It’s tough to think of gratitude when dealing with, or discussing, breast cancer.
And yet every time we meet a Survivor, we come across an abundance of appreciation.
Some are grateful for the journey, some for their families, and some for a higher power.
As we begin this month, a time culturally synonymous with giving thanks, our November Survivor reminds us of the importance of our medical team and where we choose to undergo treatment.
Leslie R. Peters learned this after hitting some snags at the beginning of her journey with breast cancer.
“This was a difficult experience due to the first medical facility I attended for assistance.”
While Leslie won’t shame that facility with any details, she does praise her runner-up, which ultimately became her champion.
After her initial negative experience, Leslie sought new care with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America® and tells us they pretty much had her at hello.
“I found CTCA in Philadelphia, PA and I never turned back.”
For those who are not familiar, CTCA treats a wide range of cancers from breast cancer to sinus cancer, gallbladder cancer, and many more. CTCA has been around since 1988 and presently has five main treatment centers in major cities across the country as well as five outpatient care centers.
And a patient-centered model of care is actually what CTCA is grounded in, calling it the Mother Standard® of care, a sweet nod to CTCA founder Richard J. Stephenson’s mother, Mary Brown Stephenson, who passed away from cancer.
And Leslie’s firsthand experience with CTCA backs this up.
“I met a number of people in Philadelphia with cancers I had never imagined, or thought were so critical. Sometimes I felt like because my level of cancer was not as large as others I did not deserve this level of intense, innovative, and kind treatment.”
Leslie found that the key was to overcome fear and talk about her experiences with others who may be going through the same emotions.
“Some of us are afraid, angry, and just alone, so there’s always room to listen, hug, and encourage another waiting for a miracle.”
And emotional support was just one of the many benefits Leslie found within her environment at CTCA.
“The treatment for me mentally, physically, and spiritually has never changed to date.”
Leslie took this lesson with her and today shares her story and experience with us.
“We too must take on this battle for all and make sure we tell someone our stories whether large or small.”
And like many of our other Survivors, Leslie does turn to a higher power, but also reminds us to keep a network on the ground, too.
“God will do what he says he will do, just trust him and keep good people around you to encourage and pray with you.”
Here at Eye of the Survivor® we strive to do the same, fostering an environment of support and care through our Survivors’ stories of inspiration and information. And let’s not forget celebrating the beauty of such strength. Our annual calendar is the root of our network and captures the resilience in the Eye of the Survivor® that sometimes words just cannot do! (See Leslie’s calendar shoot above.)
Every year we are excited to unveil our latest calendar and meet our next class of Survivors. While we will hold out that roster until closer to 2020, we can say that our annual calendar kickoff event last month was a success and brought together past and present EOTS members for a great cause. And our pink partners at AAngelsNJ never disappoint!
Hand in hand we make this all possible. Even local New Jersey native Vin Rock from Naughty By Nature turned up! We are so very grateful for the love and support of everyone who joined and for those who were there in spirit. Our new calendars are currently on sale and available through AAngelsNJ.
After such a wonderful October we are excited to see what this month brings and plan to keep gratitude at the forefront of all we do.
On that note, we are grateful to wish our March Survivor Jackie Catalina a very happy birthday! As we’ve said before, another birthday means another loss for breast cancer and another win for a cure.
Until next time, keep up with us on Instagram, grab a copy of our calendar, and always, always keep your Eye on Strength!