You may remember a time when the word “cancer” was not even spoken aloud, or referred to in hushed voices as the “C” word or the “big C.” There was a time when it seemed possible to not know anyone who was a survivor of cancer. There was a time when it seemed cancer was a death sentence.
It’s a new day.
During my own short journey with cancer, new treatments and discoveries were happening with regularity, positively affecting my recovery. It was not my mother’s cancer. People and programs that were available to me along the way compelled me to become an enthusiastic volunteer for the American Cancer Society, an advocate for keeping prevention, early detection and research funding in the forefront of the legislative agenda.
ACS recognizes the cancer experience varies among the people whose lives have been touched by the disease. This is why we have tailored our programs and services to help alleviate some of the confusion and address the unique needs of cancer patients and their loved ones. If you or a loved one needs information about cancer, call (800) ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
You can get help making treatment decisions, understanding the effects of treatment, finding treatment centers and doctors, coping with side effects and talk with others. You can meet other survivors, find or offer support on the Cancer Survivors Network. You can find lodging, workshops, transportation and other services and products for cancer patients, survivors and loved ones. There are camps for Alaska children who are survivors, and their siblings. All of this is available through the American Cancer Society.
I hope that as you read this, if you know of someone who needs the resources mentioned above, you will pass on this information. I hope also that you will consider joining our community in the ninth annual Relay For Life on June 1 and 2 at the Skyview High School track. Survivors and those who have helped them are honored in the first lap. The lighting of the luminarias at 11 p.m. is done in memory of those who have lost the fight and honors those who are survivors.
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