Last week a good friend and business associate of mine shared the news of his recent cancer diagnosis. The surprise, frustration, fear, and anger that most of his loved ones were likely initially feeling were only a fraction of what he was feeling himself. He reports that he is receiving excellent medical care where he is right now and looks forward to feeling well enough to travel home and get connected with a local care team here in town.
Here in Pittsburgh we are fortunate to live in a city with some of the best medical care in the world. People travel here from far and wide to receive treatment and help in fighting this invader inflicting itself on their bodies. But the more we learn about and are willing to acknowledge how complex and amazing we are, the more it becomes apparent that the physical treatment of cancer isn’t the only approach necessary to help a person survive, overcome, and thrive.
The Cancer Caring Center, located on Liberty Ave in Bloomfield, is a wonderful place that seeks to meet some of those emotional and interrelationship needs for cancer fighters. They offer crucial support for both the survivor with a diagnosis and her loved ones who face a flood of new emotions related to the assault on their loved one’s health.
The Cancer Caring Center makes it their mission to complement the medical care that the person with the diagnosis receives. They offer a wide variety of FREE services in the belief that each person, each family, and each situation is different. The most beneficial approaches and therapies for one person might be very different from what the next person needs.
The overarching theme is that the cancer survivor and the people who love him don’t have to do this alone. There are people there who care, who will listen and try to help. They do this through programs that include (but are not limited to): Counseling, a wide variety of general and specific support groups, a phone helpline, various workshops, pet therapy, yoga therapy, art therapy, and community-based satellite groups so that treatment and the relationships formed are closer to home. They have consistently been helping 3,000+ patients a year for the last few years.
One special and somewhat unique item that the Cancer Caring Center tries to make certain it has a good supply of at all times to send along with any patient who needs some is Ensure. If you’ve spent much time around a cancer survivor while they were in active treatment, you’ll likely recognize how important a product like Ensure is to their health and strength during the fight. I remember a constant supply of it both in the hospital and around the house when my younger brother was fighting his liposarcoma.
I want to close by encouraging you to do very important things after reading today’s blog post.
- If you know of anyone in the Pittsburgh area who would benefit from the support and community provided by the Cancer Caring Center, please encourage them to check out their website and contact them to begin forming that connection.
- If you have resources, and see the value in the work that they are doing, please consider a donation to help them maintain and expand the help that they are providing to cancer survivors and their loved ones.
*I want to apologize to my new friends at the Cancer Caring Center and my loyal blog readers for taking so long to get this post out. These last two months have been some of the most hectic both personally and professionally that I’ve experienced in as long as I can remember. Better the Burgh is a side-project for me, but it is one that I love and really hope can add value to our community. I’ll work on being much more consistent with my posts and hopefully schedule some more meet-ups in the near future.