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April 2015 Newsletter

P A G E 4 grateful. Cancer isn’t a fight or a battle. I am not a brave warrior. Cancer isn’t a gift. Cancer is a disease. When you get can- cer, you suffer, you learn, you grow, and over time, more or less time than you would like, you live and then you die. While you are living, you live with a can- cer-enhanced awareness of your own mortality and what might be lurking within your body. Uncertainty is hard for most of us, but we ALL live with uncer- tainty. Some of us are just less aware of it than others. Having had cancer and living with the ongoing fear of recur- rence, cancer survivors confront their uncertainty daily. Cancer is about getting through a very personal and difficult time. In my book I share hard-won advice that I learned by digging in and getting through this life experience—twice. First, my breast can- cer and a couple years later, melanoma. Here are a few of my coping tools (I did- n’t make this stuff up—I researched.): Connect with others—don’t go it alone, even if you are an introvert or loner. Facing Cancer with Courage and Grace or Tears and Fears? by Barbara Tako Learn—knowledge is power and helps you regain some measure of control. Live in the moments—slow down the monkey brain (racing thoughts). Gratitude—focus each day on what makes you grateful. Uncertainty—work on greater flexibil- ity and learning to accept less control. Ultimately, I learned coping strategies that can be applied to many of Life’s less happy times. I increased the number of those tools in my tool bag and you can too! Barbara Tako is a breast cancer survivor since 2010 and a melanoma survivor since 2014. Beginning in 1998, Barbara Tako has been a professional seminar leader, speaker, and published writer on clutter- clearing and home-organizing. Her books are available on Amazon and wherever books are sold., Some breast cancer survivors are com- plimented for facing their cancer treat- ment with courage and grace. I got through my cancer with tears and fears. Are some people braver than others? Or do we just differ in how we show our tears and fears? I cried and worried my way through breast cancer treatment and the hormone and steroid driven emotional roller coast ride of my surgeries and treatments. I didn’t put a graceful face forward. My close friends and immediate family saw my tears and heard extensively about my fears. Should I have spared them? I got through my cancer being honest with those around me. I wrote about my cancer honestly. What matters is that we get through cancer treatment. Whether we openly express our emotions or not, most of us live with a fear of recurrence for the rest of our lives. Cancer takes its toll, but today I am still here. I am blessed and Advanced Breast Cancer Networking Every month on the fourth Tuesday 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm Center for Building Hope Marie Borsellino, RN,BSN,OCN,CBPN-C from Sarasota HealthCare System will join Laurel Healy, LCSW to facilitate this group. Discus- sion and support will be more specific to ad- vanced stage cancer. (941) 921-5539 Breast Cancer Network Every month on the second Saturday 10:00am -11:30am Center for Building Hope A breast cancer networking group for all stages and ages. (941) 921-5539 Cancer Support Group for our Spanish Speaking community- Grupo de Apoyo Every month on 2nd Wednesday 2:00-4:30 p.m. 3524 Tamiami Trail, Bldg. D, Ste. 201, Port Charlotte, Fl 33952 Facilitator: Brenda Gonzalez, LCSW Call 941- 661-3964 to register. Cancer Care Support Group Every month on 1st Thursday 4:00pm -6:00pm IMG Academies Golf and Country Club 4350 El Conquistador Pkwy Bradenton, Fl. 34210 (941) 920-5084 Lymphedema Network Group Every month on the second Monday 2:00-3:30 pm Center for Building Hope Learning therapeutic techniques and exercise to re- duce swelling associated with treatment and surgery. Elaine Dohms, LMT, CLT will lead you through the helpful methods. (941) 921-5539 Survivors Rock - Young Women's Cancer Support Group Every month on the second Thursday- 6:30-8:30pm Center for Building Hope A support group for young women cancer survivors in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. (941) 921-5539 Venice Breast Cancer Support Network Every month on 3rd Monday 12:00pm- 1:00pm Jacaranda Trace, 3600 William Penn Way, Cad- bury Commons Bldg., Venice, FL Julie O'Brien, LMHC, facilitator. Groups meet in the 2nd floor Arts and Crafts Room. (941) 921- 5539 Woman to Woman Breast Cancer Support Group Every month on the third Wednesday 4:30pm to 6:00pm Sarasota Memorial Healthcare Center, Waldemere Plaza Provides support to all women with breast cancer - from newly diagnosed to those who have com- pleted initial treatment and are continuing their follow up. 941-917-2636 Breast Cancer Support Group Meetings

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