By Todd Outcalt, author of Husband’s Guide to Breast Cancer
Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer, or who has journeyed with a loved one through cancer, can attest to the surprising network of supporters. In fact, I’ve heard some people describe their support network in almost “contagious” terms—with friends and neighbors who become feverish in their willingness to help. Others describe this support as “mind-blowing” or “miraculous.” Some cancer patients even receive phone calls and emails and letters from perfect strangers.
Indeed, the cancer support network is more than skin deep. There are literally millions of people out there—from nurses to bloggers, from co-workers to organizers—who are on the ready to jump in with advice, encouragement and practical know-how. Those who have made a breast cancer journey themselves are especially willing to help other women in their neighborhoods or circles of influence.
All a person has to do is ask.
Is cancer support contagious? There is certainly a contagious spirit when it comes to helping a neighbor in need. Just witness the line of volunteers every time there is a natural disaster such as a tornado, flood or hurricane. People jump to. They show up. They bring food.
Cancer is no different. There is a wider network than some might believe. And when it comes to beating cancer—having a solid network of supporters is one of the most important ingredients in the healing. Loners don’t do nearly as well as those who are surrounded by love and encouragement. People have a way of helping and healing each other.
So . . . before you come to the conclusion that breast cancer isn’t contagious—think again. It just might be. Especially if a person is looking for science that is more than skin deep. Gratitude, encouragement, helpfulness—these things count for a great deal more than we might think. And, though they can’t be found in a bottle, they are closer than one might think. All for the asking.
Todd has helped hundreds of people through cancer and beyond, including his own wife, Becky, of thirty-years. His also the author of over twenty books.
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