This post is dedicated to a story of hope and victory, in honor of National Cancer Month this February. We hear about too many sad stories, so it was encouraging to hear about Celine Ryan’s almost miraculous journey to being cancer free. Today I want to celebrate her victory, and share some things we could learn from it that can help others we know who are battling cancer.
Celine, an engineer and mother of five was diagnosed with colon cancer. In spite of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, the cancer spread. She began researching, and in Dec 2014 found a revolutionary program at the National Cancer Institute (read about it here).
After looking at her records however, they turned her down- twice saying she was not a good candidate. Celine persisted, and in March 2015, was admitted to the program. Not only was her surgery and treatment a success, the medical team will be using what they learned from her case to help others. Today Celine is cancer free (though not considered completely cured).
How can this help you and your loved ones?
There are several important lessons here to keep in mind, especially when dealing with a difficult medical issue:
1. Never give up hope
Celine had done surgery and chemotherapy and was denied access to the trial, yet she kept up hope of beating cancer. This is a key factor for patients: it doesn’t matter how bleak the situation may look, never give up hope.
2. Do your own research
There are dozens of experimental and cutting edge technologies being developed worldwide for many diseases, and remember, you are your own best advocate. Keep asking questions, keep researching, till you find the solution that can help you. Here are some resources and tips to start with:
- The Canadian Cancer Society http://bit.ly/1wGGBUQ
- Cancer Recovery Foundation http://www.cancerrecovery.org/free-resources/
- National Cancer Institute (U.S.) https://www.cancer.gov/
- Best Doctors or other second opinion resource that is part of many group plans http://bestdoctors.com/canada/
3. Be persistent
You need to hold onto hope, you need to do your research, and still you need to go one step further: you need to push, persist and keep asking until you get a “yes!” Celine was denied access into the program but she and her husband didn’t take “no” for an answer, and she was finally allowed in.
Do you know anyone battling cancer?
Send them this story, and support them any way you can. Dealing with cancer is scary, but chances of survival are greater than ever especially with the right resources and support from loved ones.
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Aviva Abraham is a group benefits and insurance advisor at Creative Planning. She has been providing healthcare solutions for self employed and business owners since 2010. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-545-5310.