Meditation Monday – Tips for Creating Our Own Survivors’ Community

We can live without religion and meditation, but we cannot survive without human affection. Dalai Lama 

I love this quote, which Holistic Health Talk for Women radio host Irina Wardas used to open her show last Thursday. As her guest, I was there to talk about our need as cancer survivors for a sense of community with other survivors. Our talk was lively and informational and I was so glad to share my cancer experience with her listeners.

During our talk, Irina asked me a lot of great questions. When she asked me for “one tip” to share with others dealing with cancer, I emphasized the importance of support. In my experience, although my family and friends did their best to be supportive, I also needed the support of others who knew first hand what I was going through. Surprisingly, that didn’t only include other survivors, but also oncology professionals who guided me through the minefield of emotions created by cancer.

A large part of our conversation centered on my Gifts and Losses and the Community Gifts and Losses lists on this site. I detailed how I came to write my list and what others can do to write their own. It’s a very intense emotional process bringing balance back into our lives after cancer. I love what one of my twitter friends, @PinkKitchen, said about the Gifts and Losses List: “@DebbieWWGN I love this idea of a ‘Gifts’ & ‘Losses’ list for #breastcancer. Gives us permission to feel.” Thank you so much, Lisa, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

If you want to hear my interview, you can go to Irina’s website and download our conversation. (You’ll also find it on this page, under the email subscription box.) While you’re at Irina’s site, take a look at two other compelling interviews she did this month with Lisa Grey of PinkKitchen and Brenda Jones of Hug Wraps.

As I discussed with Irina, our need for community was the driving force behind my creation of What do you do to create community for yourself? How has that community impacted upon your cancer journey?

Survival > Existence,


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Barbara Bair's picture

Survivors’ community

The day I was “blinged” at Overlook Hospital was very special, and I now particate in “Operation Bling,” which was founded by Chris and Bill Ferdinand of Ferdinand Jewelry in New Providence, NJ. Their “Bling angels” distribute beautiful sparkling jewelry to cancer patients in 13 hospitals now. Whenever I need a gift, whether for a cancer patient or a friend, I go to their jewelry store where they have a huge selection of rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets. Shopping there is always a very pleasurable experience. The money they take in goes toward their purchasing more bling presents for cancer patients.This is one way I participate in the survivors’ community.

Debbie's picture

That’s So Great, Barbara!


I think it’s so great that you are giving back and creating community for yourself through Operation Bling! It’s a special joy to give back by working with organizations that were there for us when we were healing.

I’m so glad you’ve found this very special way to participate in the survivors’ community.

Survival > Existence,


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