The following are links and resources I’ve noted during my years of cancer treatment, recovery and beyond. I hope you find them helpful as well. Check back from time to time, I’m always updating the list as I find new nuggets to share.
www.campkesem.org – Camp Kesem
Camp Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. Camp Kesem is the largest national organization dedicated to supporting children impacted by a parent’s cancer, at no cost to families. Their innovative and fun-filled programs provide children with peers who understand their unique needs, and create long-lasting impact.
My children have attended Camp Kesem for 11 consecutive summers, and my daughter will be attending college in the fall, looking forward to being a camp counselor as well. This program gave them a place to let go, have fun, share their feelings and parent cancer stories, and hear other’s as well. Some of their best friend have been to camp with them through the years, and I’m sure they will be lifelong friends and support systems for each other. As a single parent with no time off otherwise, I looked forward to that one week each year to recharge and relax. I can’t say enough good things about this organization…
Trusted, compassionate information for people with cancer and their families and caregivers, from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the voice of the world’s cancer physicians and oncology professionals.
www.cancer.org – The National Cancer Institute
We offer authoritative information about your type of cancer as well as information on a wide range of cancer topics and the latest cancer research. Also find NCI-supported clinical trials.
A cancer diagnosis turns a person’s world upside down — emotionally, physically and financially. CancerCare® can help.
www.cancercenter.com – Cancer Treatment Centers of America
I traveled from Indianapolis to CTCA in Zion, IL, where I had my bilateral mastectomy surgery, second round of chemotherapy, reconstructive surgery and hysterectomy surgery at CTCA. I appreciated the combination of traditional and naturopathic approaches to cancer treatment and care offered, and I believe I received superior treatment there.
www.cancersupportcommunity.org – Cancer Support Community
Support, Information and Financial Resources
www.castingforrecovery.org – Casting For Recovery
Casting for Recovery (CfR) provides healing outdoor retreats for women with breast cancer, at no cost to the participants. CfR’s retreats offer opportunities for women to find inspiration, discover renewed energy for life, and experience healing connections with other women and nature. For women who have had surgery or radiation as part of their breast cancer treatment, the gentle motion of fly casting can be good physical therapy for increasing mobility in the arm and upper body.
I attended a Casting for Recovery retreat in 2009 and had a wonderful experience. Except touching the fish. I don’t touch fish. Luckily the river guides did that. 😉
www.indysurviveoars.org – Indiana’s only breast cancer dragon boat team
Indy SurviveOars, through the sport of Dragon Boat Racing, offers hope, inspiration, and camaraderie to breast cancer survivors while focusing on health and physical activity.
IWIN Foundation supports individuals statewide receiving treatment for breast cancer by relieving emotional, physical, and financial burdens.
Kris Carr is a multiple New York Times best-selling author, wellness activist and cancer thriver. She is the subject and director of the documentary Crazy Sexy Cancer, which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival and aired on TLC and The Oprah Winfrey Network.
The LiveSTRONG Foundation states that its mission is “to improve the lives of cancer survivors and those affected by cancer”. The foundation implements its mission through direct services, community programs and systemic change.
Established in 1945, Little Red Door Cancer Agency works to reduce the physical, emotional and financial burdens of cancer for medically underserved residents of central Indiana by providing free client services, cancer screenings and education.
www.loveyourmelon.com – Love Your Melon
Love Your Melon was founded in an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota by two friends, Zachary and Brian, who wanted to start a business with a meaningful and positive social impact. On a mission to improve the lives of children battling cancer since October 22nd, 2012, Love Your Melon began with the simple idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America.
www.onjcancercentre.org – Olivia Newton John Cancer Research and Wellness Center
At the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre our patients experience world-leading treatment and care complemented by wellness programs to support patients in body, mind and spirit. We have over 200 clinical trials in progress, providing access to new, breakthrough therapies.
www.tatumparkerproject.org – The Tatum Parker Project
After being diagnosed when she was just six years old, Tatum Parker began a year-long battle with Ewing’s sarcoma. She then had a relapse in December 2008. Tatum bravely fought cancer for another year, and now, she’s been cancer-free since September 2009!
Through the Tatum Parker Project’s (TPP’s) major initiatives, Tatum and her family stand up and fight against pediatric cancer, and bring hope and positivity to patients across the state of Indiana. Each child diagnosed with cancer in the state of Indiana receive a Tatum’s Bag of Fun containing $350 worth of items, including a Kindle Fire and board and card games, crafts, puzzles, coloring books, and other activities kids can do from a hospital bed.
www.wish.org – Make a Wish Foundation
Tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters advance the Make-A-Wish® vision to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a critical illness. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes.
Crazy Sexy Cancer Tips by Kris Carr and Sheryl Crow
Actress and photographer Kris Carr thought she had a hangover, but a Jivamukti yoga class didn’t provide its usual kick-ass cure. A visit to her doctor confirmed her “liver looked like Swiss cheese,” covered with cancerous tumors. She entered trench warfare (wearing cowboy boots into the MRI machine, no less), vowing, “Cancer needed a makeover and I was just the gal to do it!”
Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr
Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, And Live Like You Mean It!
Crazy Sexy Juice by Kris Carr
Simple Juice, Smoothie & Nut Milk Recipes to Supercharge Your Health
Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr
150 Plant-Empowered Recipes to Ignite a Mouthwatering Revolution
God Is Good All the Time: A Journal of a Breast Cancer Patient by Amy S. Kalscheur
When you are diagnosed with cancer, fear can take hold. However, Christ can lift you up and remove your fear. It only takes faith – and sometimes a little help from others. God is Good, All the Time is a journal kept by Amy during the year and a half that she had cancer. In it, she tells of her fear, joys, and pain. Through it, she hopes that you, too, can see the blessings that cancer can bring. Prayerful and inspiring.
The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams
That Julie Yip-Williams survived infancy was a miracle. Born blind in Vietnam, she narrowly escaped euthanasia at the hands of her grandmother, only to flee with her family the political upheaval of her country in the late 1970s. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon at UCLA gave her partial sight. She would go on to become a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, and a life she had once assumed would be impossible.
When Mommy Had a Mastectomy by Nancy Reuben Greenfield
How does a mother tell a daughter she has breast cancer? How can a child understand what a mastectomy and reconstruction are all about? When Mommy Had a Mastectomy is a children’s book that explains, in a simple and clear manner, why Mommy is sick and what she does after she feels better to return to normalcy. It tells the story of a mother and daughter discovering new ways to show they care despite the painful illness of breast cancer and subsequent breast reconstruction surgery.
When Someone You Love Has Cancer: A Guide To Help Kids Cope by Alaric Lewis, OSB
Text uses child-friendly language and illustrations to explain what cancer is, the terminology surrounding its treatment, and the potential consequences of the disease, as well as the healthy emotional reactions children may have when someone in their life has cancer.
Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy by Geralyn Lucas
Having recently graduated from Columbia Journalism School and landed her dream job at 20/20, the last thing 27-year-old Geralyn expects to hear is a breast cancer diagnosis. And there is one part of the diagnosis that no one will discuss with her: what it means to be a young girl with cancer in a beauty- obsessed culture. Trying to find herself, while losing her vibrancy and her looks, Geralyn embarks on a road to self-acceptance that will inspire all women.
Why is Mommy Sleeping? by Yopi Havlik
Yopi is a survivor of breast cancer. She wrote this book for parents who are dealing with breast cancer. She says, “It is truly a battle the family fights together; the struggles and questions never stop….My hope is that Why Is Mommy Sleeping? makes it easier for parents to explain to their children what to expect in the many months of treatment ahead of them. Additionally, I wrote this book to provide helpful and practical ideas to help families better cope.”
Pink Lemonade: Freshly Squeezed Insights to Stir Your Faith by Gayle Zinda
Refresh Yourself. True Stories of Struggle, Strife, And Success. It all began with a wadded up scrap of paper that languished at the bottom of her purse, lost among the loose change and old gum wrappers. Gayle was working as a nurse administrator, when a salesman slipped her a note with a phone number, This is someone you should meet. Gayle read the name on the note: Rita Snider.