This Place Is Like A Flower, by Debbie Beyer

rosalyn-green-participant

“It’s like a flower to me.” That’s how Rosalyn Green describes Cancer Support Community. Rosalyn is a regular attendee at the Qigong, Tai Chi and Gentle Yoga classes, which she says bring her peace of mind and help give her a better understanding of her body. “It’s like I’m blossoming and growing. I’m learning who I am through these classes.”

Rosalyn had been feeling poorly over a prolonged period and her white blood count was rising, so her family doctor referred her to an oncologist. After numerous tests, Rosalyn was diagnosed in 2013 with Stage III multiple myeloma, the second most common blood cancer in the U.S.

A New Jersey native, Rosalyn moved to Columbus five years ago to raise her two grandchildren and to be close to other family members. “I came here for a better life,” she said, referring to the high rate of crime in the Camden neighborhood she left behind.

After her diagnosis, Rosalyn had two six-month rounds of chemotherapy, which helped her manage the pain she was experiencing. But 18 months later, she ended up back in the hospital; her lymph nodes had swollen to the point that she was having trouble breathing.

Rosalyn’s cancer journey has included periods of depression, where she would isolate herself from others. “There were times when I didn’t feel good and I was mad. Everything got on my nerves and I didn’t want to be around other people,” she explained. Because she was constantly feeling sick and fatigued, Rosalyn to have to quit her job as a Certified Nurse’s Aide.  With two growing boys to look after, she was experiencing a lot of stress.

In October 2016, Rosalyn decided to look into Cancer Support Community. She had seen the sign in front of the building and stopped in one day to learn more. “It was one of the best things I could have done,” Rosalyn stated.

After attending the Newcomer Welcome program, Rosalyn began participating in Mindfulness Meditation and other classes to reduce her stress and anxiety. “I feel energized,” Rosalyn said about the Tai Chi, Qigong and Gentle Yoga classes. “It has helped me gain strength and mental clarity.”

“When I was sick all the time, I just wasn’t happy,” Rosalyn explained. “Feeling bad impacts how you look at everything, including yourself.  It impacts your feeling of self-worth.”

“I look forward to coming here; I love this place,” Rosalyn said abut Cancer Support Community. She has started to understand what her body is going through, and she is paying a lot of attention to what she eats. Juicing is one of her daily routines now.

“I have knowledge now and I must keep moving forward. There’s no cure for multiple myeloma, but it can be managed, and that’s what I’m doing now. I’m very grateful for Cancer Support Community.”

Written By: Debbie Beyer

-->

“It’s like a flower to me.” That’s how Rosalyn Green describes Cancer Support Community. Rosalyn is a regular attendee at the Qigong, Tai Chi and Gentle Yoga classes, which she says bring her peace of mind and help give her a better understanding of her body. “It’s like I’m blossoming and growing. I’m learning who… Read more.

A Place of So Many Thank Yous

One sentence, three words— “You have cancer.” Hearing this once is enough for an entire lifetime, but for Cheryl Eddy, that was not case. Over the last five years, Cheryl has been burdened with hearing that message three times. But throughout these years, she has managed to beat the odds and she continues on her cancer journey every day with a smile on her face.

27274723593_a955f3805d_z
Cheryl was first diagnosed with Stage II breast cancer and went on a three-week downward spiral. Not only had she been given a cancer diagnosis, Cheryl believed she was given her death sentence as well. Due to the past experiences of people she was surrounded by, cancer always seemed to win. It wasn’t until she joined a support group that she came to the realization that this cancer diagnosis didn’t have to get the best of her; she found hope.

Unfortunately, the support group Cheryl was attending ended after two years, but she heard about Cancer Support Community from another survivor in her group. The rest is history and Cheryl has been attending support groups, Tai Chi, Mindfulness Meditation, and Yoga Mudra ever since.

A few years after the breast cancer diagnosis, Cheryl heard that dreadful sentence once more when she was diagnosed with Stage I A Endometrial cancer. She had a hysterectomy and underwent radiation.

27609174610_3d9897f1ea_z-1

But it turns out that it was not all that bad in comparison to the news she would receive in the months that followed. Cheryl’s breast cancer had metastasized to the bone in her left leg and was now Stage IV with a three- to five-year survivorship. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation followed – once again. “That really took a toll on me mentally and physically,” said Cheryl. “Not realizing how limited I would be physically, I found myself needing help but found it difficult to ask for it.”

Today, Cheryl is taking one day at a time, and enjoying the people around her. Throughout her cancer journey, Cheryl credits much of her resilience and positive outlook to Cancer Support Community. “This is a place of so many ‘thank yous’ and no ‘pleases,’” Cheryl said when describing the organization. “I truly believe that I would not be in the place I am today without the community of people I’ve met by attending the programs at Cancer Support Community,” Cheryl offered.

The cards, visits, and kind words of encouragement during her recovery from everyone here at Cancer Support Community have taught Cheryl that it is okay to ask for help, but most importantly, it has allowed her to embrace the feeling of hope she had felt when she was first diagnosed five years ago.

30163846625_db34b5304e_z

-->

One sentence, three words— “You have cancer.” Hearing this once is enough for an entire lifetime, but for Cheryl Eddy, that was not case. Over the last five years, Cheryl has been burdened with hearing that message three times. But throughout these years, she has managed to beat the odds and she continues on her… Read more.

My Cancer Journey: Scotch, Wigs and Board Service, by Susan Haller

I first discovered my own “breast cancer suspicion” stepping out of a shower in Stamford, Connecticut, in the spring of 1995. After noticing some shape anomalies, I muttered a few unpleasant observances and continued with my day. I had just extended a business trip to spend a few days with my mom, who was on the downhill slide with lung cancer.

I made an appointment to be checked upon returning to Columbus. I had my checkup and called in for my results a few days later while at Chicago’s Midway International Airport. I heard the word “malignancy” and went right straight to the closest Midway bar. My compadres wondered why I switched to Scotch from my usual chardonnay, but I didn’t really want to talk about it. I located a seat away from my traveling companions and started to thoroughly study the booklets and pamphlets on breast cancer by myself.

Following my diagnosis and meeting with a surgeon, I had the choice of going on a preplanned family vacation before or after the surgery. I decided to wait and recoup on the beaches of North Carolina. I was more tired than usual, but was spoiled by family and friends.

With the excellent support of family and friends, I made it through chemo as well as a clinical trial that consisted of heavier doses of chemo in a shorter period of time.  Doses of Tamoxifen followed. I was pleased to find that a few years after completing my clinical trial, it became protocol.

I felt very fortunate that I didn’t receive a terminal diagnosis. My son, Andrew — 14 at the time – asked if I was going to die. I said, “Some time, but not yet.”

Losing my hair was a challenge. Initially, I thought I’d be in a business meeting, have a huge sneeze, and go completely bald. I got by with hats and scarves loaned by many friends. After buying a wig, I only wore it once, however; it did get used a second time when my son dressed as me for Halloween!

I was feeling home-free from cancer when I passed my fifteen year anniversary in 2010, but was diagnosed a second time after year sixteen. This time, it was a different type of breast cancer in the opposite breast.  Fortunately, a lumpectomy and about half the usual dosage of radiation was my treatment. Again, I felt so fortunate.

I have to say that one thing that has made me feel fortunate and stay positive is the incredible support I have received from work friends, personal friends, and my family— especially my spouse.

When Cancer Support Community Central Ohio, called The Wellness Community at the time, became in independent entity, Harry Davidow from the Cincinnati affiliate’s board of directors asked me to join the board of directors here in Columbus. Without hesitation, I accepted his offer and have been part of the organization ever since.

Being on the board for so many years makes me feel grateful for the growth— the contributions of a great team, board of directors and staff – and so very proud of all of the new accomplishments in the past few years.  We’ve come such a long way from several years ago when we did not know where the next month’s rent or salaries were coming from.

I continue to stay on board so I can do my part in supporting the organization to help the participants on their cancer journeys.  Hearing participants share their stories is such a rewarding and humbling experience.  As a researcher, I read the responses of the surveys that participants take and find happiness in knowing that Cancer Support Community has helped, or in some cases, has saved them in some way.  They say there is no other place that offers what Cancer Support Community does, and I am glad to be part of something so unique.

In continuing on the board, I look forward to being a part of the team that is working on awareness research and getting the word out to those who need Cancer Support Community’s services.

Susan Haller

My Cancer Journey: Scotch, Wigs and Board Service, written by Susan Haller

 

-->

I first discovered my own “breast cancer suspicion” stepping out of a shower in Stamford, Connecticut, in the spring of 1995. After noticing some shape anomalies, I muttered a few unpleasant observances and continued with my day. I had just extended a business trip to spend a few days with my mom, who was on… Read more.

Hope is Always There by Michael Elmer

Cancer has made me an orphan.

Cancer has desensitized me to death.

Cancer left a hole in me.

Each time the healing begins, another loss recreates the hole. In the scoreboard of life, the score is tied. I have lost two  family members and I have two others who continue to fight. The two who fight use hope as their chosen weapon.

The hope that we all share is created within and with the support of family and the community. Hope creates the  positive attitude that allows one to take a step back to remember their life’s priorities. As we move through life at a  tremendous and demanding speed, we never feel a need to use hope. Then life throws you a curve ball and you begin  to reach for hope. Funny thing is, hope is always there and will always be there.

I am part of an amazing community that is full of hope. For the past four years, I have honored my parents by serving on the board of Cancer Support Community Central Ohio. During this time, we have heard the tearful stories and witnessed the good that a positive environment can do for our participants. This inclusive community that provides free service has offered a boost to help the fighters and those who support them. The community shares the journey and becomes the copilot – the copilot who lifts from the lows and celebrates the highs.

Fortunately, my body has not been touched by cancer; however; if it is, I know I have a community of care and hope ready to welcome me.

Written by: Michael Elmer, Cancer Support Community Central Ohio Board of Directors Member

Michael Elmer & Parents

(Pictured Above: Michael Elmer & Parents)

 

 

-->

Cancer has made me an orphan. Cancer has desensitized me to death. Cancer left a hole in me. Each time the healing begins, another loss recreates the hole. In the scoreboard of life, the score is tied. I have lost two  family members and I have two others who continue to fight. The two who… Read more.

The Quilt That Brought Carol to Cancer Support Community

Carol- with quilt

There are many wonderful things we have to be thankful for here at Cancer Support Community, but our amazing  team of volunteers sits at the top of our list. Without them, we would not be able to make such a heavy impact on  the lives of the thousands of central Ohioans who have been directly affected by a cancer diagnosis. One volunteer  for whom we will be eternally grateful is Carol Bomlitz, who is a cancer survivor herself. Carol is always willing to  go above and beyond for our organization, which is why we saw fit to honor her as Volunteer of the Year at this  year’s Night of Chocolate. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Carol to talk with her about her journey with  cancer and how she wound up being such a staple on our volunteer team that we would like to share with you.

“When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in August of 1999, I was left with no place to go for information  concerning my diagnosis. All I could find were a few books and pamphlets to read, but no one to talk with, and as  we all know, there are certain things you just can’t read about in a book. We’ve come a long way in disseminating  information and providing resources for cancer patients since my diagnosis, which is why I know how important  programs for cancer patients and their support systems are.

I was fortunate enough to find a cancer support group with which I am still involved in to this day. I take it upon myself to schedule a monthly lunch date for all of us to get together and catch up.  My group has helped me so much along my journey with cancer and I cannot thank them enough, they are everything to me.

My father was always involved in our community, which is something I have clearly inherited from him. It has been 14 years since I initially became involved in volunteering for different organizations. Before I started dedicating my time to Cancer Support Community, I volunteered at Mt. Carmel St. Ann’s. I made a breast cancer quilt to be used in an auction hosted by the organization, and the gentleman who won the quilt decided to donate it back. The following year I added a chair to go along with the quilt for the same raffle. A physician won the raffle and gave it to one of his office workers. Oddly enough, the office worker who received the blanket knew I had made it, and once again, donated it back to me.

When the fundraising event stopped at Mt. Carmel St. Ann’s, I really wanted to continue my work as a volunteer to raise money for events relating to cancer patients. I was fortunate enough to see a sign for Cancer Support Community’s  Charity Golf Classic, so I decided to stop by and donate the breast cancer quilt in hopes of finding it a home. They used it as an auction prize and ironically enough, I knew the wife of the gentlemen that won it, but to this day, I have not told her I made it. I guess you could say that the quilt lead me to Cancer Support Community and I am so glad it did.

When I get involved in something, my family also gets involved. My husband, Elmer, and daughter, Karla, are my go-to people. Elmer is retired and volunteers his time with me and Karla designs beautifully embroidered linens that I use when making gift baskets for all of Cancer Support Community’s fundraisers. I love every part of the fundraising; it’s easily my favorite aspect of volunteering. I enjoy assembling the silent auction baskets and getting things ready for each event.

When asked how many hours I usually volunteer, I find that I have no idea. It doesn’t matter to me, because I love doing it. Knowing that I am making a difference in the lives of so many others who have been affected by cancer is extremely rewarding because we all have one thing in common: we have all heard the three words, “You have cancer.”

If you would like to join Carol and become part of our volunteer team, we would love to have you. Click this link to find out more about how you can get involved with Cancer Support Community through volunteering, teaching, donations and more!

-->

There are many wonderful things we have to be thankful for here at Cancer Support Community, but our amazing  team of volunteers sits at the top of our list. Without them, we would not be able to make such a heavy impact on  the lives of the thousands of central Ohioans who have been directly… Read more.