Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Victory in the Valley
Today I'm continuing my search for whatever answers and support are out there. Today I decided to check out Victory in the Valley, a nonprofit organization in our area for resources and support of cancer patients/survivors. It's always nice to find a community of others with similar experiences. The bad news was they didn't personally know of any wheelchair users who also happen to be breast cancer patients or survivors. It looks like I might be a trail blazer once again. Good thing I know how to do that :)
I was so impressed with the services provided and plan to use those that I need. They offer practical services like a boutique to help you figure out wig or turban fitting if that becomes necessary in my future as well as post mastectomy supplies. They also offer supportive mentoring relationships between the newly diagnosed and a survivor who has walked through this valley before as well as support groups. There is even a yearly women's retreat. I'm not sure I'll be feeling well enough for a retreat in August, but we'll see. I have a hard time fully understanding why when I feel fine right now I'm about to make decisions that will leave me feeling terrible for an indeterminate amount of time. Logically I get it, but emotionally I'm not sure it makes much sense.
I was feeling loved and supported within minutes. Check out the awesome goody bag in the pic above. I got an amazing booklet called, "Navigating the Cancer Journey" that helps answer many of the questions swirling around in my head. I also asked my specific question regarding surgical options and actually got opinions as well as a more detailed description of the impact on my arm usage and left armed with questions for my doctors. So, I came home and called immediately and talked to the nurses. I finally felt like I was armed with solid information and could have an informed discussion. :)
I left with a bag full of goodies, a head full of newly learned information, cards and pamphlets about all the services offered (including facials, chair massage, art therapy, etc.) I have found a place to ask my multitude of questions and get answers based on experience.
I even left with information about medical tattooing. Who needs reconstruction when you can camouflage your scars with cool tattoos or even enhance your reconstruction? Maybe I've found the reason to add a tattoo to this body? What do you think? :)
For those of you who know me well you know the most practical gift today was the organizer to help keep all necessary medical/scheduling information in one place. The gift I was most drawn to was the blue afghan (see it draped on the back of the chair). Everyone needs a blue blankie to help them through life. Just ask Linus.
And yes, the name is based on Psalm 23;4 "Yes, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me."
Thanksgiving for today:
Victory in the Valley
Helping my son finish four language arts lessons
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