Every other Thursday we feature a personal story from a patient, a family member or a caregiver. Here are some personal stories from friends in our community. If you would like to share, please send us an email at email@example.com or call Lynn at 252-561-5351.
Hi! I'm Claudia. My husband, Roger was diagnosed with a brain cancer in 2005. He died just about a year later. What am I doing writing a "Thriving Thursday" entry? Well, there are a couple of reasons, actually.
The first is that I absolutely LOATHE the notion that "Everyone is a survivor from day one!" that is often bandied about by people in the medical profession. My husband fought his cancer battle from the day he was diagnosed to the day that he died from the disease. At no point did he feel like a "survivor".
As far as we were concerned, a "survivor" is a person who has beaten cancer, has no evidence of the disease left in their body, and is likely to die of something OTHER THAN cancer.
My husband, who had had a very low chance of even a five-year survival, would not have felt comfortable in a "survivor's group", geared towards talking about "survival", with his prognosis. He might have felt a LOT more comfortable in a "Thriver's Support Group" where the emphasis was on learning how to THRIVE with a cancer diagnosis, no matter how long he might have to live.
The other reason is that as a wife and caregiver, I was stuck in a cancer nightmare every bit as much as my husband. I ALSO needed help learning to "Thrive" with my husband's diagnosis. I needed help and
there was no support group of any kind for caregivers at that point.
I HAVE learned to "thrive" as a widow of a cancer patient. It was not easy but the experience has given me a new level of compassion and empathy that I did not have before this happened. I am retired now and I spend a lot of my time volunteering in ways that help others. I am an in-home hospice volunteer, which means I sit with patients in their homes so that their primary caregiver can take a short break. I serve on the board of Cancer Services of Eastern NC and I am an "Imerman's Angel". "Imerman's Angels" is an organization that pairs people going through a life changing medical experience with someone who has been through something similar.
I LIKE the new life I have built for myself! I am a Thriver!
Your story here
Share as much or as little as you'd like about your cancer experience.