Marie Mason is a adept of the wars. Not the affectionate that crave appropriate accessory and camo, but action aloof the same.
“This is my additional time about with cancer. I’m a metastatic blight survivor,” the 67-year-old from Starkville said on a Thursday afternoon in October. She had aloof alternate from a doctor’s appointment, a little tired, but attractive advanced to a acceptable supper afterwards accepting to fast aback the night before.
“I was aboriginal diagnosed 23 years ago and went through surgeries and analysis — and afresh I was cancer-free and went on about my business,” she recounted.
It was in aboriginal March that she apparent abnormal swelling.
“I knew article was activity on wrong, so I alleged the doctor,” Mason said. “The blight had arise back. I had nine treatments of chemo again, and 36 treatments of radiation, and the doctors accept been blockage me and blockage my scans, and today he said they attending good!”
Afterwards administration her absolute news, Mason fabricated it bright that she isn’t accepting through all this alone. Her army includes doctors, nurses, technicians and family. But Mason additionally relies on a account abutment accumulation alleged SLCE — Administration Life-Changing Experiences. She aing seven years ago, aback it aboriginal formed.
“It has been my anchor,” she said. “In our accumulation you can vent, you can laugh, you can cry — we get abutment mentally, physically and emotionally.”
October is Breast Blight Awareness Month, but the actuality is any anatomy of blight is an about-face for a accommodating and for those who adulation them. It is one of the best demanding adventures a actuality can have. It usually triggers able affections — shock, anger, disbelief, acute abhorrence and sadness. Sometimes alike aing ancestors associates can’t understand. Abutment groups accommodate an befalling to be with others active with cancer, to apprentice how to best cross challenges and barter admonition and admonition that may abate accent and accommodate a faculty of control.
That’s why blight abutment groups accommodated account at both Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle in Columbus and at OCH Regional Medical Center in Starkville.
Anniversary accumulation brings in speakers on capacity alignment from managing ancillary furnishings and diet to affecting fallout, any affair that can advice patients and caregivers cope.
Aback January, Max Cullum of Columbus has been activity through analysis for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He had been cancer-free aback auspiciously alleviative his aboriginal bender in 2013 at Baptist Blight Center-Golden Triangle in Columbus, for which he has aerial praise.
“They don’t aloof amusement you, they amusement your spirit,” he said.
Max and his wife, Shirley, accept been complex with the abutment accumulation there the absolute period, alike in years he was cancer-free.
Cullum said, “We’ve kept activity because you can abutment added bodies that are demography treatment, let them apperceive what to expect.”
His wife added, “We’re aback in chemo again, but we accept connected to arise to the abutment accumulation because we accretion so abundant backbone from those who are authoritative the journey.”
Luke Johnson coordinates the accumulation that meets the third Friday of anniversary ages from apex to 1 p.m., usually in the Baptist Hospital Accommodating Tower. He is a accountant adept amusing artisan acceptable oncology patients at Baptist Blight Center-Golden Triangle.
“I acquaint patients I accept two capital jobs: My capital focus is counseling, abnormally for association who may get affectionate of down, fatigued out about activity alfresco of treatment,” said Johnson. “Outside of that, it’s acquisition resources, if association charge educational material, advice with accepting medicines, advice with accepting transportation, we try to advice with those things.”
The Baptist Blight Foundation at Golden Triangle is adjourned absolutely by donations and exists to abutment patients in need. It’s one way association associates accommodate a allowance hand. Others accord wigs or scarves, or baby allowance accoutrements abounding with candies, snacks, pens, adorning pamphlets, crossword puzzles and baby bottles of baptize for beverage patients who may absorb three to eight hours in analysis on a accustomed day.
Ada Williams of Starkville acquainted that charge to do something, anything, to advice others with cancer. She’s an ovarian blight survivor. She accustomed her analysis in March 2008, one ages afterwards her mother was diagnosed. Williams’ mother anesthetized abroad in November 2009. Williams had her aftermost analysis in September 2008 and is cancer-free today. She still gets affecting talking about it.
“I acquainted acerb about giving back, so I acclimated to aggregate wigs for women activity through blight who had absent their hair,” she said.
But Williams acquainted accountable to do added and organized the abutment accumulation SLCE. The aboriginal affair was in September 2011, with seven people. Today, 27 are on the list. They accommodated every aboriginal Thursday (except January and July) at 6 p.m. at OCH Regional Medical Center.
“People charge somebody to allocution to and not feel like they’re abandoned activity through cancer,” Williams said. “This accumulation has been an aperture for me, affectionate of like my family. It gives me accord to apperceive that I’m not adversity in blackout all by myself. There are added bodies who are adversity but aloof don’t apperceive area to get help, area to get started.”
In accession to speakers, bringing bodies calm offers a safe ambiance for questions. Williams aggregate that one contempo attendee had a babe in her 20s activity through cancer.
“She aggregate her animosity of actuality balked and that her babe was depressed and how do you handle that.”
Mason said, “This accumulation is added like a sisterhood, that’s the way I feel. One of the capital things is we accept a beautiful, spirit-filled, compassionate adult in Ada Williams. Her spirit aloof trickles bottomward to all the blow of the members.”
Bob Nolan of Columbus and Nashville, Tennessee, had his aftermost assigned radiation analysis Friday. Earlier this year he was experiencing conciseness of animation and an aberrant pulse, which led doctors to bare a affection issue. But while actuality advised for that, an MRI arise a bump on his lung, which appropriate surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
“But I’m cancer-free now and praising God for it,” Nolan said.
The abutment accumulation at Baptist has been a advice for him throughout treatment.
“Luke set me up with the abutment group, area he brings in altered bodies to talk. All of them were so informative, actual kind, giving and supportive. You knew they were there to advice and that they were special.
“So abounding bodies prayed for me, and I could absolutely feel the attendance of God, but at the aforementioned time, all these bodies that helped me at the hospital, they were so acceptable to me, and I abiding would like to acknowledge them all.”
A abutment accumulation activating generally creates a faculty of acceptance that can advice those with blight feel added accepted and beneath alone.
“For me, it additionally helps booty the focus off of me,” Williams said, “from apprehensive about what does the aing day or the aing brace of weeks hold, or aback ability my blight arise back.”
Johnson said there are abounding rewards in his assignment and in analogous a abutment group. One is allowance patients breed and breeding a faculty of ability forth the way through treatment.
“I get to admonish them what they’re angry for,” he said.
For admonition about the account blight abutment accumulation at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle, acquaintance Luke Johnson at [email protected], or 662-244-2923. For admonition about SLCE, affair at OCH Regional Medical Center, acquaintance Ada Williams, 601-527-1553, or Janice McGee, 662-242-8070.
Chargeless mammograms in October
Through a admission from the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle offers chargeless mammograms in October to women who qualify.
Applicants charge be 35 or older, alive in Lowndes, Oktibbeha, Clay, Monroe or Chickasaw Counties, and accept no insurance, or allowance that does not awning mammograms. For added information, alarm 662-244-2979 or 800-544-8762, ext. 2979.
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