Friday, October 14, 2011

Cancer Groups- a special message

i was recently contacted by a man who asked to post a message on this blog to get the word out on some information he felt was important.. because all of my past guest bloggers have been family.. i will be honest in saying i put this poor guy through the ringer because i would never endorse certain information.. i finally got around to reading this guest post and some of his personal blog.. and i feel confident in sharing whatever he wants to send out to you all.. he has nothing but postive things to share and this particular message is about fellowship and support via groups...

fyi.. if you would like to guest blog..about cancer and/or loss.. please email me at

David Haas is a cancer patient advocate and his blog can be found at

Have you just found out you have cancer? You may know someone who has survived. Are you in cancer remission? You may be going through chemotherapy or radiation treatment. If any of these things are true in your life, you may feel as though nobody can relate to what you are going to. If you become involved with a cancer survivor group you will have the chance to talk with or write to someone who has been through the same things as you. You can learn how to best treat your disease and get advice from those who have been there, who can teach you how to best fight the negative side effects you may be experiencing.

There are a variety of cancer survivor networks available. The Cancer Hope Network is one such network. Through them you can be matched with someone who has been through cancer treatment, who may be going through something similar to you. This group can match you with people who have gone through anything from a common cancer like breast cancer to a very rare cancer like mesothelioma. You can receive emotional support and encouragement online or over the phone. Actual cancer survivors will tell the stories, will tell you it is possible to live a full live despite having cancer. You will not be talking with someone who is a professional therapist, but with someone who knows just what you are going through.

There is also support provided for caregivers and links to different agencies that might be able to give advice on treatments.

The Cancer Information Network provides links to a variety of support helps to cancer victims, including a letter from a survivor of lung cancer, a link to the Cancer Hope Network, and links to other agencies that provide support. There are also links to sites that give information on treatment, legal issues, financial resources to those with cancer, and support resources for caregivers.

There are numerous other support agencies, including US & Too for those with prostrate cancer at, with links to many support groups, information about the disease, and more.

The American Brain Tumor Organization lists support groups, provides inspiring stories, advice on how to manage fatigue, rehabilitative medicine, speech pathology services, and many other resources.

While having cancer can be devastating, there is help available.

By: David Haas

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


this was my brother's birthday cake.. my cousin decided on the picture of him in the bathtub.. no worries..he is hard to embarrass.. and bonus.. the cake was yummy!

so it's been a while since i posted.. a day before his 18th birthday.. a day before i flew out to AZ and surprised him.. not only is he hard to embarrass..he is also hard to surprise... well ok.. he was surprised.. but the reaction was more like "hey what are you doing here?" and not AHHHHH!!! combined with jumping up and down.. and good thing too.. because he is a big guy now.. and i could likely be hurt in the jumping up and down process.. either way i missed him and my family and this trip was exactly what i... or we... needed..
we had a small get together for his day.. my mom hired mariachis and some friends and family came to wish him well.. i have gotten past coming to my mom's house and not seeing my dad there.. i don't look for him anymore.. but as the mariachis sang Un Dia La Ves.. (one day at a time).. my eyes welled up and i frantically looked around.. and expected to see him in one of the patio chairs.. or at the grill.. there was that fresh pain all over again.. the one i pray God eases..memories i gladly accept.. sadness i will take in stride.. but this pain.. this ache in my rib cage and nausea in the deepest pit of me is what i call fresh pain... because that is what i felt when the C word was first used.. that is what i felt again after every dr visit.. that is what i felt on the morning he did not get out of bed and that is what i feel when the ice cold water bucket full of shock is thrown in my face every time i forget he is gone... i am still great.. fantastic even at hiding this pain... i sang and danced to every song the mariachis sang.. when my aunt (during un dia la ves) asked why i wasn't singing.. i calmly leaned over and said "because i'm crying".. instead of crawling into the fetal position at her feet..that was the only down part of the trip.. for the most part we faced this milestone with grace.. and it's never as hard as we expect it to be

after i got home from HOME i lagged.. as i always do.. in unpacking and re-acclimating.. i always allow myself one day to wallow and feel the homesickness.. i had a few job interviews.. in fact..the week before last i was offered a job... so i have a job... well.. technically.. because HR has been just peachy and has left me hanging... it's all good in my hood though.. because this is giving me plenty of time to weigh my priorities and examine myself.. this is not a teaching job but is within the school system and i have had to work out and work on my feelings of bitterness and inadequacy.. i can not go into this job feeling short changed.. it would not be fair to the students i will be working with.. so HR's mishaps are a blessing really... and i has given time to see it that way... in all this mess i have been broken and built up over and over.. i have cried and screamed and let out all kinds of rage i didn't know i had been suppressing.. and you know what? nothing changed..the world didn't bend toward my needs.. and there is a lesson in there too..
and that is what i have been doing since i got home.. examining the things that happen to me and around me.. understanding the lessons it all has to teach me.. what i have learned is this: 1. i need a master's degree and i am seriously considering social work so that i can consult as well as teach... 2. every day is precious time lost with the people i care about the most and i NEED to get home or close to home for good...3. the miles stones we have yet to reach without dad will no doubt be tough.. but we will get through them like we always do..