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By Kayla Giacin
Tuesday, December 6, 2011

As a brain tumor survivor, I know that many survivors and families have had the fortunate experience (in a not so fortunate world) of being part of a support community; whether it be a family or survivor camp, a discussion group, or an event like the Kid’s Cruise or the Big Apple Circus some of us might know what I'm talking about when I refer to the "brain tumor bubble”.  This bubble is a place that seems to transcend all of the usual social barriers that most everyone encounters as well as the not so usual ones many survivors endure such as physical and mental disabilities.  In the bubble, many of us feel as if we’re not only being accepted in spite of our diagnosis but actually embraced BECAUSE of it. The genuine and compassionate support that is felt and received is something that can’t even be described in words.  It is recognized instantly when somebody steps into this world, a world where connections are made and emotions are shared even before words are spoken.  It sounds like something out of a movie, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately just like in the movies, this bubble does eventually end.  After a week of a survivor camp everyone has to pack up their bags and go home, and a discussion group will split up after an evening of enlightening conversation.  Of course the connections still remain, but coming back from this bubble where for a short time, everything seemed to fall into place in a world where many of us feel so out of sync, and a place where everyone immediately “gets it”, can be a difficult adjustment and leaves most of us wanting to go back.  The question seems to be, “How can I take this feeling and bring it back to the ‘real’ world?”  What is it about the brain tumor bubble that makes us feel so secure and how can we push forward with this attitude even if everyone around us doesn’t feel the same way?

How many of you have experienced this “brain tumor bubble” and how have you found ways to adapt it into your everyday life?

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