Finding Hope in Tough Times: Messages From our Woman to Woman Mentors
Our Woman to Woman peer support program provides connection and a listening ear. It’s completely virtual and open to all gynecologic cancer patients. We asked our Woman to Woman mentors to share messages of hope, along with their strategies for coping with these uncertain times. Here’s what they have to say:
- “I love being outside so, when I can, I go out and sit on my porch, read, write in a journal, soak up as much good ole vitamin D, and even have called some friends I haven’t talked to in several years. It’s really been amazing to hear what our lives have gone through, sharing some tears, fears but so much laughter. Even though it may have been many years, it’s like it was just yesterday that we talked. This time in our lives and in the world is so unbelievable and filled with so much unknown, I do my best to find at least one thing, big or small, that keeps me settled and helps me to smile and know we’ll get through this. This is my life and I shall treasure every minute of it.” – Renate
- “Isolation can add to our anxiety and fear levels. My suggestions are: A walk out in fresh air if you can. If not a little bit of sunshine, a glass of tea and a good book are good stress relievers for me. Limit exposure to media coverage. Choose one trusted source of truth and check no more than once a day if possible. Rely on your self-care routine or try a new one. Stay connected to family and friends via chat or text.” – Stacy
- “1. Read a novel with a happy ending.
2. Phone upbeat friends and relatives for a good visit.
3. Watch a light movie (I love Turner Classic Movies). Can’t go wrong with the Hallmark channel.
4. Go for a walk if the weather is OK.
5. Go for a scenic drive in the car.
6. Feed the birds and squirrels if you live in a house.
7. Play a game on the computer.” – Helen
- “I’m tuning into jazz I have wanted to listen to for a while and finding time to create book club readings and discussions with my youngest grandchildren on Facebook. We love reading but now we are really analyzing the inner aspects of the book. Turning up some workout music and taking my mind to my step and boxing classes…getting into the steps and working up a sweat. Focusing on me!!!” – Yvette
- “My message to those fighting the cancer and worrying about the virus is to stay strong. This is temporary; just like your cancer treatment. Enjoy God’s gift of beauty and have time for YOU. Listen to your doctors and before we know it, we can join hands as one!” – Janice
- “Having recently gotten more adventurous and social last year, courtesy of my cancer struggles from the previous year, this whole staying home thing is kind of rough, honestly. Mostly because going to the gym was my escape so to speak. I find working out at home to be much harder in the motivation department. Plus, I miss the social aspect of it. That, combined with having to switch up the types of workouts I do since I don’t own much equipment. I suppose that’s not all bad though. I just gotta find my rhythm. Plus, it allows me to come at fitness in another way. So I’m learning in my downtime I guess you could say. I’m also finding time to do things I haven’t done in a long while, like painting my toenails. Something as simple as that. Last time I painted them was pre-cancer and I didn’t even realize it was that long until it dawned on me yesterday. So I’m trying to think of this situation as extra time to fall back in love with old past times and hobbies, a reintroduction into self-care, and getting more creative with my workouts.” – Jamie
- “As we as a nation go through these hard, emotional times and social isolation, we have to support each other and create other means of keeping our spirits up. I love to workout. Instead of going to the gym, I started back walking outside early in the mornings. I put on my favorite music and lose myself in the moments of being me. The air is crisp and fresh. I love being with myself and time stands still. All problems are at bay and my body breathes in the air as my mind enjoys the peacefulness I feel. Then it’s back home and I am back in the reality of our world. But having those 45 minutes in my early walking helps maintain me until the following day. I hope we all can find moments we can create to sustain us during these times. We are here to provide support in the ways we always do.” – Yvette
Would you like your own trained mentor? Just fill out a form telling us a little bit about yourself, and we’ll match you with someone who will offer the kind of support and comfort that can only be found in a person with their own gynecologic cancer experience. You’ll be able to chat with your mentor over the phone, through Skype, or email message.
Want to be a Woman to Woman mentor to someone newly diagnosed? Send us an email.