Volunteers making an impact.
My family was devastated by the loss of my father at the young age of 61 to Stage 4 Lung Cancer. Fifteen years later, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with Stage 1 Estrogen Positive Breast Cancer at age 72 and I was so frightened of losing her too. Fortunately, she had a good prognosis after a mastectomy and taking an estrogen inhibitor. Then, only six months after my mother-in-law’s ordeal, I, myself was diagnosed with stage 2 Her2 Positive Breast Cancer at the age of 46. My children were 16, 13 and 10 years old at the time. With the help of my family and friends, I underwent chemotherapy, double mastectomies and a year long drug trial to safeguard my life. We were all so focused on my beating cancer, however, that no one noticed the signs of depression creeping in on me until it was almost too late. I now believe mental health should be an integral part of medical treatment for cancer. Cancer treatment can take a toll on many fronts- the physical, the spiritual, the mental and the emotional. Thanks to medication and therapy with a trained counselor, I was able to recover, but I decided that if there were something I could do to help others going through cancer in my community, I was going to do it. I realized how I had sought out other women (before, during and after my treatment) with whom I could talk about the challenges of my particular type of breast cancer and yet how difficult it had been to find those women. I knew there had to be a way to make it easier for those facing cancer to find people to connect with in their community who had had the same type of cancer. When I discovered CanCare online I knew this was what I wanted to bring to the LowCountry.