I became a caregiver volunteer when I learned about CanCare after my husband, Joe, was treated for colon cancer. I started by having calls with other caregivers of cancer patients. Then, I supported acute cancer patients at Methodist Hospital West. Every week, I supported people in six nursing units, the Infusion Center for patients receiving chemotherapy, and the Cancer Center for Radiation patients.

CanCare offers such hope and goodwill to all cancer patients and their families. It has been my pleasure to be associated with them. It also gives me an association with a long-standing organization that would be there for me and/or my husband if needed.

Recently, I have been supporting the wife of a patient who was acutely ill with cancer. We talked every 4-5 days while her husband was in and out of the hospital. She talked to me frequently about her family who had different opinions on what to tell her husband than she did. She told me she was glad that she could tell me her worries and frustrations without being judged.

Another patient I recently met in the Infusion Center would share his life’s story while receiving treatments. This week, he gave me a copy of the latest book he authored and endorsed it, saying, "Thank you for your kindness and caring!" This was so sustaining to me and makes my volunteer work worthwhile.

To anyone thinking about seeking support from CanCare… It can only be a Win-Win situation. It will give you a chance to talk on the phone with someone who has gone through what you are going through now. It also can provide support to your family and/or your caregivers.

My words to pass along to anyone facing cancer… Think and talk positively all through your treatment for cancer. Direct your activities and care with Hope. Hope will give you a perspective to focus on and every day towards reaching a successful outcome. Take one day at a time so you don't become overwhelmed. Don't hesitate to ask for help.