On Thursday, May 10, we will host “What Did You Say? Chemotherapy and Your Ability to Hear,” presented by Nora Stewart, MAFAAA, from HearCare Connection. This program will explore topics including prevalence of hearing loss with certain chemotherapy drugs, importance of monitoring hearing ability during chemotherapy treatments, and effects of untreated hearing loss. Hearing screenings will be available after the presentation.
When: Thursday, May 10, 2-3:30 p.m.
Where: Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana
Healing Arts Center
6316 Mutual Drive
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
For reservations call 260-484-9560 or toll free 866-484-9560
I often meet cancer survivors who have a passion to help those walking the cancer journey. They feel they have learned so much through their experience they can make someone else’s experience a little easier.
For Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana that passion to share information happens on a corporate level too. We often network with sister organizations to share ideas and find better ways to care for people with cancer on a community level. That’s why it was a real joy last fall to meet Regina Brett, a writer, cancer survivor and volunteer with The Gathering Place in Cleveland, Ohio.
Regina visited Cancer Services before speaking at our fall dinner. She said lots of nice things during her visit, but she was bowled over when she stepped into the wig salon. Tears welled up in her eyes as memories about her own experience came flooding back. Then her survivor passion kicked in. She decided before leaving Fort Wayne that she had to help her local organization create a wig salon.
They are well on their way to providing wigs for women with cancer in Cleveland. Read about her story here: The Gathering Place Launches Wig-Lending Program
April 1, 2009, is the day life changed for Kara McKinney and her family. She received the news all women dread: “You have breast cancer.”
“I don’t remember much after hearing those words,” Kara says. “All I could think about was my children- three and one at the time. I was afraid they would never know their mother.”
Kara knew she had to fight. “I strapped on my seatbelt and started on this wild roller coaster ride. I cycled through all of the emotions…denial, fear, anger, sadness and finally acceptance,” she says. “And then, I found the biggest change in my journey. I gave it over to God and my inner soul started breathing again.”
Kara had a lumpectomy and fortunately, the cancer had not spread; however, she had to undergo chemotherapy. “I lost all of my hair and had side effects that I can’t even mention,” she explains. “It was hard.”
But Kara also had good days. She was able to bake a cake for both of her children’s birthdays during her treatment. And because of her husband’s strength and resolve to carry his family through this difficult time, Kara and her children were given a refuge in the backyard during her treatment, which he transformed for them into a playground.
“I am so grateful for Brad. I cannot begin to tell you how much he means to me,” Kara says. “He is my soul mate, through sickness and health.”
Kara is also grateful for the help she and her family received from Cancer Services. “My Client Advocate, Maureen, is an angel sent from God,” she says. “Not only did she provide emotional support and two wigs, she also helped me secure insurance for me and my children through Medicaid. She was relentless in her pursuit to open doors for me.”
Shortly after Kara was diagnosed with cancer, her husband’s company changed their policy and discontinued insurance coverage for dependents. “There’s no way we would have been able to pay for my treatment and regular doctor’s visits for my children,” she explains. “Maureen saved our lives.”
Today, Kara is done with the surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy and is starting to feel normal again. “I still have struggles,” she admits. “Sometimes I look at myself in the mirror and wonder ‘who is that woman?’ I often joke with my husband that he has a new wife. But in all seriousness, cancer has changed me, mentally and physically, and that takes some getting used to.”
With each day Kara gets stronger. “Cancer provides unexpected blessings,” she says. “I have a new appreciation for faith, family and life. I am blessed.”
Founded in 1944, CancerCare is a national nonprofit organization that provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer, including people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones, and the bereaved. CancerCare programs are provided by professional oncology social workers and are completely free of charge. Last year, the organization provided individual help to more than 100,000 people, in addition to the more than 1 million unique visitors to its website: www.cancercare.org.
Through its website, you can gain access to counseling, support groups, publications, financial assistance, therapeutic activities, special events information and Connect Education Workshops. We’d like to draw attention two upcoming workshops:
Understanding and Managing Chemotherapy Side Effects, Friday, January 21, 2011, 1:30-2:30PM Eastern Time.
Caring for Your Bones When You Have Breast Cancer: What’s New? Friday, February 11, 2011, 1:30-2:30PM Eastern Time.
You can listen to these workshop online or via telephone.
There are two ways to register:
Call 1-800-813-HOPE (4673) or online at www.cancercare.org/connect.
You can also view a full schedule of Connect Workshops at www.cancercare.org/connect.
We are sponsoring a seminar on prostate cancer and men’s sexual health on Saturday, September 18, from 9 AM to 1 PM. The event will be held at our facility, 6316 Mutual Drive.
The seminar will feature the following presentations:
- Prostate Cancer: PSA Screening, and the Option of Watchful Waiting, presented by Jeff Schneider, M.D.
- Maintaining and Enhancing Men’s Sexual Health, presented by Janet Casperson, PA
- The Role of Nutrition in Preventing and Fighting Prostate Cancer
- The Role of Exercise in Preventing and Fighting Prostate Cancer, presented by Michelle Lefevra
- Surgical Options for Treating Prostate Cancer, presented by Mark Dabagia, M.D.
- Systematic Treatment of Prostate Cacncer: Hormonal Therapy, Provenge Vaccine, and Chemotherapy, presented by Musaberk Goksel, M.D.
To reserve your spot, call (260) 484-9560, or for more information, visit cancer-services.org.