A new year message from brainstrust
Hello 2022! And goodbye 2021; it’s had its sulky moments. There are two things that we at brainstrust have taken from the last two pandemic-fuelled years:
- the only constant is change and we have to keep moving with the flow as time moves on and
- our sense of community is key.
The first is supported by the second – as we move into the new year it is important to remember that we have control and agency over our lives. And what helps us to do this is our wonderful community of people who are living with a brain tumour.
The brainstrust community is a special place to be – the magic of the ordinary happens here. It is an organic support system where you can take and give as much or as little as you want. We check on friends who are sad. Sometimes we are the sad friend. It’s tangible – we know the narratives of people’s lives and how they weave together, we help each other with the daily and more existential challenges of what it means to be living with a brain tumour, discussion is empathic, warm, embracing. And we feel safe enough to disagree and have fun too. We all ache for the same thing – to not feel lonely, to feel resourced and resilient, to know what really matters to us. We know that before we are patients, we are people. Sometimes in the brain tumour bitter wind we lose sight of this. And we are communities within a community – whether you are a patient, or caregiver, or both, whether you are living with a low grade, a high grade, a non-malignant brain tumour, a brain met, whether you are a caregiver with a child with a brain tumour, a healthcare professional, a fundraiser, a volunteer – there is a community within the brainstrust community for everyone who is living with a brain tumour. It feels like a neighbourhood – the way we just stop in the street and chat for half an hour, or invite people round for supper, or ask for help with a specific problem.
It’s a beautiful community – created by you. Instead of striving to achieve resolutions that are beyond our reach for 2022, maybe we simply put our energy in our community, which has been steadfastly strong since COVID flourished. Knowing that you belong to the brainstrust community means that 2022 is already off to a good start. We’re holding on; how strong we actually are.