IMG_20140821_180001Lately, posting pictures is just a way of meeting a goal. It is perfect to create a habit but it isn’t necessarily a reflection of what I really want to show. Writing requires time, concentration and a sincere desire to open your heart and being truly able to share it.

Yesterday, as I was spending the day at the beach with dad and the group of patients that receive treatment for their cancer, I felt out of place. As soon as I arrived I was brought to my senses.  We were in the area of handicapped people and although dad is still strong and getting better, some people were not.

I noticed they were happy, enjoying the day, the sun, and being there, beyond the treatment room, although I have to say they make a way to have a good time there too.

We were blessed with a beautiful sunny day with an awesome view to the coast, receiving music therapy, eating healthy, bathing in the sea and singing old songs.  I shared part of the day  looking out for people who are less stable than dad and talking with their caregivers.  I was surrounded by love.
I noticed dad was having a good time and all of the other patients were too. They have become more than a group of friends, a family.



But today, I am feeling not that in the bright side and it is quite difficult to explain why.


As I reflected on my experience yesterday, I realized there is a huge difference in being a patient and being a caregiver, and even a bigger one if you are part of the immediate family of the person with cancer and not the caregiver.

No matter how hard I try to understand or to be emphatic or to be there is just not the same, I don’t get even close. I know for my dad, the fact that I took the day off at work, and decided to go with him,  and mom,  to the activity was enough. I truly understand its impact, although I feel I am way behind on the support side. Working more than 40 hours a week, splitting time with friends and personal life, somehow I feel I am off track.

Cancer has an impact in many aspects. No matter if you help with money or you call to see if everything is going well, nothing compares to the fact that these people are experiencing a different type of life, a different type of battle, independently of how much they are motivated to think that nothing is wrong with their bodies and most of their illness can be cured. I believe that, but I have reached a point where I understand that sharing my support sometimes is about not using words because I am not the one who feels a needle two days a week,  the tiredness in the body or the pain of having metastasis.

I know for sure, yesterday was a different day for them. They had fun and for a brief moment, although obviously obvious they have  something in common, they focused on being themselves. They were present.
I made a huge effort not to look at my phone and to stay there without any other distraction. I was somewhat successful.  I noticed no one looked at theirs and as I write this post I believe that was the biggest learning. No one talked about it;  I don’t even think they made an effort to disconnect from technology.  It was not necessary. That moment was a gem.  They were just there. Unfortunately sometimes we pretend to be somewhere, without even being present, loosing the opportunity they so much appreciate.