Today I spent the day at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (aka ACS CAN) Leadership Training in Framingham, MA. I’m a proud volunteer with ACS CAN and currently have the honor of serving as Rhode Island Congressional District 2 ACT Lead! In essence I work with my fellow Rhode Island ACS CAN Leadership Committee to do all that we can to make cancer a national priority in every way we can.
When we have great meetings like we do today, there are volunteers from all six New England States that come together to meet, greet, learn, and share ideas. I gotta tell you, these volunteers are some of the most inspirational and passionate people I have ever met. This group of volunteers is made up of cancer survivors, cancer caregivers, and all with the biggest hearts you could ask for.
A fellow friend, advocate for ACS CAN, and very long time ACS Volunteer of mine Deborah Cornwall was on-hand today. To keep it quite short, Deborah and I as most volunteers do for the American Cancer Society see each other often at events and meetings for trainings and speaking engagements. After updating her on life and all that is going on Deborah went above and beyond as a great friend and offered me a copy of her book. I’m still moved by the move.
Deborah recently wrote a book called Things I Wish I’d Known. What is it about you ask? Here you go…
This book is the first to capture the thoughts, feelings, and insights of cancer caregivers on a large scale. Things I Wish I’d Known shares what 86 interviewed caregivers and dozens of others who were consulted informally wish they had known at the outset of their caregiving journeys.
I highly recommend that you pick up a copy from her web-site at http://www.thingsiwishidknown.com if you know of anyone who has been or currently is being touched by cancer.
I really look forward to reading this book and sharing with you my opinions, thoughts, and feelings after. Initially before I open the book and start reading I think of some of the Things I Wish I’d Known about cancer and about being a caregiver when my Dad was battling cancer and for his life back in 2003 & 2004. One of the biggest Things I Wish I’d Known back then that I do know now is that there was this enormous group of volunteers at the American Cancer Society that had been there and done that! Seriously this group has taken me as a family and I can only imagine how much more helpful this second “family” would have been had I had the resources back then that I do now.
That’s just ONE things I wish I’d known, and as an American Cancer Society volunteer i’m Doing Something About It by making everyone I come into contact know of the information, tools, and resources that are available from the American Cancer Society. When someone mentions that they have or know of something that has cancer, one of the first things I do is reach out to them and tell them that I’m here for them, the American Cancer Society is here for them, and we have a very large family that will make sure they have everything they ever need.
If you need the information: http://www.cancer.org & 1-800-227-2345 (A REAL person available 24/7 to talk to you and help you!)
With that said, I look forward to reading this book from my dear friend and I look forward to learning, being inspired, probably shedding a few tears in remembrance, and ultimately understanding caregivers and cancer patients more. Again, please consider picking up a copy of this book. Anyone dealing with cancer or who has ever had to deal with cancer will benefit.