Alana’s Story: Cancer during COVID
Early in 2020, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer. Within a month, it had progressed to stage 4 in my brain. My life quickly turned upside down. I faced a whirlwind of surgery and treatments and felt as though I had been strapped into a roller coaster with no way to stop. And because of the pandemic restrictions, I had to do it all on my own.
My doctors were looking out for me physically, but no one considered how I was doing mentally. I knew I needed some help, and I kept thinking, ‘there have to be others who feel like me.’ So I looked through some patient resources at my hospital, and that’s where I discovered Wellspring.
From the very first moment you reach out to Wellspring for help, you are accepted whole-heartedly. It’s like having a hero’s cape – a protective bubble of coping around you. I signed up for an online group program and was amazed that I could just sit on my couch and get so much love, acceptance and guidance through the computer screen. So many people I’ve never met in person now love me and are rooting for me, and I’m rooting for them. It was these people who helped pull me out of that dark hole mentally. Now, just seeing the name Wellspring fills me with a sense of safety, freedom and love.
My family too has benefited from Wellspring’s help. My husband joined the caregiver group, and it’s been a healing experience for him to receive the wisdom, advice and comfort of others going through the same thing. And my mother is coping better, too, now that she gets regular check-in calls from a peer support volunteer. So I’d say that today, we are all thriving, and we feel so blessed to experience the love and support of a group of people that we now consider a second family.
Cancer robs you of a big chunk of who you are. You may still be a wife or a daughter or whatever role you play in your life, but so much of who you are gets taken away from you, and you no longer have control. You feel helpless. But Wellspring puts you back in the driver’s seat and gives you the tools you need to be in control again.
To those who support Wellspring with their donations, please know how grateful I am. You’ve given me a second chance to see and experience all the true gems that life has to offer.