Posts Tagged ‘tenderness’

I just watched this amazing video by Brene Brown on Ted talks and I’m so fortunate to know how vulnerable I’ve been, and how this tenderness has connected me to so many wonderful people in my life. I recommend you watch it if you have some time to listen to it in the background. I did so while I was writing this post as I found it resonated with me so deeply.

I know that love and tenderness have been big topics for me this year, whether it’s been regarding a relationship I’m in which I am personally struggling with due to my past, or what I have felt is an imperative need in my life, or how much I allow myself to be open with others considering the hurt and pain I’ve encountered in dealing with cancer patients.

It’s interesting how much our past experiences denote our responses to current situations.

With regards to vulnerability, the breadth of relationships I have experienced with cancer patients and the wisdom gleaned have allowed me to really open up my heart, though it has been difficult to lose so many from this dreadful disease.

In fact, I must pay tribute to all those lost. This past week we have lost Caio, a 23 year old Osteo-Sarcoma cancer victim. I hate to say the word, but it’s really true. I know he lived with his cancer because of all the support he had, but I don’t think it’s right to live with a disease. I think it’s so unfair to cause so much pain to an angel, as he truly was one. He met everyone with such honour and appreciation of being, that it was impossible to not meet him with love. The memorial service that was held this past Friday was completely full. There was barely room for people to stand. His partner loved him dearly, and really showed this at the service. It was so touching. Several people shared their experiences, songs, poems and flowers, which allowed such a breadth of ceremony.

I’ve had a tough time dealing with his passing. Survivor guilt was never something I thought was possible, until I passed my one year cancer free mark. A survivor mentioned it to me as I’d never heard of it before. It’s a strange concept really; as happy as I am to be here, I’m so angry for those that lose their fight to this horrible disease.

There have honestly been too many to count during my journey post-cancer. I believe there is a post where I was detailing who and when people were leaving this dimension for another hopefully pain-free and peaceful one. I actually feel somewhat disgusted that I was chronicling people I’d met that I’d no longer be able to have relationships with.

I can’t be angry at myself for doing this though, it’s a human response to put things into context and that was my purpose at that time. It is no longer.

On a different topic of love, I’ve been fortunate enough to be asked back for a third time as a peer counsellor to Young Adult Cancer Canada’s Retreat Yourself West. At this retreat, I’m able to share my journey of cancer with others, and hope to reach out to those affected in order to help ease the stress and provide guidance.  Through meeting these people at retreat, as well as survivor conferences and through YACN, I have learned not only humility, but the ability to be vulnerable, which has allowed my heart to overflow with love and tenderness for all.


We had our first conference call the day after the fourth anniversary of my 30th birthday, and some of the words that were used to explain our involvement as peer supporters/facilitators were:  the ability to engage others emotionally by being open and authentic, therefore allowing others permission to do the same. This was summed up by each of the people on the call. I thought it was perfectly put.

Further to that, I think I have already mentioned that I am now writing for a website called the Cancer Knowledge Network through their Patient Connect portion. I have a new post coming up next week, so please be on the lookout!


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