Friday, March 18, 2011


On Tuesday, when I went to my oncologist, I overheard the lady across from me bemoaning that she couldn't work in her garden.  She got out of breath and had to stop.  "I'm so out of shape!" she moaned.  I had to butt in (no surprise there) and explain that no, she wasn't necessarily out of shape, but that since her red blood cell count, hematocrit  and hemoglobin were probably down, her body just wasn't getting as much oxygen as normal.  She was on the same number of treatments I am and I feel like I should be on oxygen with all the huffing and puffing I do when I have to go up and down stairs more than once.  Bending over and cutting down grasses in the garden is very hard.

She was an avid gardener, as am I.  I have to really put it in gear as my daughter's graduation party is supposed to be in my garden at the end of May and I have house things to do as well...but that's not the point.

I've written in the past about the wonderful programs that are available to help cancer patients.  One of them is a  house cleaning service called "Cleaning for a Reason."  Professional maid services donate one house cleaning per month for four months.  A limited number of people are accepted and quite frankly, they need more cleaning services to become involved.  The American Cancer Society's Look Good Feel Better program is another wonderful service.

As I have mentioned before, people who live in rural areas or ones farther away from a large city often do not have anyone participating near them.  They lose out.  Even with me, I live in  a town of about 25,000 people, only 26 miles from Dayton which has a population of  141,000.  Only areas south of Dayton have this available to them and they don't travel as far as Troy.

This brings me to another point...quite often (more often than not) people who have finished treatment suffer from depression, sometimes slight, sometimes more severe.  They are no longer fighting cancer so they feel like they are sitting ducks.

I would suggest this.  No matter how small your town is, see if you can't enlist people to help cancer patients.  Contact the American Cancer Society and find out what is necessarily to get your local cosmetologist to participate in the "Look Good, Feel Better" program.  If there are cleaning services nearby, suggest that they participate in Cleaning for a Reason.  They may not know about it and be more than happy to participate.

Sometimes, helping out and fighting cancer in other ways may make you feel better too.  I plan on contact local garden clubs and also volunteer to help people who have cancer and are concerned about their gardens.

No comments:

Post a Comment