Even before cancer, I worried about the “what ifs” in life and the dangers that potentially put my family at risk. And then suddenly, there was cancer. The danger was real. At the age of 44, I became painfully aware of my mortality. This life I lead with my 2 children and husband could be cut short as a result of this disease. Despite completing surgery, chemo, radiation and now ongoing hormone therapy, I don’t feel like it’s “over”. I am often congratulated on getting through it all, followed by comments on how excited I must feel to be finished. The thing is, I’m scared. While I try to continue living a meaningful life with a positive outlook (I need to do this for my kids after all!), I actually live in fear of this cancer coming back and taking over, of my kids growing up without their mother. I listen to them talk and giggle, and I wonder if I will live to hear their “grown up” voices. We go on summer vacation, and I wonder what it will be like for my husband and children the first time they take summer holidays without me after I die. Cancer treatments are finished, but the reign of terror remains.
Fear is a strong component of this dark disease. Yet on the flipside of fear, there is light and love. Where there was cancer, there was also overwhelming - and just as sudden - community support. We have been inundated with well wishes, meals, rides, donations, childcare, fundraisers, and continuous offers of support. People want to help, and helped they have! I am in awe of this deluge of compassion, and humbled by the kindness we have experienced. The light and love of this humanity we have experienced has truly challenged the darkness and despair of cancer.
A Fresh Chapter: India Odyssey 2019 “A Fresh Chapter” is an organization that empowers people to step beyond the label of cancer survivor while giving back to communities at home and abroad. Meaningful volunteer/program/travel experiences help participants see that struggle is universal and it’s possible to heal, connect and serve others while reclaiming your life.
In February 2019, I will travel with A Fresh Chapter to New Delhi, India with a small group of people affected by cancer for a 2-week volunteer experience. The goal is to heal the emotional scars of cancer through volunteering , meaningful travel. and connecting with others affected by cancer. My hope is for a post-cancer fresh start as I experience the humanity of India and create a ripple of good in the world. A Fresh Chapter will help me do that.
Life Beyond Cancer
Although I am terrified of recurrence, I don’t want to live in fear or let cancer stop me from living the best life I can. Through A Fresh Chapter, I will connect with others who have been impacted by cancer to gain perspective on how to move through fear and start genuinely cherishing the days I have now, however many I may have left. I hope to find peace in this precariously uncertain world of cancer that I was thrown into.
I want to teach my kids to find the good in the bad, to remind them of how people have helped us in so many different ways, and to show them how important it is to do the same for others, to help when you can help no matter how small a gesture it may seem. By volunteering in India, I want to share the compassion I have received, and at the same time, enrich my perspective on this tenuous new life-journey that I’m on through the people I meet there. I want to show my children (and myself) that it’s possible to deal with adversity and come out the other side stronger than before - not just living life, but living with purpose and passion.
My Goal: $5000
The active treatments have come to and end, but I am still in this "cancer world". Daily medications, painful side effects from chemo and medications, ongoing doctor's appointments and regular monitoring, more surgeries looming in the future, adjusting to weight gain and this new menopausal body I now have as a result of necessary surgery, worrying about recurrence...and on it goes. All of this and more combines to make that emotional piece stronger than ever, front and center. It’s REEEAAAALLY hard to ask for financial help for this, especially when we’ve already received so much help from everyone along the way. I’ve quickly discovered the emotional aftermath of cancer is very real and can be extremely debilitating. To physically survive cancer is one thing, but how to continue living life and what that might look like following a cancer diagnosis is an entirely different affair. I hope to help others hit by cancer by raising awareness about the emotional aftermath of cancer, and in turn, continue to heal my own emotional scars.
My goal is to raise $5000 for program costs including 2 weeks in New Delhi (programming, accommodations, in-country travel, meals, cultural outings) and 19 weeks of pre/post ongoing program support.
Any donation you can make, no matter the amount, is appreciated more than I can express. Please help spread the word about the emotional aftermath of cancer by sharing my campaign on Facebook, email, and Twitter – just like donations, every share makes a real difference!
I thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping me to start a fresh chapter in my life by participating in this program to address these emotional scars of cancer and helping others the way I’ve been helped since diagnosis.
“A Fresh Chapter” is both a Canadian non-profit and a U.S.-based project in affiliation with Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE), a California-based nonprofit public charity. All USA donations of $100 or more are eligible for a USA tax receipt.
- Sue Vibert
- Franco Raso
- Beverley Faulkner
- Brad & Jennifer Antonides
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more