“Cancer CAREpoint is a gift I never expected to receive and didn’t know I needed.”
When I was diagnosed with throat cancer, I had no idea that my treatment would impact my ability to eat. My sister Anna was with me when we met with a social worker at the hospital who offered us a lifeline—she asked if we’d like to be directly referred to Cancer CAREpoint.
Within 48 hours, I got the call from a very understanding Client CARE Coordinator at Cancer CAREpoint. I had learned that my treatment would make swallowing difficult and my doctors referred me to a dietician but I wanted information right away. As I discussed my needs and fears with the coordinator, she offered a nutrition consultation with Cancer CAREpoint’s board certified holistic nutritionist, Nancy. We both felt welcomed, heard, and, for once, not overwhelmed. We didn’t need to worry about making sure we could pay for this service either, because it is all free.
The Client CARE Coordinator also told my sister about the caregiver support group and that’s when we knew that Cancer CAREpoint is more than just a service, it is a community of CARE.
“As a caregiver, I was lost at sea. At Cancer CAREpoint, I found a non-judgmental space of caring and support.”
When my sister was diagnosed with head/neck cancer, I knew her diagnosis and treatment would be tough on her, and I was committed to be her support. I had no idea how difficult it would be for me, but I kept powering through. When I talked to the Client CARE coordinator at Cancer CAREpoint after my sister was set-up for a nutrition consultation, the coordinator talked to me about my needs. She told me about the caregiver support group and connected me with a counselor. I felt like a load I didn’t know I was carrying was lifted after my first session with the counselor. The people in the Caregiver support group became my refuge. A few weeks later, I was in the oncology waiting room with my sister when I met Elodie. She was upset that she was losing her hair, so I mentioned Cancer CAREpoint’s wig bank.
“I was prepared to lose parts of my body to surgery. But I was not prepared to see myself when I looked in the mirror after my hair fell out. The people that helped me during my wig appointment helped me see myself again.”
I was in the waiting room for my oncology appointment when I heard about Cancer CAREpoint’s wig boutique. When I called Cancer CAREpoint, they listened to me, seemed to understand my feelings and let me know about other services beyond a wig. But it was during my wig appointment, that I felt the focus was completely on me as a person and not as a patient. The volunteer helping me took the time to learn about me and my story. And then we tried on wigs. We tried on different options, and then I looked in the mirror and saw ME.
I couldn’t help but relay that story to a friend at church the next weekend who had just finished his own treatment for colon cancer and was struggling with what comes next. I suggested he seek out Cancer CAREpoint.
“Cancer didn’t leave my life when my treatment eliminated it. Cancer CAREpoint gave me the tools to move forward.”
When I finished my last treatment for colon cancer and my doctor said I was done, I didn’t know what that meant. After weeks and months of appointments and treatments, suddenly I was on my own and didn’t know how to move forward. A friend at church mentioned Cancer CAREpoint and thought I might find something that would fit. When I called, the person I spoke to seemed to understand exactly what I was looking for. They got me into a survivorship program with other people just like me who were done with treatment and navigating this new life as a survivor. I learned what to expect in this new stage. I am using the tools provided by the counselor to move forward and to take control of what comes next.