|Team Lee rallied at Cycle for Survival in honor of Lee! Here is Lee with one of her sons.|
September 11, 2013
Imerman Angels & Guest Angel Blogger, Lee!
On this day, September 11, it seems fitting that I have my NYC angel, Lee, as a guest blogger. God bless all the men and women who lost their lives on 9-11. And God bless all of those fighting the battle against cancer.
For those who do not know, Lee is my Imerman Angel. IA is a great non-profit that pairs cancer survivors with those battling cancer. They pair you on the same cancer type, surgeries you may have had, chemo treatments and even similar life/ family situations if possible.
Although we don't correspond every day, I am extremely grateful for Lee and the support she has given me throughout my battle. We became fast friends! I am blessed to have her in my life.
Here is Lee's story on her bout with Colon Cancer and her thoughts on Imerman Angels!
October 2011 - two bouts of terrible stomach pains landed me in the hospital, no diagnosis. After 3 weeks of testing, still no answer. I was scared but that was nothing in comparison to what I was about to be faced with. Finally after my stomach calmed down, a colonoscopy was scheduled. When I opened my eyes, everyone had a blank stare. A polyp, the size of a golf ball, was found. Surgery was scheduled. Biopsies revealed stage 3 colon cancer, and 6 of 26 lymph nodes removed during surgery had cancer cells in them.
I went directly to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. I quickly started folfox 5, a 12 session chemotherapy. During my 6 months of chemo I kept a log of my daily ups and downs. Noting when side effects hit and what helped or what made them worse.
Thinking it through, what I needed during treatment was questions answered, no matter how small or silly they seemed, someone to lean on whose been through it all, and a friend that truly gets it. I knew others would have the same needs.
Three months after my last colon cancer treatment, my good friend, a lymphoma survivor, asked if I would get involved with Imerman Angels. I didn't hesitate, knowing how alone you are through treatment, even with many supporters.
I wanted to help anyone. I contacted Imerman and they recorded my profile and told me they may be in touch if there's a match. Approximately 4 months later they reached out to me describing a woman with a very similar diagnosis and treatment regiment. Not even 24 hours later Linda and I were connected.
We quickly bonded and oh what a feeling! It's incredible how 2 complete strangers can relate to each other. Cancer is such an awful thing so when you meet someone suffering as you did you just want to hold their hand.
It's such a blessing to have gone through something so horrific, and have something so positive come out of it.
Being an Angel gives me the opportunity to pay it forward. To help someone who is as scared as I was. To assure them that they're not alone. They're surrounded by so many people that are routing for them. I want to let them know, this can be done.