How does it feel to save a life? Recently one of my cats brought home a wren. Wrens are tiny birds, smaller than an apricot. This little wren was unharmed and started flying around inside the house as soon as the cat dropped it. After shooing the cats away, (a live bird in the house is too much for them) I captured the wren in a pint glass and released it back into the wild.
I know cats are hard-wired to catch other animals but I don’t let them kill things if I can prevent it. The wren lived to sing another melody and I felt happy that I’d saved its life.
I try not to post about cancer every day because 1. its something many people never come across (and long may that continue) and 2. people, including those who have/had cancer, typically don’t want to think about something that can kill them during every waking moment. However, over the last couple of weeks I’ve found some information that’s worth sharing and I anticipate it may apply to a variety of diseases and conditions.
Recently my research into breast cancer survivorship has caused me to explore the impact of social support, family and friendships. We’re often led to believe that surviving cancer (or other serious conditions) relies on a combination of early detection, fast and effective treatment and regular follow-ups. It’s true that these medical interventions are essential elements of survivorship, but they aren’t the only key components. Several studies have identified significant correlations between survivorship and social/support networks.
One piece of research indicated that women with poor social networks and little support from friends/family were 66% more likely to die than those with strong social networks. Another report highlighted the importance of regular contact with family and friends as well as the social connections gained from work outside the home. This research established that women who were poorly connected, had little/no family contact and few friends were more susceptible to cancer recurrence and death. Both of these studies seemed to indicated the wider a woman’s social and support network, the better her chances of long-term survival.
So it’s entirely possible that you have helped to save my life and for that I’m truly grateful 🙂