age,of speaking language difficulties,i learnt a lot from Elias he loved to chat and would non stop talk and sometime would make the radiologists wait till he finished his yarn, he was healthy lived well retired he lived happily in peaceful Tasmania when he got diagnosed with a tumour in the bowel a few months ago at the age of 74 he spoke to me about what he did and how he had lived he had a few jobs as a taxi driver then adding that he ended up owning a taxi company in Western Australia, he was a greek migrant who had came to australia as a young man leaving his parents behind in native Greece,he reminded me a lot of my father in law and as the weeks went on i introduced them to each other.
They had both been through some adversity in there life and they immediately bonded to the point i was cut out of conversation, they related to each other being in the same type of era with the same background where they both came from small towns in the mediterannean, they had a lot in common with my father in law experiencing prostate cancer 6 years ago.
As the final week came Charlie and Elias even got to the point that Charlie would go down to tasmania to visit him on his property as Charlie had always talked to him about wanting to live in the apple isle.As i saw the similarities in there nature and there life i realised that no matter what they had both been going through they could find the courage with each others struggles,it was kind of liberating seeing them get along so well and actually finding a friendship and some positivity from a negative situation.
In saying that Elias had to leave Tasmanian and travel to the best place to be treated at lifehouse at RPA he was lucky he had family here and could stay with them but still everyday no matter how he was feeling he put on a brave face got up and traveled by train and bus to get treatment and there I was getting driven daily because I couldn’t travel by myself due to me having the basic use of one leg, I look upon my experience and think how would I have done it if I was’nt getting my family and friends support plus the support from my work with being paid on sick leave, this made me think and I couldn’t quite realise how fourtunate and blessed I was. Even though I was in a crappy situation at least I had things going my way, it scared me to think that in this day and age with life being so dependent on money how would I have been able to support my young family if I didn’t have the support from my work and my family, it was the hardest point to get over when i see all the people who were there less fourtunate then me.
Being 31 and attending a place everyday where a lot of people were nearly twice my age and above made me realise that I could do something to bridge the gap if someone was my age and going through what I was going through needed someone to relate too, even though the volunteers were some of the greatest human beings I’d ever met I’d was a bit strange for them to relate to someone my age because they were all in there 60’s or above.
I can only think that I can do something for somebody in my situation who is around my age and is being treated for cancer, I somehow feel I need to make a difference and somehow give back in someway and I thought the best way would be to donate my time to help people in my age group and in a horrible predicament to be one of the support volunteers.
I understand that sometimes people don’t really want to open up about there situation but I always thought it was better to let it out then leave it in.
Even if someone didn’t want to talk there was always someone there if need be.
having support was the greatest thing and if i can support someone from my situation i would make another difference from my misfortune.