In July 2016, I was 52, my metastatic breast cancer had spread for a second time, and I was feeling overwhelmed with next-steps for my treatment, the possibility of debilitating side effects, my family's future without me, and managing finances. Even though I have a loving family and many friends who were doing their best to keep me positive, I had a hard time with day-to-day living while worrying about the future. Lucky for me, a friend told me about the Cancer Support Community (CSC). I attended the CSC new member meeting on July 25, 2016, and my first metastatic group meeting that same week. I broke down in tears telling my story in that first meeting, but I quickly realized that I'd be laughing more often than crying in future meetings, and that I had found a wonderful resource for addressing all of the concerns circling in my mind. These days, my family and I look forward to sharing, learning and being active with our new friends at the CSC Alliance club house. Whether it's a weekly group meeting, a class about the latest cancer treatments, managing side effects, nutrition, exercise, gardening, finances, arts and crafts, a movie, or holiday dinners, there is always something fun and informative going on at the clubhouse. My metastatic group is led by Cyndy Cervantes, a licensed Master Social Worker and the program manager of the Alliance clubhouse, or Stacey Brist-Yates, the program coordinator, both of whom facilitate group meetings to ensure everyone gets a chance to update the group on their stories, get advice, and offer suggestions in a secular and nonpolitical atmosphere. Cyndy and Stacey have a wealth of knowledge about resources available to cancer patients, and do a wonderful job leading classes and scheduling events, including the annual One Run fundraiser and craft sale that help keep the clubhouse activities free for all members. My metastatic group, in particular, has a wonderful outlook on life that inspires me to laugh and make memories everyday. Plus, the resources, events, and friendships I have at the Cancer Support Community have helped me focus on living life to the fullest, while planning for my family's future.
Charlotte, Tarrant County Clubhouse Member