Jen and Jeff Baker have been receiving treatment at Hershey Medical Center for their 17 year-old daughter Jessi since she was four months old.  She was born with Down syndrome, hydrocephalus and a heart disease.  They received some painful news when they took her in for a back problem that just wouldn’t heal.  The doctor sent them to the ER where they were told that Jessi had leukemia.

The preparation of this blog presented me an opportunity to reflect on my first decade as a Medical Oncologist as well as my hopes for the next generation of Oncologists.  Of course I also pray for a cure for cancer.  We have made tremendous progress, but there is much work to be done.  So until there is no longer a need for Oncologists, the following are my observations, opinions, and most important, albeit painful lessons I have learned—the things I wish had been shared with me during my training.

The Facing Cancer Together  tagline is, "Connecting Stories, Connecting Lives.”  What we've learned since the initiative began last Spring is those diagnosed with cancer battle through their treatments and the changes in their lives with support from family, friends and the doctors and nurses who treat them.  Making connections is a large part of that support.

The death of someone we love is difficult in itself.  The expectations of the holiday season compound that difficulty.  A number of thoughts and plans can help us to get through this hard time.  In the midst of practical considerations, remember that grieving takes energy, so be gentle with yourself and your children.  You don't need to provide the perfect holiday — for yourself, for your children, or for others.

Hearing the words, "you have cancer," is life altering.  Hearing the words, "You are a cancer survivor," is life affirming.  Join us on Smart Talk, Thursday night at 8, as we offer a special community forum on Facing Cancer Together.  We will explore what it means to survive a cancer diagnosis and how survivorship presents new challenges and opportunities to patients.

Marie of York underwent years of treatment for bladder cancer before she had extensive surgery last year to remove her bladder and part of her vagina. She now has a stoma in her stomach for using a catheter.  The cancer may be gone, but Marie and her husband now must cope with the operation’s sexual side effects.

(Carlisle) -- October is breast cancer awareness month - a time to highlight survivors, treatment and research. Karen Byers is a breast cancer survivor and advocate for women fighting breast cancer.

"Take one step at a time, one moment at a time."  Those are the words of Dr. Jennifer Kegel, a radiologist at Lancaster General Health who is also a breast cancer survivor.

A diagnosis of cancer is a life changing experience for which there is no clear roadmap. This makes establishing relationships and connections between the health care team, the patient and his/her family vitally important.

Partners in Wellness offers integrative therapies that promote relaxation to people with cancer from diagnosis to 36 months post-treatment.

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A message from the Facing Cancer Together team: We invite you to join us in this community partnership. Share. Connect. Learn. No matter how cancer has affected you, our multimedia tools can help you gain confidence in your choices. In the coming months, this site will evolve with your participation. Meet the team!

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witf Lancaster General Health Pinnacle Health System Wellspan
witf Pinnacle Health System Wellspan Lancaster General Health
witf Wellspan Lancaster General Health Pinnacle Health System