Survivor recognizes benefit of Reach to Recovery program

FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – When Dr. Carol Adams learned she had breast cancer, she faced a myriad of questions and emotions despite her background as a psychologist on staff at McLeod Family Medicine.

Immediately following her surgery, Adams states that the best thing that happened to her was a visit from an American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery volunteer.

"First of all, when the volunteer told me she was a many year cancer survivor, it gave me hope that life can continue after cancer," Adams said.

"The Reach to Recovery volunteer not only told me what to expect in terms of healing, the importance of exercising the arm, and other information, she also talked with me about the emotional side of having breast cancer" Adams said. "When I heard the diagnosis of cancer as applied to me, I immediately had this surreal feeling that they could not possibly be talking about me…it had to be someone else.  After all, I had no history of cancer anywhere in my family, so how could I possibly have it?"

"Especially with breast cancer, women face many personal issues relating to their identity, self-esteem and sexuality," said American Cancer Society Community Mission Manager Denise Richbourg of Florence.

The American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery program provides those newly diagnosed with support from breast cancer survivors who have completed treatment.  

"Having personal contact with someone who has been through the same thing helps women share their feelings and concerns. They also find comfort in meeting longer term survivors as a reinforcement that they, too, can get through this rough time in their lives," said Richbourg.

For more information, call 1-800-ACS (227)-2345 or log on to www.cancer.org.

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