Sunday, June 21, 2009

Cancer Resources

So everytime I see a prayer request fly by for someone recently diagnosed with cancer, they become my new best friend. I know, I'm weird-blame it on the radiation:) But I am such a relational person that I know, for me at least, when I'm going thru something and have someone to talk to that is going/has gone through the same thing-wow its awesome!! Just knowing you aren't alone and knowing what you are feeling/thinking is "normal" and that you WILL survive!!!

So an excerpt of something I wrote to a recent fellow Cancer Butt Kickin Warrior Princess:

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer on April 3rd, underwent a radical
hysterectomy (means they remove EVERYTHING including parts of the vagina and lymph nodes) on April 28th and have daily radiation treatments until July

I remember how hard it was to even say the word "cancer" in association
with myself for the longest time. Its such a BIG scary word. Half the time
I felt like it was someone else going thru all this and I was watching a movie
or something-like I wouldn't let it sink in or be real. Other times I did
let it be real and I felt all that fear and overwhelming frustration with my

I have two young children, one will be 3 years old next month and
the other just turned 6 months old. For the first few months I was unable
to lift anything over 10lbs-which they both are. It felt like death was
being shoved right in my face not being able to hold my babies. But I
never gave up hope, never stopped relying on prayer and put it hard in my heart
that God was NOT done with me! I never lost my faith-in fact I leaned on
it more than I ever have before in my life and I know its what got me through
this chaos.

It literally feels like the world just kind of stops for
you-the rest of the world keeps on living while you are forced to make the
cancer a HUGE part of your life because you have to fight it. It is
exhausting and there are days when I say, "I just want to be done already. I'm
sick of being the person with cancer." Then I realize that its a lifetime
thing-I'm always gonna wonder if this lil twinge or that lil pain is the cancer
coming back. BUT I can also always be so thankful that I'm HERE, I'm
alive, I have my husband and my babies, I have LIFE and I have God.

I've met so many truly amazing and beautiful people since my diagnosis and I hope you find the same. They have all been sooo supportive and just lifted me
up. COMPLETE strangers, sometimes even people sending anonymous emails,
just to let me know they are praying or thinking of me. THAT got me through it-I
couldn't let all those people down, I HAD to fight-if not for God, if not for
me, if not for my husband and babies-for all the people that took a few minutes
to pray for me.

It has been a very humbling experience. I'm not one to ask for help or lean on others at all-I mean its literaly a big deal for me to ask my husband to help me reach something (I'm not even 5ft tall so its something I NEED help with but I just grew up not relying on others and doing everything for myself so I suck at asking for help). But my body just cannot do daily stuff sometimes so when people emailed me asking to provide dinner for my family for a few months until I got back up to par, I had to put aside my pride. And honestly, I couldn't do it without them. There are days when I get home from radiation and I just have NO energy at all. The last thing I can waste my energy on is worrying about dinner-I want to spend my time loving on my babies, asking my husband how is day was or just being with them. Its been a lifesaver. Right after my surgery, my husband's two aunts came and stayed for a whole month!!! Another lifesaver since most of that month there were days when I couldn't stay awake and active for more than an hour before I was exhausted and had to rest. I'm NOT the kind of person that lets others come in and take over or help out, so that was hard and there were days when I just wanted everyone to go away and everything to be "normal".

Hope that helps and know that I'm here if ya need to vent or have any random questions. If you don't mind, I'm going to FWD your email address to a friend whom was also recently diagnosed with breast cancer. That way you'll have someone who actually has the same kind. There are days you'll want someone to talk to that is going thru the EXACT same thing and other days when you just want someone that understands how cancer changes your life. I'm keeping you tucked in my prayers!

And I ALWAYS send my loooooong list of cancer sites that I've fallen in love with-yep I'm an info junkie and instantly go to the internet to get facts. So my favs (in no particular order):


American Cancer Society:

MD Anderson Cancer Center:

Highlands Oncology Group (for NWA patients, also very resourceful for all):

Planet Cancer:

Crazy Sexy Cancer (MUST read books!!):

Cancer Online Resources (compilation of TONS of sites):

Cancer Forums (online message boards):

For Working Women:


Cancer & the Christian Life:

Don't Waste Your Cancer (AWESOME article):


MD Anderson Cervical Cancer Treatment Guide (MUST read for cervical cancer patients and please share with your oncologist):

NARTI's info re: Cervical Cancer (NARTI is now Highlands Oncology Group):

ACS's Cervical Cancer Guide (AWESOME):

Eyes on the Prize (GYN cancers):

Guide to Coping with GYN Cancer:

Cervical Cancer Overview:

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