Sideways support groups

I’m not really a support group kind of gal. I have nothing against support groups. In fact there is an excellent support group called the Canadian Amyloidosis Support Network that is an amazing resource and advocacy group for people with my illness ( . It’s just that even though I’m one of them, I don’t always like to go and hang out with sick people.

But at the Art for Cancer Foundation workshop that I attended a few weeks ago, I caught a glimmer of how a support network might be helpful. The focus of the day was on our art work, but while working away, we began to speak about our own experiences. In the break while we looked over our initial paintings, we compared notes. “Oh you go to the chemo unit on Fridays! I’m there on Tuesdays. What do you think of the new design?”

It was an indirect  manner of connecting with people – kind of like when you do dishes with someone. Somehow not looking at each other and having something to occupy your hands lends itself to opening up.  The art, while lovely in and of itself,  became the excuse for being together and connecting across the differences in ages and health. It was like getting support sideways.

So maybe I could say I am a sideways support group kind of gal (just don’t call it a support group).



ps – Tomorrow night is the opening of the Art for Cancer Show at Toronto City Hall. For more information go to

One thought on “Sideways support groups

  1. Maggie says:

    Thanks for sharing that Sam. You piqued my interest and I’m going to check out one of their workshops soon. I’m also a ‘sideways’ support group kind of gal! (I now realize after you named it)

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