My Lifeline of Support During Treatment for Endometrial Cancer

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While I was receiving treatment for endometrial cancer, I received so much support from friends, coworkers and people from my church.

Image of three emotions, with the smiley face in yellow.

Through the challenging months of treatment for endometrial cancer, Hagstrom emphasized how encouraging her support system was.

I smiled in amazement as I received a hand-made soft blanket, neatly folded and decorated with a sprig of flower blossoms, after being diagnosed with gynecological cancer in my early 30s. The bright flowers on the blanket immediately brought joy to my face, giving me a lifeline of support during one of the darkest seasons of my life.

People from my church, workplace, family and friends provided support both before and during my cancer treatments as I shared about my endometrial cancer diagnosis. However, after my treatments ended, I needed to search for my cancer support community during the many years of follow-up appointments. Overall, my community support helped me continue working during my cancer battle and gave me a lifeline of hope.

Before my cancer treatments, many people who I knew at church, at work and in my friend circle offered support to me as I shared my upcoming cancer surgery. After my major abdominal surgery, I awoke to a view of beautiful multi-colored flowers near the hospital window. I knew that someone cared for me in my deepest suffering and encouraged me to persevere through the pain.

People from my church visited me in the hospital and prayed for me. Their prayers helped strengthen my faith and bring me hope. Also, a care package from work that included another homemade soft blanket, numerous cards and various trinkets really encouraged me when I received it in my hospital room.

During my recovery at my parent’s home, a meal train sponsored by a friend delivered delicious meals for me and my family. The meals impacted me by being able to visit with people as they arrived and the ability to focus on my recovery instead of the day-to-day tasks of meal preparation. I also received a surprise care package in the mail of a coloring book, colored pencils, dark chocolate and Jasmine green tea from a friend who lived in a different state. This care package also brought me joy as I began to relax during the waiting period after my cancer surgery to find out if I needed cancer treatments.

During my difficult months of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, I again found support through my family, church and friends. My church friends helped to organize fun game nights before each of my chemo treatments to help me have some fun during my cancer battle. The laughter, games, food and fellowship helped me get my mind off my worries about the upcoming treatments.

I continued to receive numerous encouraging cards from work, friends and church with uplifting messages to help me to persevere through my hair loss, fatigue and other side effects. Friends continued to bring various care packages at just the right time that consisted of mugs, music, coloring books, and even some hats. Right after I finished my last cancer treatment, I received a large care package with colorful paper that contained an encouraging card, and numerous items that I needed as I finished my treatments.

After I finished my cancer treatments, the level of support I received drastically changed. I no longer received frequent cards, numerous visits or care packages. As I was left with very short hair, raw emotions and weak physical strength, I learned I needed to search for continued community support as a cancer survivor.

During my internet searches, I discovered several support groups, which I sought to join to help me heal emotionally. These various groups helped me know that I was not alone in my new cancer survivor identity. A women’s church cancer support group gave me much-needed comfort and encouragement as we shared our own stories to help increase our faith. I also joined a young adult cancer support group, which helped me feel like I was not alone as I met other young adults who had battled cancer.

To help increase my physical strength and decrease my fatigue, I joined the LiveStrong exercise program through my local YMCA, which helps improve fitness for people with cancer and cancer survivors. This program offered me much-needed community support for years after I finished my treatments. I still enjoy attending this exercise program in my seventh year after finishing my cancer treatments to get to know other cancer survivors and have fun exercising.

Overall, my community of support before, during and after my cancer treatments has encouraged me to continue persevering through my cancer recovery process. I also received motivation to pass along the support I have been given to other people who are battling cancer. I know firsthand how important community support is as people endure months of cancer treatments and years of follow-up appointments. This support is truly a lifeline of hope in a dark storm.

This post was written and submitted by Heather Hagstrom. The article reflects the views of Hagstrom and not of CURE®. This is also not supposed to be intended as medical advice.

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