An Extension of Me

Alyson A | Patient |

When I think of family the very first people that come to mind are my husband and my mother. They are for lack of a better example an extension of me. Although

we have differing personalities they love me, support me, cry with me and laugh with me. There is so much that wouldn’t be me without them and their little ways of having an impact on my life. But they are not the only ones that come to mind when I think about family.

As a matter of fact it seems my family gets bigger every day. There are levels to my family which are all just as meaningful to me in different ways. I have my blood relatives which like my husband and mother love and support me. But since having had cancer I also have my cancer family. I know that sounds a little odd but it is true.

My cancer family is formed of many people, many more than that of those who are actually related to me. First and foremost are those on my medical team; oncologist, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, etc They all help support, guide and care for me during the most vulnerable times of my life. They still to this day continue to do that. I also have other cancer fighters/survivors that I met along the way and have made life long bonds with. Most include huge connections with their caregivers as well, which ironically enough somehow became my caregivers in way too. Reading this you would think that my “cancer” family only consists of those who are directly related to cancer in the sense of going through it or treating it. However that is not the case. My cancer family extends far beyond that to include many others who have come into my life through different avenues related to cancer and post cancer experiences.

So I guess to sum all that up when I think of family it automatically turns into thinking about love. In my own way I love everyone that I consider to be a part of my ever growing family and I am most certain that they love me as well. Family is a great treasure!


  1. I have been fighting Cancer for over 5 years now. As of now I am Cancer free.My wonderful family,friends,Dr. etc have helped me through all this. Pray to GOD everyday,he listens. Stay well!!

    Patti Wyatt | | 2:40pm

  2. I reflect so much in what you have written about with family. I find everyday I add another person that goes into my family list. In the past 7 months people have come into my life or changed the roles they have had in my life! One thing my son said to me was its ok mom n when you can pay it forward! So once my surgery is done n I’m back up and running I will be paying it forward as best as i can!

    suzanne | | 4:47pm

  3. When I think of MGH, Traci Walton, oncology massage therapist, biochemist, teacher comes to mind. She taught me and many other professional massage therapists across the country and globe about safe practices of MT for cancer patients and caregivers. She inspired my work today and I think of her often, sending my gratitude to her and her work in teaching others and as a research investigator. So you see, in a small Midwestern town, I feel a deep connection to all of you through Traci and grateful to be a family member of MGH.

    Cindy | | 11:03pm

  4. Alyson,
    I also consider my oncology team an extension of my family too. I had many doctors and nurses take part in my treatment plans, Dr. David Harmon, Dr. Francis Hornachek, Dr. Thomas Delaney, Dr. Scott Plotkin and Dr. John Wain, and nurses Jill Nelson, Anne Fiorie and Agnus (not sure of her last name) It has been almost 10 years and this extended family saved my life.

    Jen P. | | 7:21am

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