Side by side. Every step of the way.

Bust a Move video series Part 9: Ann Stuckey

Posted on October 2nd, 2013

This week, we are releasing a new video everyday to help promote the big event this Friday. Bust a Move brings breast cancer survivors, artists, and cancer community members together to celebrate their triumph and remember the struggles they’ve experienced.

Ann is one of the castees for this year’s Bust A Move, a fundraiser for women with breast cancer in our community on 10/4 at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Tickets are available here: https://bustamove2013.eventbrite.com/

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Bust a Move video series Part 7: Nichole Moore, artist

Posted on September 27th, 2013

Bust a Move is one week from today and we can’t wait. Check out the latest video in the series on our YouTube channel promoting this year’s Bust a Move event that brings breast cancer survivors, artists, and cancer community members together to celebrate their triumph and remember the struggles they’ve experienced.

Nichole is one of the artist for this year’s Bust A Move, a fundraiser for women with breast cancer in our community on 10/4 at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Tickets are available here: https://bustamove2013.eventbrite.com/

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Bust a Move video series Part 5: Shad Igney, artist

Posted on September 11th, 2013

This video is part of a series on our YouTube channel promoting this year’s Bust a Move event that brings breast cancer survivors, artists, and cancer community members together to celebrate their triumph and remember the struggles they’ve experienced.

Shad is one of the artist for this year’s Bust A Move, a fundraiser for women with breast cancer in our community on 10/4 at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Tickets are available here: https://bustamove2013.eventbrite.com/

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Bust a Move video series Part 4: Sharon Simmons

Posted on September 5th, 2013

This video is part of a series on our YouTube channel promoting this year’s Bust a Move event that brings breast cancer survivors, artists, and cancer community members together to celebrate their triumph and remember the struggles they’ve experienced.

Sharon is one of the castees for this year’s Bust A Move, a fundraiser for women with breast cancer in our community on 10/4 at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Tickets are available here: https://bustamove2013.eventbrite.com/

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Bust a Move video series, Part 2: Emily Blossom

Posted on August 20th, 2013

This video is part of a series on our YouTube channel promoting this year’s Bust a Move event that brings breast cancer survivors, artists, and cancer community members together to celebrate their triumph and remember the struggles they’ve experienced.

Emily is one of the artist for this year’s Bust A Move, a fundraiser for women with breast cancer in our community on 10/4 at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Tickets are available here: https://bustamove2013.eventbrite.com/

 

 

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Thank you Circle K

Posted on August 19th, 2013

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On Friday, Shelby Beck and Holly Barnett dropped off 33 bears for our child clients. The two are part of a service organization called Circle K that strives for leadership, fellowship, and service. This is the 6th year they’ve donated bears to an organization, and we are grateful they chose us this year. The organization teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters to make the bears. Each child who participated in making the bears was able to keep one and make the other for a child at Cancer Services.

Thank you Circle K and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Our clients will love these.

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Bust a Move video series, Part 1: Pat Burlage

Posted on August 12th, 2013

This video is part of a series on our YouTube channel promoting this year’s Bust a Move event that brings breast cancer survivors, artists, and cancer community members together to celebrate their triumph and remember the struggles they’ve experienced.

Pat is one of the castees for this year’s Bust A Move, a fundraiser for women with breast cancer in our community on 10/4 at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Tickets are available here: https://bustamove2013.eventbrite.com/

 

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A Note From a Client’s Mother

Posted on July 3rd, 2012

We often receive thank you notes from clients and family members. It’s our mission to support those with cancer and their families in our community and receiving these notes tell us we are doing what we say we do. It’s our promise to our clients, and it’s important to us.

Here’s a note we received last week from a client’s mother:

Dear Peter,

My daughter first visited your office in March 2012. After that first visit, you and your agency provided not only many services, but you became her friends. She talked very highly of you and how much your talks helped her. So many times when she was anxious or despaired, you helped her through it. Thank you so much for being there for her. Her phone calls would sometimes drive me crazy, but I would give anything to be able to talk to her again. She would have been very pleased to see how many people came to her funeral.

Thank you again for all you do for everyone.

 

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Choosing Hospice is an active choice

Posted on March 26th, 2012

by Gail Hamm, program director

We can all think of words that have a positive meaning for one person and a negative meaning for another. For some people hospice means “I’m giving up” or “he’s giving up”. I have heard this over and over and just read it again in a journal article. But I believe that choosing hospice is a very active choice, not a passive one. It means taking charge of one’s life, and most of us would agree that is a positive thing.

I have vivid memories of working with a gentleman with lung cancer and his wife when I worked at a local hospice. “Matt” chose not to seek treatment. He went on disability and used his last year to be with his wife and grandkids, take care of his home, and spend time with his friends.

During the year I worked with Matt and his family, Matt continued to live. He no longer went to his former job, but he kept busy at home, doing the things he loved. His grandchildren were frequently in the home, and I was able to spend time with them.

Matt’s quality of life was good for a number of months, but gradually there were changes. He could no longer hoist bags of mulch into his truck. He mowed the small patch of grass by his home, over 2 days, not in an hour’s time. Eventually, his wife mowed the grass.

Matt had time to ponder life and death. I was privileged to be a witness as he was baptized by the hospice chaplain in his home before becoming bedfast. Eventually, Matt was able to communicate less and slept through many of my visits while I conversed with his wife, listening and supporting her in the final weeks.

I never thought Matt gave up when he opted for hospice. He chose to be in charge. And he remained in charge, directing his final days, living and dying by his terms.

Cancer Services works with our clients through every step of their diagnosis, treatment, survivorship and at times, end of life care. Sometimes, in spite of the best treatment, there comes a point when no further treatment will change the course of the disease. Cancer Services’ advocates work with clients and their families to understand their options and support them in their decisions to take charge of their lives.

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A young mother’s breast cancer story

Posted on March 14th, 2012

Chelsa with her family at Lapper 2010

by Amber Recker

In 2010, when she was just 34 years old, Chelsa Demarchis heard four words she thought she’d never hear: You have breast cancer. At the time, her two boys were still babies, 2 years and 4 months old.

“I was nursing my youngest and we started having a difficult time,” Chelsa says. “I thought it was a blocked duct; so did my doctor at first.”

Chelsa had an ultrasound right away and then the whirlwind began. The doctor asked her to come back for a mammogram after the ultrasound and that’s when they discovered she had stage 3 breast cancer. She was having a hard time breast feeding because the tumor was a massive 6 centimeters. She started chemotherapy immediately and in early 2011, she had a mastectomy, followed by radiation treatment.

“I was completely blind-sided,” explains Chelsa. “Never in a million years did I expect this to happen to me and my family.”

Chelsa’s husband Dan took the news especially hard. He experienced an array of emotions, but mostly anger. “It took a lot of convincing on my part and from our family and friends before Dan believed I would be okay. He was so angry this would happen to me at such a young age with such young children,” Chelsa says.

Once the initial shock wore off, Chelsa, Dan and their family faced cancer head on. Dan’s parents moved to Fort Wayne to help with the children while Chelsa underwent treatment, and her mother and 3 sisters from Michigan took turns coming down to help, as well.

“We were shown incredible support from our family and friends,” Chelsa says. “My husband is a teacher at Canterbury, and that community was amazing. People prepared meals and brought them to us every night. They even showed up to watch the boys so we could enjoy some down time.”

Chelsa and Dan were open with their oldest son during the process and tried to explain it to him so he would understand. They told him cancer was like alien bugs attacking mommy’s body and the medicine she took attacked the bugs back. They also told him the medicine made her hair fall out.

“It was a big deal to me when I started losing my hair. I had thick, long curly hair. The night Dan helped me shave my head, our son walked in. I asked him if I looked pretty and he said ‘not today mommy,’” Chelsa relays, laughing at the memory. “It was an emotional moment, and he put a smile back on our faces.”

Last year, Chelsa organized a team of her family and friends to participate in Lapper. “It relieved a lot of stress knowing that Cancer Services was there for me during my cancer journey. When I needed questions answered, I simply had to call my Client Advocate. Just knowing that was enough sometimes,” she explains. “So participating in Lapper was a great way to help support the organization and also do something with my family and friends to acknowledge what we all went through with my diagnosis. I love the community feel of the event and can’t wait to participate in Lapper 2012.”

Today, Chelsa has reached the 6 month post-treatment mark and things look good. “You know, my son saved my life,” she says. “If we hadn’t found the tumor when we did, it may have been too late.”

If you’d like to join Chelsa and others at Lapper 2012, register today!

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