Whilst I was ill, one of the keys to us being able to get through the horrible ordeal was being able to be open and honest with each other. Right at the start of my relapse having chatted to Andie and another close friend. I realised completely by accident really that I had my support network in our cancer stories group. That I was able to offload how I felt in a private place with people that understood me, with people that had come across the same situations as I was going to come across. I believe communication is THE number one key to any relationship after trust. Of course we all know that we can’t have anything without trust. Right from the word go in our relationship we agreed that we would talk to each other, that we would communicate with each other, building on our foundation of trust.
I think in pictures so let’s use an analergy that my untie Rose uses to describe me. A bottle, just a simple humble bottle, people use the term don’t they “bottling it up” I myself am a very simple person, uncomplicated, although some would disagree. But that’s only because they are carrying around stuff they have stored up in their own bottle. Let’s explore this a little, you remember the blog about the garbage truck. Well it’s a little bit like that in my eyes, only there are lots of bottles in a garbage truck that are full of unspoken things.
You with me so far?
You see if I have a problem with someone, or with something. I face it, speak to the person get it out in the open, I don’t drive around with it in my mind thinking about it over and over. I have learnt to speak openly, I am learning to listen more to others, something I am working hard on. But if it’s bothering me I have to get it out or it comes out like a shaken bottle of pop. I go back to a memory I have, a storey really, but I will make it short.
I was at the zoo, Chester zoo, with my uncle Ron and Auntie Rose my cousin and my now wife Andie. One animal I had longed to hear and see was a lion, not a lioness a full sized Lion. It’s something I yearned to hear and see. It was a sunny day, and Rose said to me, “Mark, the Lions are over there” WOW. At that moment nothing else mattered, I ran as fast as I could darting in between the people with my cousin inclose persuit. As I approached the Lion pen, there he was right in front of us. In all his proud glory, it was like he knew I was there, and put a show on for me. He roared at the top of his voice, again,and again! I loved it and will never forget that moment and day. Made all the better because I enjoyed it with my family. That when my auntie Rose made the comment. “He’s like a bottle of pop int he” that was a moment I exploded with joy fulfilling a dream of mine. One day I hope to see them in the wild and see them face to face, to go on a safari.
So going back to the point, our support net work in communication. Real friends will listen to you, they will help you deal with stuff, they will give to you without counting the cost. That’s what marriage is all about. Giving to each other without counting the cost, but communicating about all things that are affecting us making sure that the bottle never fizzes up blowing the top off the bottle. Because if we communicate often and have nothing to hide how can it ever be a problem, how will it ever become such a problem that it becomes an argument. It can’t because the bottle is never full, your continually allowing yourself to speak about what you need to. With the people that care about you either called family or the family we choose called friends.
Having an issue with something does not need to be a problem, as some say a problem shared is a problem halved. You have it in you to allow yourself to communicate with a person or keeping it to yourself. Keeping it to yourself means it’s your problem, where as sharing it means you are being conciderate to the other person not making it a future problem. Andie needed her own support network which ended up being a small but dedicated few friends, we spoke about having a network to help us through. If you are facing cancer right now, please make sure you have your own support network. It’s a huge help not only to the person suffering but to the person caring. The carer goes through as much as the sufferer just in different ways.
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Everything you read are based on my own experience and my own opinions. I express them here to encourage you. Please share with others, if it meant something to you it will to someone else. It took me an hour to write, but will take you a second to share.