Thank you so much for encouraging Chance and I to attend the hospital’s Cancer Support Group. It was a wonderful opportunity and we have now been invited to participate monthly. It went very well and Chance did great with the people there. Here is the post from Chance’s Facebook page I wrote once we returned:
Cancer sucks…it steals people’s lives, takes their families, their careers, their hope. It can destroy, cause grief, pain and suffering…however from cancer can come strength, rebirth, support, love and life. Today we met with a group of cancer survivors at the hospital. Led by a wonderful therapist, we had an opportunity to interact with survivors, caregivers, spouses… people who have hope.
As each person walked in, Chance made a point to greet them each individually. He got lots and lots of pets today and definitely was a wonderful ambassador for his breed. The group is informal and people can share what they wanted, when they wanted. As each person talked we made our way around so they had a soft head to stroke as they shared whatever they felt like sharing. We came to a grieving gentleman who had recently lost his wife. As he began to stroke Chance, it was evident that we would be with him for a while. I sat on the floor next to Chance and opened my heart to hear what this kind man needed to say.
He shared a lot about the loneliness… the emptiness he feels each day when he returns home. He shared a lot about their life, their love, their happiness together. He shared what it felt like to be cared for. As he shared, he was able to look down at Chance, standing unwavering in his support of this man’s grief. As he stroked Chance, he began to talk more about the potential of getting a dog himself. A dog to greet him, a dog to love him, a dog to care for, a dog to bring hope to an otherwise seemingly hopeless situation. As he talked I felt myself tearing up. Crying happens here; it happens freely. The loneliness this man shared with me was real, it was honest and it is his truth every day. However, stroking my dog… gave him hope again. Hope for a future with a dog of his own. Hope for life to be better. Hope for one more day of strength. I wish him well on his journey.
Marla & Chance