Lauren's Story

Bonnie Schuman
Last Modified: May 25, 1997

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Lauren's winning combination for fighting stage 4 ovarian cancer is: the support of her husband, the relationship with her physicians, her work, and The Wellness Community. When Lauren learned one year ago that she had ovarian cancer and that it had spread to the abdomen and lungs she was determined to get on with her life. She did that by (1) getting herself to work in the day, to keep her mind off of the cancer, and (2) getting herself to The Wellness Community in the evening, to focus on the cancer and how to fight it.

Before coming to The Wellness Community Lauren had surgery and was undergoing chemotherapy for her cancer. During her treatment doctors discovered a new large tumor and Lauren's spirit plummeted. It was then that she, her husband Michael, and best friend Sandy came to The Wellness Community. As Lauren listened to other cancer patients and their family members tell their stories she was awestruck how quickly this group had formed a bond. When it was Lauren's turn to speak she exploded with anger about how she had been such a good sport about her cancer, and did everything right, with a good attitude, and now they found a new tumor. Not Fair!! She surprised herself on how she was able to vent to a group of "strangers." Sandy also unloaded her feelings of anger about what was happening to Lauren. And, for the first time, in this forum, Michael verbalized his fears. They realized then that they needed to be with others who understood and immediately joined support groups at TWC.

Lauren feels their groups have been the best therapy for her and Michael and can't imagine how they would have gotten through this crisis without The Wellness Community. It was in group that Lauren first was able to take off her wig in front of others. It was in group that Lauren could speak of her survivor's guilt, and " that wherever you have to go, someone has already been."  

That new large tumor was removed and found to be benign. Lauren has completed treatment and her test results are outstanding. "One year has made an amazing difference. I feel as healthy now," says Lauren," as before I had cancer. My energy is returning. My hair is growing. And, Michael and I will soon become Orientation Leaders so that we can offer hope to others." I am grateful to my husband for his support, my physicians for their care, my work for keeping me distracted and to The Wellness Community, for being my "life-saver."


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