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I can honestly say that I'm both overwhelmed and humbled by the numerous comments in the first couple weeks of the blog. I will admit that I wasn't sure what to expect, or whether viewers would find it helpful. But each of your testimonials is a powerful reflection of the fact that this forum was long overdue.
Some of you have asked "how to put one's life back together" after a cancer diagnosis. Because each of you has a unique experience, it can be hard to know exactly what to suggest. But a few of the tips that I've heard shared among the cancer community are captured below:
Search out support. Hopefully you can connect with a support group in your community to meet others with similar experiences. A variety of national support resources also exist, including:
In addition, you can locate many online disease-specific support groups by searching under your cancer type and support group.
What about you? What have you found helpful while defining a new sense of "normal" after a cancer experience? How can you use your personal cancer experience to help empower you in your life ahead? I'm curious to know what works, and I'm assuming that others could draw from your experience as well.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.
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I found this post and the comments very strengthening and comforting...a book that really has helped me is Cancer Freedom by Beatrice Hoek as told to Melanie Jongsma...it had verses from Scripture that helped me and a letter from a pastor I read over many times...it was positive without being unreal and a short booklet i could get thru in a day. I found praying the Psalms so beautiful -God actually gave us words to pray in our suffering and struggles -He doesn't expect us to quote platitudes we don't feel, but guides us to cast our sorrows on Him knowing He cares for us and is there. I found walks in nature after every radiation treatment a help to get over the trauma and feel beauty enter my soul; I looked for His goodness and mercy each day as He promises in Psalm 23. I am reading blogs like this because I find the compassion and humor or fellow cancer-mates inspiritng and they remind me that I am braver than I feel at times, and still can find more courage as I read of others. They help me weep with those who weep too and that is good. None of us wants to really live one day at a time, but that is all anyone around us has either so we can do it! Thanks for all your comments. They were so helpful to me this morning.
I too, have been rebuilding my life after my breast cancer treatments. I'm three months out of treatment. Cancer has changed every aspect of my life. Embracing these changes proves to be difficult, at best. I find it ironic that during treatment I was on auto-pilot, muddling thru most days, putting one foot in front of the other. Striving just to live. Now on the other side of treatment, I am seaching for the way to live this new life.
Each day proves to bring me a bit closer to that new normal. A huge portion of the new normal, for me, has been letting go of the "what the hell happened to me" feelings, accepting my new body, and allowing the bad feeling to fall to the wayside. I am alive and I plan to live...even if it is a different life than I live prior to cancer.
I hope we all can find a sense of peace in ourselves. Sending love to you all <3
i agree with the statement that terms like "new normal" and "starting over" are basically meaningless to some of us. try having a bilateral mastectomy while also battling chronic major depression and let me know how to define what is a new level of normal for me. you. i have been through hell and have little support that actually helps me deal with the fatigue, loss of interest in things i once loved and the feelings of frustration. my chest hurts and yet is numb, i have lont term effects from chemo inluding neuropathy and an oncologist who treats me like a car on an assembly line. we must all find a reason to continue in our own way, in our own time. allow yourself to grieve, and dispense with the platitudes. our souls are in the balance.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Dec. 2009, and was treated by a modified radical mastectomy, chemo, and radiation. The only thing that helped me get through it was going to work. I felt that if I could get in even for a little while during chemo and radiation, I would be OK, I was still a useful and active person. I finished treatment nearly a year ago. But now, I think I'm suffering from PTSD, because I never really dealt with the diagnosis. I can't sleep, I worry all the time, and I'm weepy (which is not me at all). My counsellor says I have to find my "new normal" but ti's much harder than I ever imagined. I would really like to hear insights from others who feel this way, as I just don't know what to do.
I am on this site not because I have cancer but becaues I have friends and family that do. I try to learn what I can about the different kinds of cancer that some one I know has so that I can understand what their experience may be. Although I can empathise with them and try to understand the fears that exist with the reality that some of these cancers are terminal, I want to know what I can do to be supportative without seeming sympathetic, to aid in ensuring an optimistic mindset and happy daily living.
I am new at this and interested in all the commets. just diagnosised with lymphoma. not an easy 2 weeks so far.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer 12 years ago at age 39, had lumpectomy, with adjuvant radiation and chemo. I was cancer-free for 10 years, thinking I had it licked, then 2 years ago found spots on my spine and sternum. Now it is chronic disease, meaning there is no cure. I have had some radiation and have been on various forms of chemo this past year for pain control and perhaps to find a remission. What I have learned on this journey is that everyone is different. Everyone's cancer is different, treatments differ, responses to treatments differ, feelings differ, abilities to cope differ. It can be helpful and encouraging to hear what works for someone else, but I have learned notto compare myself, and to find what is best for me and to be OK with that. Some might need to rest and just have no energy, while others need to go and do. There are constant ups and downs, changes in how you feel and think about cancer and life, and changes in the relationships with people around you. As time goes on everyone' needs go through changes. It is a challenge totake each day, each week, each stage as it comes. I have tried to make it a priority to live "life", not just live cancer. But the reality of my coming death also colours my life and relationships. For me it is all part of my spiritual journey, God is my refuge and strength. Each one of you is valid in your own experience, help others if you can, but don't assume that what is best for you is best for ever
What is normalcy after diagnosis? That has a wide perspective depending on each cancer patient's specifics. I have been lucky as a cancer patient in many ways, I am a long term blood cancer patient having been Dx'd when I was 31, just 25 years ago. Lucky for me my progression has been slow so I have had many "normal's" along the way. Currently I have more challenges but I find that if you really want to live and understand what life is all about have a chronic disease. Over time I have reset what is my normal and always accept it. (accepting a new normal is key). I have added alternatives such as Yoga and meditation into my treatment they make me feel good about myself (helps my mind and body energy). I continue to exercise, even though I have accepted my new exercise capabilities, since exercise helps me to feel better over the course of time. Belonging to an online service that you can share info. and gain knowledge is an important part of my normal life now too. It is self rewarding when you as a cancer patient can give others hope. I cannot tell how many people with either a similar condition to mine or some completely different cancer will get a renewed sense of energy when they find out I have been a cancer patient for so many years. It gives them hope and it gives me an added sense of purpose in this great life of ours. So normalcy for me has taken on so many more facets and expanded my perspective of normal even if my normal has reduced some of my capabiliti
I need help to learn how cancer patients live
each day. I don't want to die.
To Bruce: Your story is very similar to mine. I too woke up after my colon oscopy with the news. When I think of how things were 6 mos. after chemo (it's almost 3 years now) it seems so distant. I would like you to know that your life does get back to almost as it was before, at least it has for me. It's amazing how your life goes on. Please be optimistic that your regular life will return. Continue your relationship with Mayo. The nurses and doctors are so fantastic. My best wishes to you.
Caregivers play such an important role in supporting their loved ones with cancer.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) has many great support groups. To locate one in your community, call 1-800-227-2345. For example, in Rochester, MN, there is a "Cancer Caregivers Conversations" support group --I'm hoping you can find one similar in your area.
In addition, you may be interested in virtually connecting with other caregivers on the ACS's site at http://www.cancer.org/docroot/home/cgv/CGV_3_nearing_the_End_of_Life.asp.
A national organization, Faith in Action, also has local chapters, one which may be near you. They offer many services dependent on volunteer base -- some are support groups, transportation, respite care. For more information, visit http://www.fianationalnetwork.org.
Lastly, many hospice programs provide a support component for family members. For more information about hospice, visit http://www.hospicenet.org. Many county agencies also provide hospice services.
The best of luck to you in your support role, Patty. While you are working hard to care for your husband, remember to take care of yourself as well. I'm hoping these resources will help you do that.
I am not a cancer survivor but I am a caregiver to an 86 year old prostate cancer/gone to bone cancer wonderful husband. There is no cure ...only hormone therapy at this time which slows the invasive progress of the disease. I is so hurtful to watch the deterioration of a special friend and life partner. Can anyone tell me about a support group for a caregiver?
My "new normal" was very hard to do in the beginning. I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. My doctor thought I had cancer for about a year before I was diagnosed. At the time I was diagnosed, the doctor thought that I had about 2 to 3 months to live because of the advanced state of my cancer. With a will to live and with God's help I'm still here after 4 years and counting on being around for some time to come. At this time I'm in complete remission. The type of Multiple Myeloma that I have "lite chain" Stem Cell transplant will not do me any good. I have had Oral Chemo for the first year and half and then started having Decadron and fluids once a week for the next two and half years. The problem with that was my bones became very thin and weak. I broke my hip in Oct. just walking. My doctors have stopped the treatment for now. I believe your state of mind and the will to keep going can make a big difference. There are many things that I can't do any more, but you learn to live with it and find other things to do. You must keep as active as you can, doing the things you love to do, to keep living and not dwell on the things you can't do any longer. One of the biggest changes for me was not being able to work any longer I loved my job and looked forward to going to work. It's been about 4 years and now I have found other things to do with my time. You must keep active as much as you can!! Best of luck to all.
My "new normal" is to find the best way I can to help myself and help others. For me it means swimming for exercise instead of running. It means starting a cancer support group so I and other Multiple Myeloma patients can share their concerns and fears and hopes and successes, and know they aren't on this path alone. I'm a Multiple Myeloma Survivor of 7 years and have undergone several types of treatment: Stem Cell transplant, Oral Chemo, IV Chemo. Each has been successful in stopping the cancer for a while and each had negative side affects. My Medical Doctors and staff have always been there to recommend ways to address every side affect. I've found that as long as I was willing to keep trying, I'd find the next 'New Normal" for me.
I'd like to share with other folks who have dealt with colorectal cancer. I was told as I was waking up from sedative for colonoscopy that I had cancer. Up to that point I had never really had serious health concerns in 58 years on this earth. From that moment a little over six months ago things have changed forever. I am post chemo, radiation and two surgeries and am trying to regain perspective of my life.
I came to this site looking for answers to questions I can't even articulate. I had to stop for a good cry to read so many with similar difficulties. It's been 2-1/2 yrs. since my second stem cell transplant (lymphoma). What does "new normal" mean? How can you even know when you get there? Constant fatigue, bouts with depression, sense of loss and being lost. I was active, robust, involved before; now I feel limited, ugly and isolated. Any comments, anyone? Help!
The idea of "normal" is really not available to someone who has had a serious cancer, one that can recur, and especially not to one left with permanent complications, the Dameclean threat of secondary cancer, and loss of functions.
I think that it is a disservice to talk about a "new normal"---although I think that it makes those who are healthy feel better when advising people with cancer. To promote the concept of good coming out of cancer is to obscure or minimize the reality that one is never again sure of one's health, that the losses are real and significant, and that grief over the loss of sight or mobility or comfort or sex
may mute over time but is never gone.
The jingoism of "new normal," new priorities, and any variety of repeated slogans attempts to obscure the
changes that have happened. In order to adjust to a state altered from normal, one has to really acknowledge and accept the deficiences first ----that includes patients, loved ones, and health providers.
Let's let go of the catchy phrases, stop pathologizing feelings, and move toward real compassion.
"Scanxiety".. Perfect! Describes exactly what this is like. My daughter is 20, 9 months off of chemo and can't seem to "get up" if you will. I know I don't know but it kills me to watch. Thank you everyone for sharing your hearts.
Eddie- I read your post and thought how I have sat like a big wet mop wondering if anyone could wring me out. I know how that feels and hope each month I will gain more strength. Normal? I don't think I had it before so I better come up with some creative solutions for the future. Hope you feel a little improvement. It is not like me to sit still and I am at a loss when I want to do something and there just isn't any energy to do it. I think I like this blog. Best to all.
Defining a new sense of normal for me is keeping a morning routine. There is just my husband and I and our new puppy molly. I am having a targeted treatment and side effects have been very manageable. Right now I journal and write my prayers, do a little reading then start my day playing with molly, she naps and I eat breakfast and let my husband sleep in till 9:30 I have a 2nd breakfast with him. This routine provides me with the feelings of comfort, safeness and peace of mind. Our afternoons are the theme song "ON the Road Again" treatment . blood tests, visiting 96 year old dad, grocery shopping and all that stuff that makes you feel like will it ever end. It is the routine in the morning that grounds me and gives me something to look forward to when again we find we are on that road again dealing with our new sense of normal after my diagnoses
Thank you so very much for your kind comments about our Web site. I'm so glad you found us and that the content answered many of your questions. We strive to be comprehensive and straight-forward so I'm glad we met your expectations! Also, thank you for sharing your story and the best of luck to you during your journey. Keep the conversation going and look for the next blog entry which will be posted today.
Sorry, I went on a bit before and used up all the space!!! What I really wanted to comment on was "normalcy". Since the surgery I haven't been able to feel "normal". With the exception of some nerve discomfort at the site of surgery - which to be honest now after some eight months is really not too bad at all, my only problem is with fatigue. BUT IT IS A HUGE PROBLEM. Has anyone got any suggestions or remedies? Great site. Good to be able to converse with others in the same 'boat'. My friends and family are marvelous, but its not the same. Thanks.
Hi, I found your site by pure fluke - I was on e-bay and somehow something caught my eye about cancer and I found myself completely absorbed for the past couple of hours by reading the material on your the site!!! It is by far the most straightforward and informative site I have been onto and has practically answered all my questions related to my cancer. Like a lot of you others, I was sailing along feeling reasonablhy healthy for my age (60) when bam something showed up on a routine x-ray in late January this year. Then everything became quite surreal with many trips to the hospital and many many tests. Everything was pointing to cancer in my right lung but nothing absolutely conclusive. A needle biopsy was suggested but I had concerns about this and spoke to my Chinese accupuncturist. He suggested I get a second opinion but I said I was happy to take his opinion and advice. He said I should think very carefully before having the biopsy done as if the tumour was in fact cancerous it could be a case of bad tissue being pulled through good tissue. This made sense and I cancelled the needle biopsy the following day and opted to go straight for surgery. My surgeon concurred that he thought this was the best route to take. He said he would initially take a wedge of the lung, have this checked for cancer immediately, and if positive continue the operation and remove the whole top lobe of the lung. Surgery took place in March, cancer was found and removed.
I truly appreciate your perspective and please know that I do not, nor have I ever, thought of cancer survivors as victims. I feel empowered to work with cancer survivors, as they have taught me so much about life -- including how to live it to its fullest.
As a past cancer patient I would like to mention a few toughts.
a.I absolutely,opose the expression, "cancer victim".Its embarassing and insulting!! I am not a victim! I am a person with great optimism and responsibility to do whatever is needed to overcome the problem.
b.I had breast cancer 15 years ago, with 2 lampectomies and full radiation treatment.I never saw myself as a sick person.Never missed a days work.For me the cancer was an ACCIDENT, which needs to be treated and its over. All those of course (as a responsible person) being on top of tests and mammograms. I had each of my lampectomies (within 2 weeks) in tne morning on Thursday, went home in tne afternoon, and back to work on Monday.No one knew about it, except my secretary.
3.In the article presented today (November 18) there is talf about survival rates.I would expect to see what are the odds of the cancer returnin after good health of 15 years with full life activities.
To summarise my toughts: dont see yourself as a victim, you arent;be responsible and do your tests and mammograms as needed (every year after the age of 50 or after 40 if you are in the high risk group. Dont stop your activities, get help if you need it temporarily. But the most important: See yourself with a temporary problem (I wont call it disease) which will pass after going trough with whats needed. Dont complain about it, enjoy what life has to offer.
Great job, Nicole. Surviving survivorship is hard,too.
Nan: if there is no like-cancer support group go to another group! There are many things (especially a friend/Buddy) you will learn, most important is that you are not alone.
Even we look at ourselves in a different way. It's the new me--the new normal now! Post diagnosis you can do what you can and what you must then let others help out and lift the burden. Friends and loved ones feel part of your life now.
For me the biggest thing was not to let my cancer diagnosis define who I am. Once you have a CA diagnosis and treatment, people look at you in a different way; they can't help it. It isn't pity so much as the acute awareness you have had or are battling a lethal disease. I am still ME! Yes, the journey has changed me and I like to think for the better. For sure each day means a lot more to me. I have learned how to say thank you and accept help instead of trying to "do it all". Rigorous chemo is a real awakening! Continuing my volunteer work and helping others through the maze of diagnosis and treatment also brings me much joy. There is no way to be completely relaxed once you have gotten through the diagnosis and treatment and been declared cancer free. We call it "scanxiety" in our family. The anxious feelings are the most acute at check up time and there is nothing like the feeling of relief to hear once again "all clear". Thank you Mindy for posting that link; it sounds like a fabulous organization. Nan, reach out, sign up and buddy up; you can't do this all alone. There are people out in the world who will give you a hand. Many blessings to all us cancer survivors and their caregivers and families and friends! Fight ON!
I understand what you're going through. I felt wiped out after four surgeries, and fell asleep while sitting in front of the computer and opening the mail. Like you, I have a couple of relatives who are not well. My doctor told me after the first three surgeries that my heart was pounding when I went to bed and I was exhausted because of all the stress. I found a very helpful CD on self-hypnosis before surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering that focuses on deep breathing. The heart pounding stopped, I was able to sleep, and I kept my blood pressure way down before the last surgery. I find it helps now to take a walk, listen to music, go to a movie, and do some yoga. I have a wonderful mentor too with a great sense of humor who lifts my spirits. Hope this helps.
I had the second of two surgeries in my upper chest do to the discovery of a Sarcoma. It has been 16 days since I was told they think they got it all(clear?) and this Monday I begin my five weeks of daily radiation. Everything has happened so fast my jumping for joy hasn't begun yet.
I have a partner in a nursing home dying of pancreatic cancer(I just hung up from the nursing home after being told she is now unresponsive) a son in recovery from thyroid cancer and my brother is up against a rare form of Parkinson's and dementia.
I mention this only because I had no idea how debilitating stress can be! To this moment I am still dozing off many times a day, have little to no energy and have turned into a dazed lump. Can anyone shed any light on their experiences with stress after post op? Thanks
Thanks for your mention of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. In the future I plan to offer disease-specific cancer resources and I'll make sure to include this organization. We refer many patients to the wonderful resources it offers.
I was diagnosed with Chronic Lympocitic Leukema about 6 months ago. The first blood test came back 19,200, the second a week later was 22,800 then three months after that it was 18,700. I go back to my Oncoligist in December for more bloodwork and he says it is just a watch and see. However, it is very nerve racking this waiting. I am 61 and the doctor says that this is something that I will die with not from however, there is a good chance that it could change into a more active type and spread. I have alot of cancer in my family from Stomach, to colon, to liver. What are my chances that this will turn into one of them. My Colon was removed in 1996, and I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis in 2001 and when the test were ran in June they showed the lymph glands around the liver were enlarged. I am trying to keep a good faith about this but always in the back of my mind it is still there.
I would have to say that it is about accepting the new normal. Though I have a very good prognosis my surgery will leave me with life long changes so for me it is really important to try to normalize this for myself. It is really hard for other people and I think sometimes people see it as weird but for me it is being in the moment and embracing every day for what it can be.
For me that is the gift of cancer, seeing things differently and being willing to try new things and be less afraid.
Thanks to those who shared the IA information. I will check it out.
Anybody have any thoughts on how to deal with the checkups. I have to admit that I sailed along til my recent one year check up and then I just lost it emotionally. I think I was more anxious and scared than when my local doctor called and said "you have cancer". Any suggestions?
I know this comment is not really about normalcy after you are diagnosed but more on accepting help and being honest with your family. One thing I learned when my sister was diagnosed with ovarian cancer is don't shut out your family & friends. Your not saving them from heartache by not letting them help you. Let them support you & help you through your treatment and healing. My sister shut out her family and would not accept help or support. And when she died it made it even harder on us because we were never allowed to comfort her and help her when she was ill.
NO SUPPORT FROM CANCER SOCIETY, ONCOLOGIST GAVE ME BOOK...DEALT WITH ALOT OF THINGS IN MY LIFE, GUESS I CAN DEAL WITH THIS ALONE
PPL SEE ME WALKING TALKING, I MUST BE OK, CANCER SURGERY I ALMOST ANCIENT HISTORY NOW,.,,ITS BEEN 3 MONTHS!!!!
DONT KNOW TIL NEXT MONTH IF I GET TREATMENT, MORE SURGERY, WHATS GOINNG TO HAPPEN...I'M ANGRY, NOT SURE WHY.
HAD A BRAIN SCAN WHICH TOLD ME BESIDES HAVING A GROWING ANEURYSM IN MY BRAIN, I HAD CANCER IN MY UPPER RT. LUNG,,,A WEEK LATER I HAD CANCEROUS NODE REMOVED, N ALMOST HALF MY RT LUNG...A WEEK IN HOSP, A WEEK IN REHAB. HOME NO HELP FOR ALMOST A MONTH,,,,,,I LIVE ALONE,,I FOUND OUT I MAY OF TORN ROTOR CUFF IN LFT SHOULDER DURING SURGERY OR AFTER.\BRAIN INJURY, COMA, 2 STROKES FROM 92 ON....QUIT SMOKING BEF; SURGERY,,,,,,,3 MONTHS LATER STILL HAVE NOT LIT UP,BUT WANT TO....WALKING/CANE ,TALKING, VERY WEEK, I GUESS GLAD TO BE HERE 1'M 56 YR OLD
I don't think you can go back to being "normal." After cancer, we face a new normal. My boyfriend is recovering from chemo, radiation, and surgery from esophageal cancer and we realize there is always a chance, even a probability in his case, that the cancer will return. So, the new normal is to revel in the fact that at this moment in time he is officially free of cancer. But having gone through the cancer experience means that we have learned a lesson or two, so our lives will be modified. Our old normal was to think of the future or even the past. Our new normal is to think mostly of the moment and enjoy it as much as we can. We know we have the present moment, all else is just a possibility. Our new normal means taking more time to enjoy life and each other, rather than worrying about the little things we can't control. Our new normal also includes changing our eating and exercise habits, and asking ourselves, "Why not now? What are we waiting for?"
I don't think there is any getting back to 'normal' as such. I was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in September. I am 45 years old, so although my Dad passed from this in 2005, this was still a surprise.
There is getting on with your 'changed' life though, and thats what you need to do. I researched my condition, bought some books, went to a support group, talked to my doctor to find out my prognosis and options, then went and got a second opinion - this was encouraged by anyone I spoke to and it worked out well for me, with a better potential outcome.
I have wonderful support from my soon to be wife - this has been harder on her than me - and she said I wasn't normal before anyway :). I have also had great support from my family - my sister is flying over from Australia to help us during and after my surgery. I have also had great support from my friends. Through this I have also met some good men that having already gone through this, have opened themselves up to me in an amazing way. I have also been focusing on improving my overall health and fitness (you know, all those things I knew I should eat and shouldn't) in preparation for my upcoming prostatectomy in December.
My doctor at Mayo has told me that my chances for cure after surgery are good, so I'm praying that is the case. Having said that, there's still going to be that regular scary PSA test!
So, back to normalcy? I don't think so. But back to living life? Absolutely!
Honestly, after my diagnosis, what helped was to realize that this was not "normal," but to believe that some day, after treatment, things would be normal again, and to focus on that future.
I search not for normalcy in or out of quotations I have been dancing te Ca dance since '89 I went into remission twice after refusing chemo once for 12 years and once for 10 Now I find myself dancing to the " the Party's over " but not with sadness or regret It is " my time" I fight not but I strive to share what brilliance I hveleft daily I have always been somewhat of a loner my animals give deep comfort and love and I serve every day in some way that touches at least one some one elce this deloghts me more than I can say
Please include the Leukemia and Lymphoma society as a source of information and support. This organization sponsors many support groups for all ages, and for caregivers. They have many booklets with information for all kinds of blood cancers.
I was diagnosed with non Hodgkins lymphoma in 2000 and appreciated the LL society at that time. Later after a stem cell transplant I was increasing grateful for them. Since my transplant I have volunteered in their "First Connection" program. The local coordinator calls me when she knows of a person who has NHL - or is having a stem cell transplant, and with whom I can be of help. I have spoken with men and women all over the country, and I hope have been helpful when they undergo this diagnosis.
Thanks, Mindy. It's a great article and can be viewed at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704335904574497310735777696.html?mod=djemHL.
Today's edition of the Wall Street Journal has an article about Imerman Angels... "After Cancer Diagnosis, A Mentor". It tells the story of 2 individuals who connected through the organization.
I am a 34 year old survivor of Osteogenic Sarcoma. I was diagnosed with cancer in 1987, underwent experimental chemo protocol at Mayo, limb salvage surgery, multiple tumors removed from my lungs, and eventually an above the knee amputation in 1994.
For the past 10 years, I have been asked to meet with with patients who either are going through cancer treatment (usually young adults) or who have had or need to have a leg amputation. I was very blessed to have gone through treatment with two other young adults and we often sought comfort and support with each other. However, when I had my amputation, I did not have another amputee to talk to about the experience. I was forced to set out on this path by myself and often struggled alone.
A friend of mine founded an amazing organization, Imerman Angels (IA). It provides one-on-one cancer support: connecting cancer fighters, survivors and even caregivers. This service is free and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world. IA's goal is to recruit enough survivors so that a newly diagnosed patient can connect with a survior of the same age and gender and the same type of cancer within 24 hours of diagnosis. I thought people may like to know about IA and use their cancer experience to become involved, whether one is a survivor, a caregiver, or currently undergoing cancer treatment.
To find out more, visit the website: www.imermanangels.org.
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