The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


October 24, 2013

Breast Cancer Awareness: Surviving Cancer

Part 4 of our Breast Cancer Awareness Series


Bob McCarthy attended the group with his late wife, Sallyann. He said for both of them it was a psychological boost, allowing them to share their experiences with others.

"It enables you to feel not so alone," McCarthy said. "You're not the only person with a problem."

Another caregiver, like McCarthy and Criss, Michele Bott also found the group to be valuable.

As a caregiver, she felt so isolated and alone at times.

"After attending the support group you find you are not alone... there are may fighting the fight," Bott said.

Francie Hill said attending the group is more about her and less about her cancer. The focus is on the people who are dealing with this diagnosis.

"Cancer doesn't get to be the main character. It's about who we are and how we decide to live despite the diagnosis," Hill said.

The group meets for an hour at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of the month at Zion Lutheran Church. Besides sharing experiences, the group also features guest speakers, ranging from physicians to nutritionists to relaxation experts. Henry said this gives the members an opportunity to ask a variety of questions related to their cancer.

"So the gambit is large on purpose," Henry said. "The main objective and main topic is hope."

This past Monday, cancer survivor Mary Jo Dopson addressed the group on how to travel while dealing with cancer. Hill said people with cancer have additional concerns while traveling. However, she said a person should not let the diagnosis stop them from going on a trip.

Hill encourages people to join the group for support. She added that many are hesitant to even say the word "cancer," choosing to say things like the "Big C."

"It's a six letter word and we should be able to say it," Hill said.

Anyone interested in the group can call Zion Lutheran Church at 242-7391.



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