I was in my mother’s living room when the
phone call came. I was in a state of shock
It was just like “Wow. This can’t be happening.” But then I thought “Why not? Why can’t
it happen to you?” What if you were one of them?
When I started chemo treatments, I decided to shave my head. When I came home, my three
year old was here and she was scared. She said “I only love Daddy. I don’t love
you anymore.” And I was devastated. The next day I called the American Cancer Society.
I spoke to some really wonderful woman on the phone and even though she didn’t know
me, she made it seem like I had known her forever and that made a world of difference
to me. She changed our whole outlook. She gave me my family back. What we are trying to do is change the narrative
from hopelessness to hope. Having somewhere to stay while you deal with
such a diagnosis can be terrifying. So to take care of a huge piece of where we are
going to sleep at night while we have to get up in the morning and deal with doctors daily
is truly priceless. As a patient, I know what is needed to recover.
I understand the stress. The monetary stress, the lodging stress, and that kind of a thing.
So for Extended Stay of America to be able to at least alleviate at least one of those
stresses, it makes a huge difference in the lives of the patients and their families.
At extended stay, my experience was a home away from home, truly. ON many levels, it
was comforting, it was clean. Without that level of comfort and feeling
at home, recovery becomes a lot more difficult. It was truly a blessing Cancer changes you
For me, the biggest issue was hair loss. And I hadn’t even thought about my eyebrows
and eyelashes. I thought those things stayed in.
When I get up and see myself in the mirror, it’s still “wow. Who is this?”
You need tools to help you be able to be the person that you were
This is just so empowering. Now I can just put on my makeup and my wig and people say
“Gosh you look so much better.” It makes you want to go forward with passion.
Hello ladies and welcome to the Look Good Feel Better program. We’re happy to have
you here, and I’m so honored and privileged to spend time with you
Look Good Feel Better is a free public service program that helps women during the course
of their cancer treatment while they are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation learn how to cope
with the appearance side-effects of their treatment The reach to recovery program is a program
through the American cancer society that matches survivors who are at least a year out from
their treatment with someone who has just been diagnosed.
My journey would be very different had I not had a reach to recovery volunteer contact
me in the beginning- from the get go. It kind of set the groundwork for me to have the confiedence,
to have the strength, to have the courage There are so many people out here that just
need that support and they don’t know what to do. They want to find the resources, but
when they’re scattered all about, it’s hard. The
American cancer society Road to Recovery program
is a free transportation program facilitated by our volunteers to take patients to their
cancer treatments and back home It is quite stressful to them to think that
I can’t get there every day. “What’s going to happen to me? What if I can’t get
my treatments?” So it’s a vital program for people to be able to have Road to Recovery
No matter what their situation is, we want to offer a free volunteer-led road to recovery
program So, pretty much, with our cancer patients
that we have, their barrier to treatment is transportation. So there are a lot of patients
that don’t have anyone in town or don’t have family, or they don’t keep in touch
with their families. So without the rides, I would have been stranded
some days and missed treatments, and that would have impacted negatively my recovery
They don’t have anyone or support systems that can bring them to treatment. Especially
those who don’t have insurance, because that rules out a lot of options. So the Road
to Recovery program has really helped to get patents to their treatment – especially
those who have treatment every single day Well, for people like myself who have no family
and have to rely basically on friends, I think it’s a wonderful program because the volunteers
are all so eager to help out and drive people Seems like, to me, that stress may have been
the reason I was in this predicament in the first place. And the major thing about the
journey is that it was a calm morning every morning they came to pick me up. I don’t
stress. I knew they were coming. They were count on-able, they were always there. And
it wasn’t carefree. It was just a peaceful ride with people who were interesting and
fun, so it made my experience, where I didn’t even think about that I was going to treatment,
and after words, coming back home, was just…relaxed. It gives me something to look forward to.
I’m in the house so much, I don’t drive the car, just seeing the smiling faces each
week, four times a week, it’s kept my spirits up. Doctors and nurses and radiology technicians
– people who see the patients on a regular basis, might hear that somebody doesn’t
have a ride, and maybe even ask them if they have a ride to treatments. Because I believe,
once they knew and hear it by word of mouth how great the program is, how reliable it
is, and what a big difference it makes, they would be telling other people and other health-care
providers about it.