I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in late September and had extensive surgery in early October. The diagnosis and surgery knocked me off my feet. I was terrified. I was afraid to be alone. I was lost.
A close friend made some calls to others she knew that had had cancer. The director’s name at the Cancer Center at DeKalb Medical kept coming up as someone who was a wonderful resource. I called and made an appointment to see her.
I was diagnosed, operated on and received chemotherapy at a variety of institutions. However, it was with DeKalb Medical’s cancer center director and her wonderful support staff that I began to find my soul, the pieces of myself that I had lost on the frightening medical journey I was on.
I continue to meet privately with the director to help me deal with the emotional difficulties of a cancer diagnosis. I have met with the cancer nutrition specialist to help me stay healthy through the rigors of chemotherapy and with the genetic risk specialist to help me understand how my family history may have impacted my health. I have attended the American Cancer Society's Look Good…Feel Better program at the center to help weather the storm of what chemo does to your looks and self-esteem.
I attend the Cancer Support Group, which gives me hope and an understanding of how to live with cancer. The people I have met in this group are so brave, so grounded and able to find the joy in the everyday. They are truly an inspiration!
It is here, with the DeKalb Medical Cancer Support Group and support staff that I am defined by my person, not by my disease.