Real People, Real Stories

CLL survivor

Jeff Folloder

Okay, I “cheated” for my first referral. I suggested that a gentleman that I was helping through his cancer journey actually sign up with CanCare so we could be official. He agreed and nothing changed. We just kept on sharing our experiences and fumbling our way through this cancer journey. Joe is going to be fine. As much as I am helping him deal with all the weirdness, he is helping me, too.

Well last week I got “the call” from CanCare about a possible referral. Of course I said that I was interested and then Pat gave me the contact information for my first “blind” referral. Yep, I was nervous. I called the referral’s home number and got the answering machine. And I waited. Then I sent a polite text message to the client’s cell and introduced myself. Still nothing. It never occurred to me that folks may want to do this slowly… And then I got a phone call on Saturday.

Oh wow! She was scared and alone. And we talked. And talked. I listened. And I played it back. I totally related to the client because the client was me. It was *easy* because it was real. It was life. We talked for about an hour and I could tell that we were both getting a bit tired… So I asked the client if it was all right if I called back, was this worthwhile? “Oh heavens yes!” was the response. And I felt relieved. Because this stuff works.

I went to lunch with my family. We got back home and I started reading from a book that I have been trying to get into. I fell asleep on the couch because I was just *spent* from the energy involved with “the call.” It wasn’t cancer tired, it was happy tired. I really rested for the first time in a very long time. Today I was chatting with a dear friend and told him what I was doing and that I was really surprised at how tired/happy I was with the call. He told me that I was “doing God’s work” and that is what happens when you do something worthwhile. I know that this is the right thing. We have all been given a gift. Whether you choose to call it God, Karma or whatever… the expectation is that you SHARE your gift. There is no lasting gift without sharing.

“People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest.” ~ Hermann Hesse

CanCare has been serving people with cancer since 1990.  All services are confidential and free of charge.  To talk to someone surviving your diagnosis, click here.