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What Special Days of Life Do You Mark?

Donna doesn’t remember what day it was when the doctor said, “you’re cancer-free.” But her husband Tom does and every year on that day he tells her how much he loves and appreciates her.

Mark had a birthday party when he turned 11, but it was the “No More Chemo” party later that year that he really remembers.

Mary Jo’s surgery was the same day as her daughter’s 21st birthday. Neither of them felt like celebrating, but it was so good to be together that night.

Birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, days of “firsts”—what special days of life do you mark? No one would argue that calendars and dates aren’t important, but we remember our own life’s journey by events and important moments. Sometimes, the moments are painful or scary, like when you or someone you love is diagnosed with cancer. The fear can block out everything around us.

Cancer Services provides a bright spot of hope for people dealing with cancer. Here families find help and understanding. It is an important day when someone comes to Cancer Services. They may need practical supplies and equipment or simply the friendly face of someone who understands. We want to be here every day for people who have cancer.

Please help us spread the word so that no one has to travel this journey alone. You can start by bookmarking this blog and sharing it with others.

Take Care of Yourself This Holiday Season

by Gail Hamm, program director

Holidays are notorious for too much food, too many relatives, and too little sleep for the cook. There’s too little time to clean the house, thaw the bird, and manage travel. Let’s be serious. Holidays can be very hectic and rarely are relaxing. But it’s important to your health to step back from all the hassle and refocus on yourself. This is especially true if you, or a loved one, are going through cancer treatment. It’s ok to give yourself permission to simplify. This may mean letting someone else host the affair this year. It may mean changing the menu from roasting a bird to ordering pizza. Perhaps it’s time to reduce the size of the guest list. Maybe you’ll decide to stay in your jammies and let the holiday slide on by, just this once. Whatever you do, you do not have to explain yourself. You do not have to feel like a failure. You do not have to feel guilty. You can say, “I am taking care of myself.” Who knows, you just might find a new way to celebrate!

Cancer Services Announces Expanded Hours to Begin in 2011

In response to requests from clients and family members, Cancer Services will begin offering evening hours until 7:00pm on Monday nights starting January 10. A Client Advocate will be available to meet with individuals and provide access to all the services offered. We know life during cancer is complicated and we want to help. This is one more way Cancer Services is here for you.

Hours of Operation:

Monday 9am to 7pm, Tues-Friday 9am to 5pm

Healthy Eating for the Holidays- Nutrition Seminar

If you did not attend the nutrition seminar last week, “Healthy Eating for the Holidays,” you missed a real winner. Chris Moore, Registered Dietitian from Parkview Hospital, has presented this particular Fall event for several years. Scrumptious samples of healthy foods and Chris’s expertise make it a perennial hit. A new series of nutrition seminars will start in the Spring. Watch your Cancer Services calendar for dates and topics.

If you are having difficulty maintaining your weight, contact your physician for a referral to a dietitian, and contact your Client Advocate for additional information related to nutrition questions and solutions. If you‘d like a copy of the recipes Chris served, email

Annual Design on Life- Auction Items Needed

Mark your calendars for Saturday, February 26, 2011 and plan to join us for our annual Design on Life event in the Johnny Appleseed Ballroom at the Memorial Coliseum. In addition to the silent and live auctions, this year’s event, “A Stroll Down Bourbon Street,” will offer guests an opportunity to sample New Orleans style fare, listen to live music, and be entertained by roaming street performers, all in support of those affected by cancer in our community.

We need auction items! If you or someone you know would like to donate an item to our silent or live auction, please contact Amber Recker at or (260) 484-9560.

I Collect Quotes

by Dianne May, president and CEO

I collect quotes. It sounds a little strange to say it that way, but it started quite a few years ago when I read something I didn’t want to lose. Now I have a folder on my computer called “inspiration.” Some of the quotes are from famous historic figures and though I might have a name, I don’t necessarily know anything about the individual. And a couple of quotes are even from fortune cookies!

I think what I like about keeping these quotes is that, for me, they illustrate ideas and values that I hold dear. Values like kindness…“When I was young I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people.” Abraham Heschel (1907-1972)

Fairness…“The only way to be just is to judge your own actions by the best part of you, and to judge the actions of others by the worst part of you.” Sydney J. Harris (1917-1986)

Self-discipline…“I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself.” Mikhail Baryshnikov

Humility…“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Harry S. Truman (1884—1972)

Leadership… “If you’re leading the herd, look back now and then to see if they are still there.” Cowboy wisdom

Happiness… “It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation which bring happiness.” Thomas Jefferson (1743—1826)

What words or ideas inspire you?

A Heart Felt Thank You

From a client:

Thank you Cancer Services for…

  • Caring Hearts
  • Always being there and listening
  • Wig Bank
  • Massage, donated for me and my husband
  • Ronald Repka Foundation gift

Words truly do not express enough gratitude. I have been validated as a woman with cancer and it is okay to feel what I am feeling. That is a big statement. I was given such a caring heart in my Client Advocate, Maureen. She allowed me as much time as I needed and she always answered the phone to talk. She has been an angel to me through this journey. I am grateful for all she has done.

Indiana Cancer Consortium’s Choices for End of Life Seminar

Indiana Cancer Consortium’s Quality of Life Action Team presents: Choices for the End of Life, a seminar for health care professionals.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana

6316 Mutual Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46825


“Hospice Experience: A Caregiver’s Story”, Sarah Stoffel

“Hospice and Palliative Care” SueAnn Reynolds, President & CEO, Family Hospice and Palliative Care, Berne, IN

“Starting the Conversation”- Dawn Schweickhardt, LCSW, Social Worker, Parkview Home Health & Hospice, Fort Wayne, IN

“Hospice & Palliative Care- A Physician’s Perspective”, Robert Crook, M.D., Hospice and Palliative Care Medical Director, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home, Fort Wayne, IN

For reservations:

Discovering Strength Within

by Gail Hamm, program director

I watched a webinar last week and the presenter talked about the Oz effect, as in The Wizard of Oz. You know the story. The characters traveled to Oz to meet the wizard hoping that he could solve their problems and give them what they needed- a way home, a heart, a brain, and courage. What the characters ultimately discovered is that the wizard was a sham and that he was unable to give them anything more than what they had come to him with.

They had the answers, the abilities, the strength and courage all along. It was inside each of them and they just had to discover that. When a person is diagnosed with cancer, she starts looking for the answers and the courage. Sometimes, out of the void, she is given the answers she needs. She finds superhuman strength to persevere. She endures experiences that a few weeks before would have seemed impossible. A cancer patient often finds within, more than would be thought possible.

When faced with a crisis, we discover our true selves. In addition, we discover our true friends and family. An additional source of strength and support is a Client Advocate from Cancer Services. Don’t hesitate to make that connection when you need it. When we don’t know if we have the strength within us, an understanding and knowledgeable friend can be a wonderful companion on the journey.

Kroger/Scott’s Cancer Day Was a Huge Success!

The Kroger Co.’s Central Division, American Cancer Society of Northeast Indiana (ACS) and Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana (CSNI) announced results of the 32nd annual “Kroger Scott’s Cancer Day 2010” today. The event included 19 Kroger, Scott’s and Owens stores in Northeast Indiana. Kroger is donating 2% of sales on Wednesday, October 6th to the ACS and CSNI, “rounded up” to $50,000. Kroger and Scott’s customers were encouraged to contribute their change to the cancer organizations by “rounding up” their purchases from Wednesday, October 6th to Saturday, October 16th, bringing an additional $12,056 for the two cancer organizations. In addition, Kroger donated a $46,000 advertising campaign in support of both Cancer Day and the two local cancer organizations.

“Kroger Scott’s Cancer Day 2010” total proceeds were $62,056. Over 32 years, the annual Cancer Day event has raised $4,465,934 for local cancer organizations.

According to Kroger Central Division President Bob Moeder, “We are determined to be a compassionate and supportive corporate citizen in every local community we serve. Kroger customers and associates always have been especially generous in supporting Cancer Day and we are hopeful that will be the case this year. Although proceeds were down in 2010 versus 2009 and 2009 versus 2008, we are very determined to continue working hard and investing Kroger’s resources in this extremely worthy cause. Cancer has too devastating an effect on so many members of the Kroger family to do otherwise. This year we really focused on celebrating our survivors and we will continue to honor through our efforts. To prevail, we must work as a team and Kroger is deeply honored to work with Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana, the American Cancer Society, Parkview Hospital, Lutheran Hospital, Mayor Henry and nearly 200 community volunteers more than two dozen community organizations to raise critical funds for the fight against cancer.”

Dianne May, President and CEO of Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana stated, “Last year more than 3,000 local people with cancer and their families received emotional support and practical resources from Cancer Services because of corporate leaders like Kroger. We are honored to have a long-standing relationship with Kroger that continues to grow and find new ways to make sure that friends and neighbors in our community know that there is an organization ready to help when a family is touched by cancer.”

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