My friends and family all know the strong connection I have had with over the years. They know that I have been walking in the annual "Support A Walk" for many years and that I started walking in support of my mother who was a 30-year ovarian cancer survivor.
They know that I continued to walk over the years in support of loved ones who had battled breast cancer. They know that now, I walk in support of myself, I am an ovarian cancer survivor.
The other day, however, someone asked me just how I personally have benefited from Support Connection and I would like to share my answer. My first call to Support Connection was shortly after being diagnosed. I had good support at home but I needed to connect with others who had personally experienced cancer.
I called Support Connection and was connected with a peer counselor who was understanding, compassionate and reassuring. Days after that conversation I received an envelope in the mail filled with information on all the programs and services that Support Connection offers.
One of the first things I took advantage of was a lecture on Lymphedema. A group session on "chemo brain" made me feel not so alone with the changes chemotherapy had left me with. An educational teleconference with an excellent physician on Ovarian Cancer was something I was able to participate in from the comfort of my own home. Another teleconference allowed me to chat with other women dealing with ovarian cancer via telephone.
Face to face group sessions with other cancer survivors which take place right in my hometown of Fishkill are something I also attend. When I have a question and just need someone to bounce a thought off of, I know I can pick up the phone and talk to a peer counselor.
When my daughter was diagnosed with the BRCA gene mutation I was able to call my counselor and she had the perfect informative book waiting for me to give my daughter to read.
When I walk into the Support Connection office I always feel special. Everyone stops what they are doing and says hello. It's like walking into a friend's home where you always feel welcome.
The best thing is Support Connection's programs are always free and confidential.
This year the 2012 Support A Walk will take place on Sunday, Oct. 7. I hope you will come and join me and help to make this day a success so that Support Connection can continue bringing it's many services and programs to women like myself living with cancer.