‘My book group is my support group’
Her fellow readers have supported Christine Sanderson through breast cancer
When I decided to set up a book group a decade ago, I was in remission from breast cancer. It had been such a difficult few years – gruelling treatment and the break-up of my marriage.
I invited friends to join that I’d met in different ways – mums from the school gate, a fellow nurse, women I’d known for years – and we’d meet every six weeks. What began as a space to share our views on the latest Man Booker winner evolved into a meeting of minds and hearts that I wouldn’t be without. Once the matter of dissecting modern classics, such as The Kite Runner or We Need To Talk About Kevin, was over, we would shift a gear and talk about other things going on in our lives. I suppose it was part book group, part support group.
So when, in 2015, I was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time, I came to appreciate these women all the more. I knew I could share my feelings. At a time when life revolved around hospital appointments, I was also grateful to have a place where I had permission to talk about something else.
It was one of my book group friends who suggested we do the Moonwalk. Being at the same life stage, as we are, many of our lives have been touched by cancer. It will be a celebration of a decade of discussion and, for me, it will also mark the start of a brand-new chapter.
Christine’s book group has helped her through tough times