Salute to Life!
KEZ and Ironwood Cancer and Research Centers are inspiring others by sharing stories of cancer survivorship and hope! Nominate a survivor below to receive a $200 gift card, view past featured stories and helpful information from Ironwood Cancer and Research Centers. All cancer survivors are an inspiration and we salute you!
Fill Out the Online Nomination Form Below or:
Click here for a mail-in nomination form
Mail your Nomination to:
KEZ Salute to Life
Attn: Christina Bernardo
4686 E. Van Buren St., Ste 300
Phoenix, AZ 85008
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My wife Robin is my inspiration! She finds the positive in everything, even after being diagnosed with Stage 4 Lymphoma. When the doctors found that she had a 20 centimeter tumor in her belly, cancer in her bone marrow, spleen and liver; she stated that she was going to live through this. At the time we had two young children, 3 and 5, and she had “things to do and children to raise.” In May of 2010 she was diagnosed and chemo began immediately. Chemo didn’t end until February 2011. She had 37 rounds of chemo, 18 rounds of radiation and one bone marrow transplant using her own stem cells. We thought she was in the clear and about a year later she had a reoccurrence. The cancer had returned and she had to have additional chemotherapy (14 more rounds) and a second bone marrow transplant, this time using stem cells donated by her sister. She has been on the road to recovery since this summer when she was released from the hospital and is doing it in style. She has the warmest smile a person can have and takes it day by day. She even worked throughout some of this ordeal, teaching online classes, until she just wasn’t able to anymore. I know she misses it. However she helps our kids, now 5 and 7, with their homework each night. She’s has maintained a positive attitude about living and surviving this disease for a long time and she amazes me always. She talked to people during her own treatments at the medical clinic and is always positive encouraging them to be positive as well. She never gave up and kept her positive attitude the entire time. My wife is my hero and I am glad she’s a survivor.
Find the best medical treatment team for you.
Choose a doctor based not only on the recommendations of professionals, but also on the suggestions of other people with cancer. If you have a choice, visit each doctor once before deciding which one will work best with you.
Ask questions. Seek information.
Most people find it helpful to write down questions. Bring a friend or relative with you when you see the doctor. Your friend can help you ask questions as well as remember and understand new information.
Take your time.
When you have an important decision to make, such as a choice of doctor, treatment, or surgery, you almost always have a few weeks to think it out and confer with others.
Consider joining a support group.
Support groups offer interaction with individuals who have had experiences similar to yours. They can give you reassurance as well as important facts based on first-hand experience.
Take good care of your body.
Find out about good nutrition, relaxation techniques, and anything else that helps your body heal.
Treat yourself well.
Celebrate triumphs, no matter how small they may seem. Find any excuse to reward yourself with a massage, a walk in the park, or something else that will give you peace of mind and make your life better. Hints for Friends and Relatives
Food is love.
When taking food to your friend (and to the family too), ask what they would like and can eat. Use a dish that does not need to be returned. Try to help out more than once as treatment lasts months.
Make trips fun.
Combine a required trip to the physician or therapist with a fun activity. Make arrangements to go out to lunch, stroll a mall, or do whatever he or she would like to do.
Keep your friendship a two-way street.
Although you will no doubt spend time listening to your friend, talking about your own life (both good and bad) will allow your friend to feel needed and to contribute something in return.
Touch or hug your friend at every appropriate opportunity.
People who are sick rarely get enough hugs. Cancer is not contagious. Greeting cards, postcards and humorous emails are another way to express your love. Avoid "Get Well Soon" messages unless that is the case for sure.
Use the same language as your friend uses.
If he says cancer, you can say cancer. If he says tumor or malignancy, use those words.
Everybody's battery needs recharging.
If you know someone caring for a loved one with cancer, take over her duties for an afternoon to give her a chance to do whatever she wants to do. If you are that caregiver, give yourself adequate time off. Leave any guilt you might have behind and have a good time.
Having the support of others while going through cancer treatment can be important to the healing process. Naturally, most patients first turn to their family and friends for encouragement and emotional support. But something quite valuable can be gained by participating in a group with people who are undergoing a similar situation.
Many patients have found great strength and encouragement through support groups. A mutual support group can make a significant contribution in restoring a sense of well-being. When the group networks with a caring medical team, the patient and his/her family can more readily move toward recovery despite any limitations of cancer.
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Embarking on a serious exercise program while undergoing cancer treatment is usually not a good idea. However, maintaining energy for your current daily activity level is important as is regaining any lost strength.
Always check with your physician before beginning any exercise program to determine what activity level is most appropriate for you. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Staying well hydrated is always important to overall health, but even more so during treatment.
Listen to your body and don't over exert yourself.
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