Finding Relief after dealing with Cancer

Whenever I see the words ‘Cancer’ written down on paper my heart sinks way down into the pit of my stomach. Words cannot express how much I despise the disease, and how much I hope and pray that I see a cure sometime in my lifetime. Instead of finding a cure, we are faced with the fact that Cancer is spreading more and more every day, and getting uglier by the minute. After watching my loved ones be affected by the disease again this summer, I vowed to spread the word as much as I can and show people how important it is to lend a hand in helping to fight the disease.

I am fortunate enough to live in a community where the fight against Cancer is a main priority. We have amazing facilities that provide services to families in need, and are 1 in only 22 states fortunate enough to have a Hope Lodge; a facility that offers cancer patients and their families a free, temporary place to stay when their best hope for effective treatment may be in another city. It also provides a nurturing, home-like environment where patients and caregivers can retreat to private rooms or connect with others who are going through many of the same experiences.

Our local hospital’s Cancer Services Department is now offering yet another resource for patients and their families. Starting this month they are offering a series called “Living on after loss”; an eight-week series on learning, understanding and dealing with loss. The program strives to help participants sort out the pain and suffering that goes along with losing a loved one to Cancer. Participants will engage in activities that show them how to deal with grieving as a process, instead of a single event as they share with others with similar situations.

The meetings will be held each Monday from 5:30-7pm Jan. 24th-March 14th in the activity room of The McConnell-Raab American Cancer Society Hope Lodge, 930 Wellness Drive (near the ViQuest Center). There is no fee to participate in the program, but pre-registration is required by calling Kimberly Garner at 252-847-9450. It is so encouraging as a family member of a Cancer survivor to see programs geared towards awareness and survival after loss. Fighting against Cancer is so much easier when we have full knowledge of the disease and understand ways we can help.

For more information on the programs and services offered at the McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge visit http://www5.cancer.org/docroot/subsite/hopelodge/NC_Greenville/mr_index.asp or to join in the fight against this year’s Relay For Life in Pitt County visit http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=3299

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