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Does volunteering help?

sashi
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2003

It's been 3 years since my lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation. Also, my mother died of recurrent breast cancer 3 months after I finished all my treatments. I tried to volunteer with the cancer society but found by doing so it just reminded me of all the negatives of cancer. I couldn't get it off my mind. Does anyone have same feelings or suggestions

Snookums
Posts: 149
Joined: Apr 2003

I haven't had your same background, bi-latmas with nodes taken on left side, only Chemo and I have 2 more sessions of that. No relatives with BC but- I wanted to reach out and say- yes, volunteer. In a school, or with homeless, thru your church. Perhaps it is too soon to help with bc patients and any cancer patients but- filling up free time will help you and the ones you work with. Perhaps that will help you to grow and move away from the pain associated with cancer and one day down the road you could go back. I just know in my case having free time to think can sometimes be just as bad for my mental health. Good Luck and I will bring you challenges to God in prayer for an answer to come that you are comfortable with. Good Luck- Candy

newboobs's picture
newboobs
Posts: 127
Joined: Apr 2003

It has definitely helped. I have volunteered for ACS for 10 yrs -- Relay for Life. When I was diagnosed in '01, it was very surreal to be on the "other" side. I finished trtmt in '02 and have realized that volunteering can't be about me. It's about helping the folks in here who are newly diagnosed or bewildered caregivers. Having been both like me, you're a wealth of knowledge and great support person. Jump on the CSN chat, it will be so very rewarding to you.

inkblot
Posts: 705
Joined: Jul 2001

Hello Sashi:

If getting involved in ACS Volunteering is not helpful to you, then by all means don't do it!

Perhaps try to find other ways of giving of yourself. Youth organisations, retirement community groups, community fund raisers not related to cancer, your local school probably has a volunteer program as well. Find what fills you up most and go for it.

There are many charities to choose from and your time, energy and expertise will be greatly appreciated at any one of them. We all have some great talents which we may not fully appreciate until we give them away.

Before you commit to any charity, be sure to fully check them out first to be certain that the way they're run is something you fully support. It's good to know everything you can about them in order to help avoid disappointment later on.

I've discovered that I'm not suited to the cancer volunteering either. I've been asked to speak and help out with fundraisers for the ACS a number of times since my treatment and found, like yourself, it just isn't the best fit for me. Yet it can be just right for other's.

Good Luck!

Love, light and laughter,
Ink

DyeanaD3326
Posts: 3
Joined: Apr 2003

I walked in a 5 mile "Making Strides" walk in my area a year after fiishing chemo and radiation. I enjoyed it so much, I asked some volunteers if there was anything I could do.
I wound up being trained through the American Cancer Society for "Reach to recovery", where we talk and maybe visit with new survivors, and now participate in fund rainsing with "Malking Strides" and also "Relay for Life". If you feel like it, call your local ACS(American Cancer Society)office, and get info.
But if it makes you feel badly, wait. Join a discussion group through ACS or a local hospital, or just chat here. Whatever works for you!
It's now 7 1/2 years for me, and I enjoy being involved!

lindadelrio
Posts: 7
Joined: Apr 2003

Hello, 4 years ago when I was diagnosed, I made a promiss to myself to that if I made it through I would participate in the Relay for Life. My husband was a wonderful supporter. I never needed the help of the American Cancer Society, but I do understand that there are people not as lucky as others. Three weeks ago I just finished my 4th relay. I have been a team captain for our school. We have raised over $6,000 for our county. Doing this makes me happy and it makes me feel like I can contribute to the community and make a difference. I am a teacher and I let my students know everything. I try to prepare them for what may lies ahead.
My volunteering is done on the outside but I feel it helps me. This year my 7 year old son raised $64 for the relay. We were all so very proud. My 4 year old daughter goes out with us and has a blast. They both understand everything. It is a way to get everyone involve. You don't have to do it alone.

Linda in Del Rio, Texas

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