While I greatly appreciate the efforts of doctors, researchers, nurses, clinicians, and other medical professionals, my feelings have always been that you can't talk the talk, if you haven't walked the walk. You will not 'get it'. Sorry.
A support group facilitator who has not had the ailment being supported, will never, no matter the training, years of leading the group, and any other efforts, will never 'get it'. I'm sorry.
One of the reasons I like my therapist so much is that not only has she had breast cancer, she also has a type of arthritis. She understands. My medical oncologist comes close to understanding as she has treated so many women with breast cancer and is a very caring woman, but she doesn't get it. My radiation oncologist, despite her many years of experience, does not 'get it'.
I have never had children so while I can relate to the problems parents have with their children, I don't really get it completely. I never will. I can live with that.
Dr Susan Love is an example. She is someone who is very well regarded in being an authority in the area of breast cancer, but she never had it. She she never completely 'got it'. In a quote in a recent article she affirmed this:
"While Dr. Love has always been a strong advocate for women undergoing
cancer treatment, she says her disease and treatment has strengthened
her understanding of what women with breast cancer and other types of
cancer go through during treatments.
“There are little things like
having numb toes or having less stamina to building muscles back up
after a month of bed rest,” she said. “There is significant collateral
damage from the treatment that is underestimated by the medical
profession. There’s a sense of ‘You’re lucky to be alive, so why are you
Dr. Love says her experience has emboldened her
in her quest to focus on the causes of disease rather than new drugs to
So don't let anyone talk the talk to you, if they haven't walked the walk. You should take their advice with a large grain of salt.