A few of you have reached out to me because loved ones you know have recently been diagnosed. My heart goes out to each and every one of you and your loved ones. Know that your support will help them fight the good fight. Together we are stronger than alone.
I found teaming up with some local resources appropriate to my cancer and age group to be VERY helpful. I happened to join Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS). It is a support and action group for women age 45 and under who are living with breast cancer. They are a diverse group united by their passion to survive this disease and to end the epidemic, especially as it affects young women. They are a fantastic group of women who hold support group meetings as well as have really fun, light-hearted events to boot. Relaxing and having fun must be built into to anybody’s cancer recovery program.
I also reached out to my personal friends who have battled and survived, and even some who are still battling (it’s truly incredible how people will crawl out of the woodwork to tell their story and help you along in your own journey, I had no idea I knew so many women who battled this same demon). Friends of mine put me in touch with their friends who walked this path already (or are still walking it) and I reached out to them as well. I did a lot of talking on the phone those early days. Just trying to get the “real” perspective. Finally, I reached out to the folks at the Noreen Fraser Foundation, and they were also immensely helpful to me.
I joined Imermans Angels. It’s a group that tries to match you with someone who went through the exact same cancer as you, at approximately the same age etc. The person you match with becomes your angel and you can reach out as much or as little as needed. Once you are ready, you too can become an angel.
Here in SF, there are a few different options for food delivery. The company my husband works for (shout out to Automattic for being such an amazing company and such an amazing support to us both during this time) sent us a ton of grocery’s from Whole Foods to stock our pantry and fridge and then bought us dinner three nights in a row from different restaurants around the city (each meal was delivered at the same time every night). Our friends on the east coast banded together and they order us a delicious Pho dinner for delivery at 6pm every other Thursday night (on my worst chemo days) from a local restaurant here in the city. Or you can go to Square Meals (on Polk St — they delivered all the way down to the Mission) — we tried it and its yum. Very healthful and taste-y. You might even try Bi-Rite, but I doubt they deliver.
As for keeping everybody organized as far as who is driving to treatment, who is sitting at treatment, who is bringing what meal when — I’ve heard that “lotsa helping hands” is an AMAZE tool.
Best of luck to those of you just embarking on your journey, I am happy to be a resource as well. Wishing you a speedy, uneventful recovery. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.