I started this blog primarily to help others with what I’ve found useful. Going through cancer treatment can be overwhelming at times, so any resource that can make the journey less stressful is most valuable. Here are a couple of resources that really helped me.
- Sharing your story and concerns with others. I’m fortunate to have a friend who had lymphoma five years ago. He calls me every week, and sharing my fears and questions with him has gotten me through some very tough times. Family and friends are so important. Don’t isolate yourself. Also, Gilda’s Clubs and Cancer Support Communities (links to both found in my Blogroll) have support groups for those with cancer and for family members. There are also social workers and counselors on staff, and the services are free.
- Information provided by The Cancer Research Institute (CRI). CRI has a website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. A link to the website is in my Blogroll. The institute website has articles and other resources, all free of charge. CRI also had a conference in New York City several months ago that was streamed. Again, enrollment was free. There were oncologist panels with discussions about the latest breakthroughs in cancer research, advice on how to become part of a clinical trial, tips for finding financial help, and cancer survivors sharing their stories.
Dietary needs and habits often change when undergoing cancer treatments. Before I began chemo and radiation treatments, I didn’t drink very much water. That changed in a big way once I began chemo. I, like many other cancer patients, found that drinking water throughout the day combats nausea. Now I drink lots of water daily without even thinking about it. Something else I needed, especially when undergoing radiation, was red meat. Unless I ate some red meat, especially roast beef, I was constipated. Chicken and fish just didn’t relieve my discomfort. But even small portions of red meat helped my regularity.
When I think of when I first heard I had cancer and the journey that has brought me to where I am today, I remember that first time in my oncologist’s waiting room. I was dazed and alone. A woman in the next seat began talking to me. She shared that she was a breast cancer survivor of three years, and was seeing her oncologist for a yearly checkup. Then she said, “I look at all these people and want to tell them it will all get better.” Sometimes it has been hard to keep that in sight, but I’ve made it through. Don’t forget. It WILL get better, especially when you reach out to others for help.