You are not alone

You are not alone

It was a dreary October afternoon when I checked into the emergency room. I had been experiencing some rather disturbing symptoms for quite a while, but like the typical Jewish mother, chose to focus on the health needs of my family. For all you Monday quarterback readers out there – I know the song. Should have, could have, would have – but this is not how this story goes.

Enter Sharsheret. Little did I know then, but Sharsheret holds your hands in their hearts regardless of who, what, when, and where you are. My first call connected me to Sharsheret’s Director of Navigation and Support Services. The welcoming warmth of her voice will remain etched in my memory. Her calm, professional manner enabled me to take a grip of the situation. She told me, “You are NOT alone.”

Sharsheret sent me a welcome package, a makeup kit, and, most important, a booklet called “Our Voices” that truly framed how I faced the disease. I was completely overtaken by the writer who made a party out of what should have been a dreadful chemo affair. Her positive upbeat attitude became my mantra and guidepost. Every chemo session was an excuse for a different type of fiesta. There was music and laughter among the tears. But again, the focus, as the blessed writer guided me, was centered on living LIFE.

At one point, Sharsheret gently steered me to pair up with a peer supporter. At first I thought there could not have been a greater mismatch. But it was exactly what I needed. This disease has a lot of personal ramifications not easy to share. As a long time survivor, my peer supporter remains an anchor of support across the miles – informative and supportive without being intrusive, my own custom-designed angel from heaven to help me weather this storm.

And what a storm this is. With the grace of G-d I am now disease free, and have great hope for the future. But let’s face it, a diagnosis of ovarian cancer is not a picnic in the park. Reaching out to Sharsheret has helped cushion the blow.