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#195420 - 11/28/17 09:13 PM Becoming a cancer "buddy"  
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 66
Stef H Offline
Supporting Member (50+ posts)
Stef H  Offline
Supporting Member (50+ posts)

Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 66
San Jose, California
Stanford University, where I was treated, has a cancer buddy program for people with oral cancers.
I would like to volunteer. Has anyone on the list done this before?

I had a relatively easy time during my rads (thanks to ChristineB who gave me better advice than the doctors did) and I'm worried that would make less than a good buddy if the person had a harder time. However, I have read these boards and have learned so much from everyone. I've also done medical volunteering (hospice caregiving) in the past.

Welcome your input.

Keep fighting friends!

Me -- currently 49 years old
SCC diagnosed 3/7/2017 at age 48
Staging SCC HPV+ T0,N1 primary unknown
PET 3/16, no activity, biopsies 3/23 benign
TORS surgery identified 2mm tumor in BOT (vallecula)
Cancer restaged T1, N2, M0
Begin 30 sessions of radiation (60 Gy) 6/13
Completed radiation 7/24/2017
1st MRI clear 10/23/2017!!
#195464 - 12/05/17 12:25 PM Re: Becoming a cancer "buddy" [Re: Stef H]  
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,775
ChristineB Online content
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
ChristineB  Online Content
Administrator, Director of Patient Support Services
Patient Advocate (old timer, 2000 posts)

Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 9,775
Stef, I was hoping you would get a reply but unfortunately nobody answered your post. Im sorry but I dont have experience with the program you described. Im sure the program you are considering is a very good one... after all it is Stanford University!!!

For me, I do my volunteer "work" right here for the OCF. The best people in the world are here and they have helped me tremendously where I inturn attempt to help the newer members who are scared and not sure what they can and cant do. Ive also spoken at OCF events all over the US and a few other 'projects' with and the CDC. I also occasionally am a relief driver for the American Cancer Society's patient driving program. Thats where I drive patients who need a ride to treatment or their doctors appointment and then back home. Its a huge relief to other cancer patients having a survivor drive you. Kinda makes them feel a little more normal being on their own (unless their caregiver goes along) where they can talk freely to someone who's been there and understands. Volunteering to help others is a wonderful, fulfilling thing everyone should do at some point in their lives. It really helps keep everything in perspective about how fortunate we all really are.

You must be tremendously caring and kind to have been a hospice volunteer. I dont think I could do it without crying right there in front of the patient.

Being the kind of nagging person I am, I just have to say.... Please be very cautious about doing too much too fast, you are still in recovery mode for well over another year yet. I would hate to see you have a setback.

Please give us an update on how you make out.

SCC 6/15/07 L chk & by L molar both Stag I, age44
2x cispltn-35 IMRT end 9/27/07
-65 lbs in 2 mo, no caregvr
Clear PET 1/08
4/4/08 recur L chk Stag I
surg 4/16/08 clr marg
215 HBO dives
3/09 teeth out, trismus
7/2/09 recur, Stg IV
8/24/09 trach, ND, mandiblctmy
3wks medicly inducd coma
2 mo xtended hospital stay, ICU & burn unit
PICC line IV antibx 8 mo
10/4/10, 2/14/11 reconst surg
OC 3x in 3 years
very happy to be alive smile

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