11:31 PM

Cancer survivor is grateful for local support

Emily Nadeau

By Emily Nadeau

I never in a million years thought it would happen to me, though I am no stranger to cancer. My father passed way in 1999 from multiple myeloma. My husband, Rick, who was the administrator at Cayuse Prairie School, was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer in September 2011 and passed away on January 8, 2012, at the age of 56.

I just never was prepared for my own diagnosis, but how can anyone be prepared for that. My world was turned totally upside down when I was diagnosed with cancer in February 2015.

After my diagnosis, I was treated locally with a very aggressive chemo and radiation regimen, given at the same time. Most importantly I am able to say that I am a survivor!

But somewhere during my treatment I read about the Cancer Support Community (CSC) coming to Kalispell and I reached out to Jennifer Young. I wanted to be involved with this wonderful program. The mission of the Cancer Support Community is to provide free resources, programs, support and encouragement to those touched by cancer.

Immediately I was invited to join the Knitty Gritty yarn class just days after my phone call. I was so comforted by the outstretched arms and hugs. It was so nice to be greeted by a group of other cancer survivors who knew what you were going through emotionally.

Cooking for Wellness has been one of my favorite classes, but I have also enjoyed some of the healthy excursions such as snowshoeing and kayaking. In September, I was able to go to a women’s retreat that was held at a dude ranch near Big Sky with several other ladies from Kalispell.

I now volunteer at CSC and enjoy meeting and helping newly diagnosed patients that come to sign up for one of our many classes or maybe to choose a wig. Ellie is a hair stylist and volunteers also to help transition if hair loss happens.

All these programs and resources are at no cost to participants! The programs I have participated in, all of the programs at CSC are solely supported by donations.

The Cancer Support Community has become my purpose and I feel truly blessed to be both a participant and a volunteer. Thanks to donors like yourself and your support of the CSC I have managed to enjoy my life post-treatment, with a less stress and a lot of fun.

About Cancer Support Community

Cancer Support Community Kalispell is located close to Kalispell Regional Medical Center and provides a full range of support services for youth and adults affected by cancer. All programs are offered free of charge. Donations to CSC can be made through the Kalispell Regional Healthcare Foundation.