Cancer Education Center

Welcome to the Slaggie Family Cancer Education Center page. Our goal is to empower patients and their supporters to become active partners in their health care by providing relevant information, increasing knowledge and learning from one another’s experiences. Follow the Cancer Education Center page and stay up-to-date as we post accurate and timely cancer-related information on topics such as cancer prevention, risks, treatments, clinical trials, end-of-life care, and survivorship. No matter where you are in your journey, we are here to help.

PUBLIC PAGE
Dec 20, 2018

Take a Moment to Embrace Gratitude This Season

By Megan Roessler M. Ed., @meganroessler

gratitude360707066Gratitude? Now? I speak to people every day in the Mayo Clinic Cancer Education Center who are living with a cancer diagnosis.

At first it was hard for me to imagine someone expressing gratitude while going through chemo, radiation or end of life conversations, but they frequently do.  Some say navigating these challenges actually brought clarity to the many things they appreciate in life.

In his book, "The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living" Dr. Amit Sood encourages us to focus on what went right within what went wrong.

Often, people will share how friends have walked with them and supported them during their treatment, or how grateful they are for medical advances, skilled health care providers and health insurance.  These are things that went right for them within what went wrong.

Hearing their stories motivates me to reframe life's challenges by pausing and taking stock of what has helped me during difficult times.  The list is always longer than expected and it helps me focus on life's blessings rather than frustrations.  It captures the positive parts of the experience which not only impact my present attitude, but hopefully will lead to future memories filled with gratitude.

Are there times when you've experienced a sense of gratitude within the midst of your cancer journey? Or perhaps it's been a struggle to find something that is going right?  I would love to have you share your thoughts and perspectives.

First of all, I'm grateful for this article! As a survivor of three surgeries for a rare type of malignancy, Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs), I realize that I have much to be grateful for. When I first started on this journey with NETs, little was known and I found it hard to find people to share with regarding this rare disorder. However, since my first surgery in 2003 and my last surgery in 2016, things have changed. There is now a NET discussion group on Mayo Clinic Connect and there are support groups in my home state as well. Finding encouragement, information and good medical treatment has made me very grateful in spite of the diagnosis!

COMMENT
@hopeful33250

First of all, I'm grateful for this article! As a survivor of three surgeries for a rare type of malignancy, Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs), I realize that I have much to be grateful for. When I first started on this journey with NETs, little was known and I found it hard to find people to share with regarding this rare disorder. However, since my first surgery in 2003 and my last surgery in 2016, things have changed. There is now a NET discussion group on Mayo Clinic Connect and there are support groups in my home state as well. Finding encouragement, information and good medical treatment has made me very grateful in spite of the diagnosis!

Jump to this post

We are also grateful for the excellent care from both our Mayo team and our local oncologist…but most of all to God for guiding us on our journey!

COMMENT
@hopeful33250

First of all, I'm grateful for this article! As a survivor of three surgeries for a rare type of malignancy, Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs), I realize that I have much to be grateful for. When I first started on this journey with NETs, little was known and I found it hard to find people to share with regarding this rare disorder. However, since my first surgery in 2003 and my last surgery in 2016, things have changed. There is now a NET discussion group on Mayo Clinic Connect and there are support groups in my home state as well. Finding encouragement, information and good medical treatment has made me very grateful in spite of the diagnosis!

Jump to this post

@hopeful33250, I am grateful that you saw a need to create safe spaces in person and online where people can share about NETs and other conditions. You are an extraordinary mentor. Thank you.

See Mayo Clinic Connect's group directory for all the groups. Teresa will likely be the first to welcome you in many of them https://connect.mayoclinic.org/groups/

COMMENT
@colleenyoung

@hopeful33250, I am grateful that you saw a need to create safe spaces in person and online where people can share about NETs and other conditions. You are an extraordinary mentor. Thank you.

See Mayo Clinic Connect's group directory for all the groups. Teresa will likely be the first to welcome you in many of them https://connect.mayoclinic.org/groups/

Jump to this post

Thank you, @colleenyoung, it been a pleasure and honor to volunteer with Mayo Connect!

Liked by Tresjur, Lisa Lucier

COMMENT

I am thankful for my local hospital and doctor. Four and a half years ago, I was scheduled for a CT scan. Fifteen minutes after my scan, I was back in my doctor's office and he was telling me I had pancreatic cancer. Within a matter of hours, he had scheduled me for tests at Mayo. I am thankful for the doctors at Mayo. My first test there was an ultrasound and a biopsy of my tumor. After that test, I did not have another appointment scheduled for several hours, so my wife and I walked back to our hotel. As we walked into our room, my phone rang. They had my test results and wanted us to come back immediately to meet with the surgeon. I am thankful for the skilled surgeon. I am thankful for compassionate nurses who cared for me after my surgery. I am thankful that I could receive my chemo at my local hospital 3 miles from home instead of having to drive an hour for treatment. The chemo damaged my kidneys. I am thankful for members of our church who drove me 4 hours to Rochester every Wednesday for 4 months for treatment. I am thankful that I have been approved for a kidney transplant. I am thankful for my wife who has been by my side through this whole journey. But most of all, I thank God that 4 1/2 years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, I am alive and cancer free.

COMMENT
@hopeful33250

First of all, I'm grateful for this article! As a survivor of three surgeries for a rare type of malignancy, Neuroendocrine Tumors (NETs), I realize that I have much to be grateful for. When I first started on this journey with NETs, little was known and I found it hard to find people to share with regarding this rare disorder. However, since my first surgery in 2003 and my last surgery in 2016, things have changed. There is now a NET discussion group on Mayo Clinic Connect and there are support groups in my home state as well. Finding encouragement, information and good medical treatment has made me very grateful in spite of the diagnosis!

Jump to this post

I was diagnosed with NET (neuroendocrine tumor with carcinoid syndrome ten years ago. Cancer has definitely impacted my quality of life in an unfavorable way: doctor appointments, tests, scans, hospitalizations, sickness, fatigue, excessive hyperpigmentation and sometimes pain. Through it all, though, I try to hold on and appreciate all the good that is in my life and I am happy to say that I'm grateful for:

Friends and Family – new friends that I have made, old friends that are supportive and understanding and family that I can count on.

Each and Every Day – it's been a 10 year journey but every day is precious to me. I may have a rough night but when the morning comes I wake up, get out of bed and can take care of my needs.

Medical Team – I'm grateful that I have doctors that really listen and address my needs when required. When the medical staff greets me and call me by name, I feel so special and that I matter.

Support Groups – Having a rare-disease cancer, little information was available ten years ago when I was diagnosed. I didn't know where to turn and felt so alone dealing with the cancer. Today, ten years later, there is much more awareness, conferences, support groups and online support. Thanks to Mayo Clinic Connect I met and befriended a NET patient that lives only a few miles from me…Hi Teresa.
It has meant to much to me that I can fellowship with a person that has the same rare cancer and who knows what I'm going through.

Health Insurance – I have insurance that pays all of my medical expenses, except for office visit copays. I have never been turned down for any service, nor have I had to fight for coverage. NET is a very expensive cancer to treat. In the ten years that I have lived with this cancer over $1.5M in claims have been submitted and paid. I am still in treatment and will continue to receive injections, infusions, more tests, scans, office visits or whatever I need for the duration of my life.

Faith and Blessings – I'm grateful for my faith in God. Even in my worst times, I know that He is in control and that He has me and His plans for me are good.

Regards,
Mary

COMMENT
Please login or register to post a reply.

Invite Others

Send an email to invite people you know to join the Cancer Education Center page.

Please login or register to send an invite.