The degree of social support you experience even affects the likelihood of cure if you do wind up sick. A University of California , San Francisco study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology investigated the social networks of nearly 3000 nurses with breast cancer. This study found that the women who had been socially isolated before their breast cancer diagnosis had a 66 percent higher risk of mortality from any cause and a twofold risk of breast cancer mortality. The nurses who went through cancer alone were found to be four times more likely to die from their disease than those with ten or more friends supporting their journey. In fact, the data suggests that friendships may be even more health-inducing than having a spouse. In the same study, having a spouse did not show a survival benefit--but having many friendships did.
From the book, Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself, by Lisa Rankin.
Regarding that last sentence, no, I have no desire to rid myself of my top notch, by my side spouse but found the study a no-brainer when it comes to friendships. I've been fortunate to be surrounded by the most supportive and loving women on the universe. When I was diagnosed last June, they encircled me like the wagon trains of old with their unconditional love--and it keeps on going. Everyone should be so lucky to have a set of besties (thanks, Chelsea, for that word) in their lives to pick them up and push them forward. That's what they do for me. Push me forward. Thanks, buddies. I owe you one...or two... or three...times over on whatever you need. You are saving my life.
Thanks for reading # 78 of 7777.