I'm Carol, a wife, a mother, a teacher and counselor. Now, I'm also Carol, with cancer. I used to dissolve at that thought. But, by coming to The Wellness Community, I have discovered that there can be a life -- with cancer -- and without despair. It's true that right now I have a lot less energy, but I am still living a full life. At The Wellness Community, I have learned to look for rainbows every hour -- and to find them.
Three years ago I was diagnosed with melanoma. After surgery and six weeks of radiation, I believed I was cured. But, twenty two months later, it became metastatic melanoma, with tumors that had spread to some internal organs. After surgery, I needed help getting through the upcoming six months of chemotherapy and interferon treatments. At my parents suggestion, I attended an Orientation meeting at The Wellness Community, which I cried all the way through. Being in the mental health-care field, and knowing the positive statistics about cancer patients who participate in groups with other cancer patients, I immediately joined a support group. That group has become my weekly "life boat." It is a resource that is always there for me. When I have been given bad news, after the tears, I have called someone from group, someone who knows what it's like to be told you have cancer in your liver, someone who knows the grief of a recurrence. This has been a tremendous source of comfort for me. It was in group that I learned to accept that I have cancer and that acceptance is not resignation.
With the encouragement of my group, I have become the 5th person to join a clinical trial of gene therapy vaccines. I have many things yet to do in my life: to hold a grandchild in my arms; to hear music in Vienna; to walk in the mountains with my husband. And, if this treatment does not work, I will try something else -- because I have no doubt that I am going to beat cancer.
OncoLink is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through OncoLink should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem or have questions or concerns about the medication that you have been prescribed, you should consult your health care provider.
Information Provided By: www.oncolink.org | © 2016 Trustees of The University of Pennsylvania