Pattie and I moved to Florida four years ago. Honestly, we haven’t made a lot of friends here. We say hello to the neighbors, and I know each of the women that work at our new vet by name.
Of course, Pattie knows her co-workers and some of their families at the Davita Dialysis in New Port Richey. But most of the people I know are what I call “myeloma friends.” Survivors and caregivers I have met here in Florida and traveling around the country.
I belong to a pair of support groups that meet not far from my home in Weeki Wachee. The Nature Coast Multiple Myeloma Support Group–that my friends Richard and Dianne helped me get started–and a group sponsored by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society out of Tampa.
I have met some wonderful people from both groups. Survivors, caregivers, sons and daughters.
We meet, we chat. We learn together. We celebrate when a new therapy works. And we mourn together when one of our own runs out of options.
I first met Bob Davis a few years back. I only saw Bob and his wife, Sharon, before, during and after our LLS meetings . Yet it felt like we were lifelong friends.
Bob and Sharon were always smiling. One would have thought we were part of a church group or book club, not a cancer support group.
As a matter of fact, I’m not even sure what type of blood cancer Bob was battling. Lymphoma I think. Because he never talked much about all of that. It was more about how the rest of the group was doing. That’s how Bob was wired. Always thinking of others and not himself.
Whenever given a chance, Bob liked to talk about his family. A brother, two sisters, four kids, sixteen grandchildren and even a great grandchild. I only wish I could have been a part of one of their holiday gatherings. Get out the folding chairs, I’m sitting at the kids table!
I was in Atlanta at ASH last Sunday, so I missed Bob’s memorial service. I so wanted to be there. I wanted Sharon to know how much his friendship meant to me, Richard, and others from the group. I wanted her to know that Bob will be missed, and that she will always be welcome whenever we meet.
I guess now she does.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat