We have a carport and it’s a great place for visits most of the year. A dear friend from High School ordered a heater for us and had it delivered shortly after a chilly visit last Fall, and that has extended the carport visiting season. So grateful!
It’s very special to be able to meet with people in person, and this summer quite a few friends are coming to town and making time for carport visits. Yesterday a childhood friend (we used to play piano duets together) came from the Seattle area and her Mom (who still lives in the same home with the same phone number (which I and so many others still remember)) came to visit. Such a treat! It’s so good to see people in person, even from 6 feet apart outside. In my opinion, it’s better in person than at a distance. Better in reality than virtually, in my opinion.
Don’t get me wrong, virtually is good, and in some circumstances it can open doors and provide opportunities that would not otherwise be possible. This is one of the silver linings of COVID and don’t get me wrong, I am grateful. It’s so good to meet “face to face” virtually when it’s too challenging (for a potential variety of reasons) to really meet face to face. There are good reasons for both. There is a season for everything. So grateful for a variety of options.
This is one of the reasons I’m such a fan of and advocate for CRAFT, 3CTN’s framework to make clinical trials more accessible for Canadians living in remote and rural parts of our geographically huge country. So important!
Here’s a short video about CRAFT with some great quotes from a few people which was made over a year ago. CRAFT has now been rolled out and is serving people at several locations.
Zoom and other similar platforms have enabled many of us to speak at international conferences and other events the past couple of years. I’ve spoken at so many virtually, and we recognize the upside of not having to travel and spend time away. This has been a good gift which has also been a real difference maker for many of us.
Speaking personally, these visual platforms have also transformed much of my patient research advocacy in other ways. I used to have so many phone call meetings prior to COVID, and some of them with quite a large number of people. Initially I hadn’t met all the researchers in person and I did not always recognize all the voices. Sometimes some of the people did not introduce themselves when they started speaking and it could be challenging to figure out which person (from which place) was speaking. It’s so much easier with platforms that can show faces and even list their names. So much easier to get to know people and be better able to contextualize their comments. So much better for community building than a mere large group phone call. So grateful for this!
In recent months, many members of the lung cancer community and other friends have sent gift certificates for our family to order food in. It means so much to receive this support that comes with love and appreciation. One ordered pizza for us, several have brought food, and many friends including our church community has brought much food and sent food in various ways as well. It’s such a treat and very much appreciated. Twice people have sent fruit bouquets which are so delicious, and so many other yummy things have arrived at our door – too many to name, and received with tremendous appreciation whether sweet or savoury. Thank you!
I’m very grateful for local friends who have done things this week – again, too many to name – like offer to pick up a walker for me, or regularly walk our dog. The reality is that there are times when we need real physical, local support. So many people here in Ottawa have offered and/or given support when needed, for example, rides to appointments, picking up groceries etc. Where would we be without our local people?
As much as we appreciate the virtual reality, we recognize there are some things that obviously cannot be done from a distance. Even for those who are part of strong virtual support groups, it seems obvious that it’s important to make sure we are also cultivating relationships with people in our own geographic community. We never know when we might need local support.
Please let me say again that we are incredibly grateful for the reality of this local support as well as the support from a distance.
August 1 is World Lung Cancer Day. What is your cancer center doing to celebrate?