I have been asked if I would like to share my experience of cancer with a group of health professionals. I was wondering if other people have undertaken volunteer work with cancer organisations post treatment? What has your experience been like?
I am about to get involved in a group that advocates for cancer patients. Other than that i participated in doing a dvd for the hospital i went through for my treatment and that was to be used for doctors and patients. I had to do hair and makeup for that one, bit of a joke as I had no hair. lol I found it somewhat cathartic to do that and felt like I was giving back just a tiny bit to a group of people that had given me such a lot. :)
Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
I'm a bit slack and haven't checked your story...sorry.
I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,given 6wks and still here 5yrs later.I know how rare it is to survive the cancer I had and I figure any help I can give someone else is my way of paying back.
I volunteer a few ways..with cancer council,meals on wheels and the local school(helping with reading).The sense of self worth is brilliant.
Any help you can give to any cancer organisation is helping someone who is where you were not that long ago!!
Margro(a very happy volunteer)
I started volunteering with the Cancer Council Victoria in (approx) 2006 talking to people to help them with their diagnosis. Thoroughly enjoyed it (still do) even though at times it can be very confronting with your memories. Since then I have given a couple of talks, one to a group of people who have the same gene as I do which pre-disposes them to cancer, and another talk at a forum addressed to survivors and carers - both were very nerve-wracking but extremely powerful for me, and would do more if it comes up again. Other than that I am now inovolved in advocacy and working with one of Victoria's Integrated Cancer Services and assisting with advocacy training.
I find that volunteering gives me a way of dealing with my experiences of cancer and giving them a meaning. Helping others to get through their experience a bit easier (I hope) makes it very rewarding. As long as you are at a "place" in your life and mind where you can discuss "your story", no matter how nervous or how scary you may think it is, I have found it really worthwhile.
"Your story" is a very powerful message and health professionals - no matter how well they are trained by others - have not experienced going through the "cancer journey" any insights that we can give them is surely really great. I hope that you go ahead with this volunteering (as long as you think that you can mentally do so) and maybe make life a little easier for someone else.
Good luck and let us know how you get on
Thannks for all of the responses. It's given me a few things to think about. I think that I need to think about what I would like to learn from volunteering and finding a role that suits me. I think that I also need to think about what I feel comfortable disclosing too.
I volunteer at our local cancercare centre. It is a setup called Cancercare Information Centre. In our "special" room, we have pamphlets, booklets,cd's, the internet and phone available for patients or carers. Sometimes people just like to have a chat, and that is ok too. Only go in once a week for 3 hours, but sometimes if someone can't make their shift, we are contacted and asked who would like to fill in. One week I did 3 mornings. After our shift we are asked to debrief with the help line 131120, and that helps us to get over any matter that we may have found difficult.
It is three years since I was diagnosed, and I feel really good apart from the old knees and other things we seem to get as we "age".
Thats great that you get a debriefing and very necessary too. It is great that people can have a place to go and just chat, sometimes it makes all the difference to have someone to talk to who understand what they are going through.
Well done on your behalf.
I've been reading some articles on cancer survivorship. I would like to get involved in that area. Has anyone been involved in volunteer work in that area? What did your role involve? How did you become involved?
Flight, I too am really interested in some type of volunteering but I can't really consider it until I retire in 2 years.
I would be really interested in something like Bev or Craftyone in using my experiences to guide others through the maze.
I'm sure that when I have the time, I will still e needed! I don't think, unforunately that cancer is going anywhere soon.
How good would it be if our services were no longer needed!!
Cancer Council NSW would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work.We would also like to pay respect to elders past and present and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.