Last night I attended my first Cancer Survivor Dinner. I wasn’t sure what to expect but felt thrilled about connecting with others who’ve been affected by cancer as either a patient or a caregiver.
When my husband and I arrived, we were greeted by smiling and welcoming faces. I was given a “goodie bag” (which I always love!) filled with my survivor tee-shirt for the Relay for Life Event happening on Friday, May 6th an assortment of other purple colored items like an umbrella, a survivor pin, water bottle and other treasures.🎁 The American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network signature color is purple. (which felt like providence – Prince)
There was a very positive vibe in the room as others arrived and filled in the decorated tables. I snagged a seat at a table that was right up front. (just like back in school:) I didn’t want to miss a thing. My tablemates all introduced themselves and it felt warm sharing this moment with those who’ve gone through their own cancer journey and could understand the significance of the fight, the hope, and the survival. Like in the Infusion (chemotherapy) Suite, there was an instant bond.
The theme of the dinner and mission of CAN – Cancer Action Network is Hope. Never give up. We can do this! I’m all about hope and determination, which I write about. My nature tends to be outgoing so I loved all the other positive and upbeat personalities. As we broke bread we talked about if this was our first time at this event and how it’s grown over the past 3 years.
I also found out that the Cancer Center that took care of me didn’t exist 8 years ago. Listening to the guest speaker, who’s an oncologist with Novant Health (the medical group that organized the Cancer Center), I counted my blessings realizing I was able to take advantage of the union of various doctors – oncologists, surgeons, radiologists, pathologists, etc, and the nurse navigator, Pat! My nurse navigator “angel”. This consolidation of medical professionals proves that when we work together as a team we can accomplish so much more!
I’m so grateful for the Huntersville community, my Nurse Navigator – Pat, Novant Health, and the American Cancer Society for enriching my cancer experience with their tremendous support and encouragement!