×

October can be a life-saving month

DEAR EDITOR:

I am a two-time breast cancer survivor who found the usual but highly important avenues of care, love and help — my doctors, family, friends, colleagues and church!

They all played an integral part of my recovery; however, my advice to any cancer patient is to join a support group because it was there that I came face-to-face with survivors and patients going through cancer.

My particular group is called the Glow Girls (glowing, loving and optimistic women living with cancer). It was formed by a chemo patient who befriended other patients while they all were waiting to undergo their chemo for that month.

I joined the group and learned first-hand about specialists, various treatments, varieties of medications, different treatment centers, mental and emotional support and most importantly, I found living, face-to-face proof that strong, loving women can survive cancer and help other women to survive. I began to respect these women; I began to love them as months of surgeries, chemo, and radiation continued. Through this group, I learned to reach out to other cancer patients in our community through our monthly projects. We make “Love Bags” (bags filled with a few female items that a patient might enjoy, while undergoing chemo). We deliver them to the Hope Cancer Center, Joanne Abdu Center, Blood and Cancer and Saint Joseph’s. We also make fleece blankets for children undergoing chemo at Akron Children’s Hospital. We also collect and deliver personal hygiene items to Sojourn House and food for the kitchen at Hospice House.

I began to feel useful, encouraged and positive. I had regained the power that breast cancer had tried to steal from me. On that particular day, I became a survivor and have been in remission for 18 years! I highly recommend support groups for any cancer patient. October can always be a live-saving month for someone you know.

LIN GETTMAN

Youngstown