i received an actual hand-written letter recently from a friend who went through breast cancer several years ago. she included some advice for me to take--or not. Here are the two pieces of advice that really grabbed my attention:
1. you need to be entirely selfish during this period. you can go back to your usual ways in a few months.
I like that she thinks my usual way is not entirely selfish.
2. stay away from support groups. you do not need other people's problems now.
at first i was bemused by that. but then today, a woman called in to WAMU and said that her doctor set her up with a breast cancer support group. the group started with twenty-five members; by the end, all but eight had died.
i don't know how anyone could survive support like that.