Welcome Sophia Hope Bell!!!

Welcome Sophia Hope Bell!!!
Maddy has officially become a big sister!!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Contributing Author - David Haas with a word about Cancer Support Groups

Cancer Support Groups

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer support groups are known by several different names. Group therapy, group psychotherapy, psychosocial interventions, and psychosocial treatments are four examples. Cancer support groups, by any name, are invaluable tools in the cancer treatment arsenal. While they are not treatment, in and of themselves, they are effective resources for helping patients cope with their disease. Cancer provides a unique experience for each and every person, whether one is diagnosed with breast cancer, a rare aggressive disease like mesothelioma, leukemia, or another malignancy. The journey is different for everyone, and the ways in which people cope are different, too. All cancer patients need a good support system, and cancer support groups are the best way to address that need.There are many different kinds of cancer support groups, and they vary in makeup, structure, and activity. They often include people with the same cancer type or treatment type. They may be ongoing or time-limited. Some support groups are open to patients only, while others welcome family members and caregivers into the fold.Support Groups And Group TherapyCancer support groups are sometimes considered group therapy and, in many ways, they are very therapeutic. But they differ from traditional group therapy. Licensed counselors (therapists, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers) usually facilitate traditional therapy groups, but cancer support groups are led by their members. Typically, they are led by cancer survivors or trained professionals from within the group.Group therapy tends to be long and involves in-depth personal growth, while cancer support groups gather to address immediate concerns and manage current situations. Support groups can be held just about anywhere and, unlike group therapy, they are usually free to join. Community Support GroupsCommunity support groups are a good way for cancer patients and survivors to become active in their own cancer community. Meetings are held in hospitals, churches, schools, community centers, and group members’ homes. Cancer treatment centers can provide the names of local cancer support groups. National groups with local chapters include the American Cancer Society’s “I Can Cope” program, the Cancer Hope Network, and Gilda’s Club.Online Support GroupsOnline support groups are the ideal support network for cancer patients and survivors. For people experiencing treatment side effects, or those who cannot leave their home for another reason, online communities are the way to go. Internet support groups and discussion forums allow patients to maintain their anonymity. They can share their fears, frustrations, and feelings honestly with people who understand what they are going through. Whether patients face treatable skin cancer, breast cancer surgery, or a mesothelioma prognosis, cancer support networks can provide comfort, support, hope, and knowledge of the disease one is going through. Research has shown that support groups reduce anxiety, relieve stress, and improve quality of life.

By: David Haas

You can reach David via email at davdhaas@gmail.com or visit his personal blog at http://haasblaag.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wow...it has been a long time!

Well, as you can all see, Sophia Hope was welcomed to our family on November 29th. She weighed 8.11lbs and was 20 inches long. It was an amazing day and Madelyn is just loving being a big sister. I am so sorry it has been so long since we updated, but, life has been chaotic with a newborn in the house. It seems like ages ago that Madelyn was this small:) Madelyn has been doing great. We are attending open houses for Kindergarten because, although she misses the public school cut off to turn 5 and start school by 19 days, we are planning on placing her in a private school for kindergarten. She will stay in the school that she is currently in for Pre-K and is very excited. She is doing so well academically, she is reading, writing doing math problems and is just amazing!

Her next scheduled check up at the clinic is in April. If all comes back well at this check up they will have us back for checkups yearly instead of every 6 months....very exciting, but very scary! At Madelyn's 4 year old check up they discovered that her hearing was not normal. She has a hard time hearing anything below 15 decibels on the left ear and 30 decibels on the right ear. We are scheduled to see the ENT on Wednesday. The audiologist confirmed that the hearing problem is in the middle ear on the right side. We will find out more at the appointment on Wed.however, our concern is that this hearing loss developed during chemo. We will update when we know more.

The local Non-profit that we volunteer for and Rick serves on the board for has a local consignment shop that donates a portion of all their proceeds to them. Their name is Palmetto Thrift Store. They are doing a large advertisement in the local Columbia magazine and Madelyn will serve as their "poster child". We are very excited and are going to the photo shoot on Monday.

Having a new baby in the house is so great! I forgot what it was like to be sleep deprived, smell like spit-up and change what seems like 10,000 diapers a day, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. It is a different situation to be a new parent again. I find myself at certain points questioning Sophia's health. I freaked myself out the other night, because I was convinced that her right eye looked droopy like Madelyn's did. With Madelyn, our first year was a whirlwind. If you asked me when she talked first or when she sat up or rolled over or crawled, I wouldn't be able to tell you without looking at pictures and dates. During that time frame, my main concern was when her next chemo was scheduled or our next appointment at the clinic or what her blood counts were. I am really trying to step back and just enjoy all the wonderful, amazing things that come with having a newborn and really have to consciously tell myself that "Sophia does not have cancer too...just enjoy your beautiful girls!!"

Thank you so much for checking in and we love you all!!

The Bell Family (which has now extended:))