“I had many offers of help but what I really wanted…”
When she was diagnosed, Rochelle Shoretz looked for support she did not find. The complaint is common.
Before she completed chemotherapy, Rochelle began working as an advocate for Jewish women diagnosed with breast cancer, and developed a support group.
Because of various factors, Rochelle’s world and mine are miles apart. But our lives share a similarity.
There aren’t very many of us who serve as Cancer support group directors. Those of us who do, usually have major heart- and mind-sets in common.
In her story, Rochelle shared that she had a lot of offers of practical help to assist her with her young sons’ needs, to drive them to school, to make meals, and things of that nature.
“But what I really wanted was to talk with another…” she said. She wanted someone who had been where she was for conversation, to listen and to share with her.
Rochelle and I come from a different socioeconomic backgrounds, are a generation apart, and our belief systems are different. She had young children at home, my concern is my adult children and their families. She had breast cancer, I had lung cancer. In her support and advocacy work, Rochelle targeted one type (breast) cancer, and my group is open to all types.
But this connects us:
We had a need of our own and saw it as an empty place to fill for others.
This desire to help others became a deep compassion.
We realize a connection with others who are in a similar situation helps everyone involved.
Those are the factors that moved us.
They tell me it helps.
It is simple. It is the humane thing to do.
If Rochelle were alive today, I would welcome the opportunity to visit with her and share some of our experiences. I think we would get along nicely. We have very little, yet much, in common.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Cor. 1:3-4 NIV