|“Shave Day is the day I shaved my head…I wouldn’t let cancer and chemo control my hair loss.”
~ Colleen Carfara
“I thought about losing my hair from treatment more than I thought about the treatment itself.” Colleen Carfara stops, as if vaguely embarrassed. “I’m a little obsessed with my hair. I didn’t wear hats, I didn’t like people messing it up with a pat or a hug, and I spent an hour every day making sure it was right.”
Colleen would never describe herself as vain. First, she’d say she’s a beloved and loving wife and mother. Then she’d point out that she’s a devoted fifth-grade teacher. And, finally, she’d say she tends to look at the gloomy side of things, whereas her husband, Tony, is always positive. She’d never talk about her hair.
Colleen’s story continues here.
Really, Really Relevant
Lost your hair from cancer treatment? You’re eligible for a free wig from the American Cancer Society’s Wig Salon at CSC. Email or call 610-758-7555 to make an appointment for a Tuesday or Wednesday, 1-5 pm.
Which wig did Colleen pick?
Long hair (with CSC exec dtr. Amanda)? Or short?
Notes from the Program Director
As we begin tending our gardens so they will bloom abundantly, it’s fitting that we’re also re-introducing Living Life to the Fullest, a program for survivors and caregivers to explore meaningful aspects of their lives and reflect on unfinished business.
Approaching life with an open heart, acceptance, and appreciation for who we are rejuvenates our appreciation for living. Through journaling, art, and discussion, members can achieve a greater sense of peace.
People often think about death and dying with solemnity, fear, and sorrow. But a helpful discussion often lets us address concerns like caring and providing for loved ones after we’re gone. Can we achieve a sense of hope and calm even while dying?
We believe so. The late Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who passed away March 13, ten days after writing this heartbreaking dating profile, joined the conversation in You May Want to Marry My Husband.
Jen Sinclair, program director
Thanks to Barbara Starr for contributing to this piece
Hello from the Exec Director
The last four months have flown by, and I’m loving every minute leading this wonderful organization. The people I’ve met have increased my commitment to making it the go-to place for cancer support.
During April, local non-profits often celebrate their volunteers. I, too, want to thank all of those who support the small staff at the Cancer Support Community.
Volunteers are hugely valuable to nonprofit organizations. Recent studies estimate that 100 million people volunteer each year, with an annual value of $150 billion. Not only do they help reduce the costs of operating, but they can improve an organization’s client services, and increase contact with the greater community.
We’re very fortunate that each year over 100 volunteers help us fulfill our mission in different ways: some come to the office to laminate ID cards, build storage shelves for our yoga mats, or distribute our program calendars throughout the area.
With your help, we’re able to support over 3,000 people who have been affected by cancer in the Lehigh Valley. Thank you!
Most studies show exercise reduces the incidence of many cancers, and, after diagnosis, may improve survivorship and quality of life. For more: National Cancer Institute
Before you start exercising, make sure your healthcare provider gives you medical clearance. Once you have received clearance, design a plan that you enjoy and won’t cause an injury or aggravate an old one.
If you look like the lady on the right, you're in luck. It means you have good posture, which affects physical, mental, and emotional health. Here’s how to get good posture, Thanks to Tahya, Danse Orientale instructor
Dishing It Out
Eating right before, during, and after cancer treatment can help you feel better and stay stronger. For more: National Cancer Institute
April recipes from Prevention Magazine.
Power foods for any spring gardening or running you have in mind.
Did You See This?
Links to important news about cancer.
This month’s news focuses on breast cancer.
Scalp-Cooling Caps Help Prevent Hair Loss in Chemo (New York Times 02/14/17)
Barbequed and Smoked Meat Tied to Risk of Death from Breast Cancer
(Washington Post 1/21/17)
High-Tech Tool for Breast Cancer (Morning Call 2/6/17)
Tips from other survivors and healthcare professionals to make your journey easier.
-Got an awful metallic taste in your mouth? Suck on lemon drops and
Eat with plastic forks and spoons
-Zzzzzz's escaping you? For a good night's sleep,
Try lavender (lotion, essential oil diffuser)
Have a tip? Let us know.
On the Lookout
What's coming up.
C’mon over for Bingo-April 2, 1 pm; doors open at 12 (CSC office). SOON!
Head to the Boutique at the Rink's volunteer meeting-April 5 at 2:30 or 6:30 (United Wesley Methodist Church, 2540 Center St., Bethlehem)
Best food ever at Chefs for a Cure: Hell’s Kitchen-May 8 (Marianna’s, 24 Stockton St., Phillipsburg, NJ)
Get a foursome for the Charles B. Patt, Jr. Golf Outing-May 15 (Woodstone Golf Club, Danielsville)
Thriving Together: 2017 Conference on Metastatic Breast Cancer-April 28-30 (Philadelphia)
Will you lend a hand?
Click here to sponsor a runner on the Strides for Hope team-The 25 runners and walkers have a mighty goal: raising $20,000 before the St. Luke's Half Marathon & 5K on April 23
Still wishing: 6'-long tables (11 of 'em)
This walk is a day at the beach. Register for the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community-June 3. You walk and raise money for the Cancer Support Community
What to read, what to do, or what to craft.
-watching This is Us (heartstring-tugging family drama)
-reading The Lexy Baker Cozy Mystery Series (good mysteries, with recipes for the baked goods in the story) Thanks to Kathy Moyer, CSC staff
-making clothespin trivets
-looking at ourselves on WFMZ
Have a tip? Let us know.