Cancer does not only touch our lives. Cancer touches the lives of those closest to us. How to we handle the relationship challenges and losses? Continuing in a series on Life After Cancer.
by Lynne Hartke
“Will you die like Grandma?” my then-sixteen-year-old daughter asked when I told her I had breast cancer.
“One day [my son] saw me struggling to sit up,” Tina wrote about a time after her mastectomy. “I couldn’t hug him due to the pain. He stood against the wall, and I saw fear in his eyes. No child should ever have to fear the appearance of their mother… but there it was…that look of fear. Even as I write this, the tears start welling up.”
Cancer does not only touch our lives. Cancer touches the lives of those closest to us.
After cancer treatment, many survivors feel like a fish out of water, on the outside looking in, with emotions all over the place. How do you fit into life again? This is the third in a series on Life After Cancer.
by Lynne Hartke
“I had a wedding to attend in Las Vegas,” Denise wrote when I asked her about the emotional changes and losses of life after cancer. “I was determined to attend. The wedding was for a daughter of a dear childhood friend. The date was circled, labeled and engraved in stone. The good news is that I made it to the wedding, but it was a challenge. Probably more mental, than physical. I had about 1/4 inch of hair, boyish looking and the ugliest slate-gray EVER since I wasn’t allowed to color it yet.”
“I found a dress; it was okay, but having lost ten pounds [from treatment], I just didn’t even feel like I looked good at all! At the reception, I can remember feeling like a ‘fish out of water.’”
As cancer survivors, we all sacrificed parts of our bodies in the hope that we would live. Later we realized the physical losses of cancer were only the beginning. This is Part 2 in a series of Life After Cancer.
by Lynne Hartke
Several years ago, while our daughter was asleep and home alone, a burglar entered our house through an unlocked window.
Let me rephrase that.
A BURGLAR CAME INTO OUR HOUSE WHILE OUR DAUGHTER WAS HOME ALONE AND SLEEPING! (more…)
For every cancer survivor, first the ground shakes. Then the tsunami comes. The only difference is the number of waves. Physical losses. Relationship Challenges. Emotional Upheaval. It’s a wonder we don’t drown in it all. A 5-part series by blogger and 7-year breast cancer survivor, Lynne Hartke: Life After Cancer.
by Lynne Hartke
“Whomever reads a map, explores a place with their mind.”
The words are displayed next to two maps at the Visitors’ Center in Paracas, a small fishing community on the coastline of Peru. The exhibit implied that Paracas can be best understood after studying the two maps. The topographical map showed the elevation changes of a desert plain. The nautical map showed a community affected by its location to the sea.
I smiled when I read the words because I have never been good at maps. I am directionally-challenged. At our hostel, the night before, I had taken three wrong turns to find the kitchen. Maps confuse me. As I stared at the maps on the wall, Juan Carlos, our tour guide, motioned us to move on to the next exhibit.
Vamanos amigos. Come this way, friends.
June 21, 2016 — Portland, OR — Provision Project continues to grow in its mission to provide financial assistance to women in active treatment for breast cancer. Because of the success we achieved in our first eighteen months, we are delighted to announce some exciting changes at Provision Project.
Jan James has moved into our new “Founder” position. Jan has spent the first year of the Provision Project setting vision and getting our legal/financial structure in place. Her new role will be vision-casting, fundraising, marketing, publicity and working closely with the Executive Director.
We are thrilled that former Provision Project board member, Rashida Willard, will now assume the role of Executive Director of Provision Project.
After Rashida’s own battle with breast cancer in 2013, she dove right in to helping others in the breast cancer community. In the Pacific Northwest, Rashida has taken on a leadership role in a private breast cancer support group and has built meaningful relationships with women in that group. “I have connected personally with so many women going through this awful but beautiful journey and am excited to provide leadership to such a wonderful organization. The need for financial assistance is so great and that is why I love and wholeheartedly believe in the work Provision Project does. ”
Rashida brings a wealth of knowledge in business management and organizational leadership and dynamics. Her experience and passion will see Provision Project well into the future.
Provision Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) whose mission is to provide financial assistance to women in active treatment for breast cancer. Provision Project is an all-volunteer non-profit organization based in Mesa, Arizona.
What does cancer look like? You might be surprised. This is Caitlin.
“I’m sitting at the doctor’s office for a check up and came across this picture as I wait. I can’t believe that is was over a year ago. I was just finishing my 5th round of chemo, barely any hair on my head and soon to deliver our little Lilian. It feels sometimes like that wasn’t my life, that surely at age 30 I couldn’t have gotten breast cancer. The last two years have been hard. So hard. I have felt indescribable exhaustion and huge waves of fear that my cancer could return. But above all of that I have seen the strength & courage that God placed in my soul. I have seen unwavering support from everyone around me and have gained the most beautiful gift of all, a new perspective. Thank you to those who continue to walk side by side with me.”#pregnantwithcancer #youngbreastcancer
No one should have to make a decision between, “Should I pay my mortgage, utilities, buy groceries or miss out on a medical treatment?” This is especially true when you’re a single mom who is battling Stage 4 cancer. This was exactly the situation that Arizona mom, Tiffany, found herself in several months ago.
“In 2004 I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. I found out I was five weeks pregnant right before my mastectomy was scheduled,” she shared. Tiffany had her daughter, Ezri, in February, had her mastectomy and went on Tamoxifen.
In 2010, “My oncologist said I was ‘considered cured,’” she said. “He didn’t really base it on anything scientific. It was just his opinion.” Then in January 2011, she asked her regular doctor if she’d run a tumor marker test. “In February 2011 I found out the cancer had metastasized to the bone, and I was Stage 4.”
She started immediate, high levels of chemo. During all of this, her daughter’s father left, and Tiffany was a newly single parent on disability struggling to pay the bills while fighting cancer. “I used up my savings. My family had a fundraiser to help me out while I waited for the disability payments to come in,” she said, adding, “I was living on less than half of my income with 100% of the bills being my responsibility along with my treatments.” (more…)
Jasmine is battling Stage 4 breast cancer. She’s a young (29!) giving, loving single mom with 3 beautiful children who is fighting every day to be there for her kids. She was diagnosed when she was just 17.
Because of how advanced her cancer is, she is required to journey 247 miles (four hours one way) every other week to receive the treatment she needs to stay alive. She has no car of her own. (more…)
by Jan James
Sisters, you know how steep your learning curve has been since you were diagnosed? Well, I hate to tell you this, but you still don’t know much. And I say that with all the love I can send you.
I remember about three years ago when I was getting one of my first chemo rounds, and I cheerfully said to the gal next to me (who also had bc), “So how many more rounds do you have?” (more…)