I connected with two more people last week who were looking for cancer support and help. One is himself a patient with my same blood cancer. I was introduced to him through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s First Connection program. And the other is a guy I previously knew whose wife was recently diagnosed.
The LLS connection was a phone call with follow up email and facebook connections. I love making these calls and feel like the person on the other end really benefits. I hope so anyway. My new buddy Jim is a great guy …. teacher…. runner…. musician. He will be blogging through his treatment journey and I am looking forward to walking alongside him as he does.
And in an effort to spread a little hope, while still respecting their confidentiality and keeping things anonymous, I am posting my email exchange with my other buddy.
Not sure if you remember me or not. My wife was recently diagnosed with cancer I am looking for more info. I see you do a lot with local groups and more. If you could pass along any info I would appreciate it. Possibly looking into walks or runs. Or just anything.
Of course I remember you! I’m sorry to hear of your wife’s diagnosis but admire your desire and willingness to jump in and try to do something. If you want to tell me more about her specific cancer perhaps I can out you in touch with more targeted groups. There are a number of great groups with a presence here in the tri state area who also put on great events.
For starters The American Cancer Society is always a good place to start. Their main site is http://www.cancer.org/
They also do an awesome event called Relay for Life. Check that out here – you can search your area of choice and there are many in DE. http://www.relayforlife.org/
The Susan G Komen foundation is another organization doing amazing things, particularly with breast cancer but not necessarily limited to that. Their Mother’s Day walk and run in Philly is unbelievable and their 3 day 60 mile walk is getting very popular. Info on them can be found here http://komenphiladelphia.org/
I am personally very involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They have a number of great campaigns and programs in DE, PA, and NJ. Their main site is www.lls.org and you can search your local chapter.
And I saved the best for last. Please check out Imerman Angels – http://www.imermanangels.org/ This is a support mentoring group who will align you with another survivor within your general demographic simply to have a shoulder to lean on of someone who has been there. Once you contact them, an “angel” would reach out to your wife and it would be up to her how much or little contact she would get from her angel. It’s a great group. I am one of the angels and have been asked to reach out to people many times. It’s always a great experience for both of us. I have had some that ended up being ongoing connections and some that were simply one brief call.
Hopefully this will be a good start. Keep in touch and let me know if there is anything I can do. I would be happy to speak to either or both of you… or just be at the ready should you need some more help.
Keep in touch. And stay positive!!
So I guess my message here is that you need not go this journey ALONE. There is help. There are resources. There are people ready and willing to connect for support.