Superglue

November 3, 2015

There is an instant bond that forms when cancer survivors are together, much like superglue.

Have you ever used superglue and accidentally got a little on your finger and before you know it there is an instant bond between two fingers? How is it that it can bond so fast?

I have always enjoyed people-watching. The interaction between two human beings is always interesting. You never know if it will be a friendly hello, a smile back, or an exchange of a dazed and confused look.

As a survivorship nurse, I have the privilege of working with cancer survivors on a daily basis. Some may be coming to meet with our Oncology Exercise Specialist, headed to do yoga, coming to visit our Certified Oncology Massage Therapist, or even art group. Recently, I have been watching survivors interact with each other. My observation with cancer survivors reminds me of superglue. There is this instant bond between two unique people that share one common thing — cancer.

Conversation between survivors tends to start out with a polite, “Hi my name is,” and then turns into “I was diagnosed with,” followed by “What did you have?” I have noticed that it doesn’t matter what type of cancer a person may have, how old, or how young — there is this instant and unique bond.

Cancer survivors have a different prospective on life. Although no one wants to join that club, everyone wants to live like them. Survivors tend to open up very quickly and are not afraid of strangers. They certainly don’t take anything for granted, and they instantly have a connection with the same people in their “club.” This bond is like nothing else I have seen before.

Just the other day before one of our strength and balance classes, two ladies came into the center — total strangers with opposite backgrounds – and built a friendship within that class that would have never happened elsewhere, all because of that one common ground. I thought about them the rest of that day. These two ladies taught me more in that short time than they will ever know. I think we can all learn from them. Take the time to enjoy every moment in life, even if you don’t suffer from cancer. Don’t be shy, enjoy others' company, and enjoy all the new friendships you can gain just by saying, "hello."