Welcome to Bangalore Cancer Support group (Connect to Heal) Blog page

Welcome to Bangalore Cancer Support Group (Connect To Heal) Blog Page
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

CTH on Bangalore Mirror

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Miles to go before you sleep
Cancer can cause fear and anxiety, evoke feelings of hopelessness but it does not mean the end of the road
Bhavya Thimmaiah
Posted On Sunday, September 02, 2012 at 12:56:34 AMAre you dealing with cancer? Do you feel that you cannot overcome it? Then seek the help of Connect to Heal. An informal group formed in 2008, these members have either personally survived cancer or have been beside a loved one on their journey with this disease.

As a counsellor, Padma always thought that she could deal with all kinds of situations. When her mum, also a doctor, was diagnosed with cancer, she couldn’t believe. She wondered how the doctors allowed it to reach such a stage. When her mother passed away, she dealt with grief for 8 months. “I decided that in order to redeem myself, I should help cancer patients,” says the 73-year-old.

Padma then met cancer survivors Lipika (61 years) and Mamatha while working/volunteering for an organisation and they decided to help patients. Their aim is to reach as many people dealing with cancer. “We know the doctors do not have time for patients, they sometimes say, ‘You have just 6months’ which can be quite demotivating. More than medicines, these patients need someone they can talk to and motivate them,” says Lipika Thani, a counsellor and a computer professional. Through word of mouth, they have managed to get 5-6 core members on board and 9-10 caregivers and volunteers.

They motivate the patients and family members by telling them to remain positive. If they are positive, their immune system will work better. They share each others stories and motivate others. For instance, they had received a call from a daughter whose father was diagnosed with prostrate cancer. He was bed-ridden, wouldn’t talk to anyone and wouldn’t even open his eyes. Lipika took one 
of the prostrate cancer patients to meet this elderly gentleman. 
After both shared their problems, the family members told Lipika later that he in fact opened his eyes and expressed his desire to meet the 
person again. He passed away after 3 days but his daughter is now volunteering with them.

There have been cases where they have tried to convince patients to go in for chemotherapy - some met with success and some failed. Lipika shares an incident of a girl in her late 20s who was diagnosed with lung cancer. She was the only breadwinner of the family. She was adamant that she would not undergo chemo sessions as she did not want to lose her beauty. So, she took to naturopathy. “She visited us a couple of times and when she couldn't we went to her place, tried to convince her but failed,” says Lipika. She passed away a couple of months later.

Lipika says, “If a symptom persists for long say coughing, down with fever, find a lump in body, leg is paining, ulcer in mouth, then one should visit a General Practitioner immediately. We need to listen to our body. If detected early, 90 per cent of cancer especially breast and uterus can be treated.” Connect to Heal is now thinking of registering themselves and also looking for volunteers. 

 For more information, check out http://www.connecttoheal.org