Friday was a day full of walking opportunities and I recorded 13 miles for the Specialty Care Clinic patients at Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation.  This organization is such an important partner to CSCAZ as we work together to provide free services to Native Americans impacted by cancer on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations. The CSC House of Hope in Tuba City provides a place for us to offer healthy lifestyles workshops, education sessions, support group meetings, and one-on-one meetings with oncology patients once the reconstruction is completed on this beautiful old home.  We have NAU MSW interns in the Specialty Care Clinic to meet individually with those impacted by cancer, both the patient and their family members, to conduct the Cancer Support Source inventory, to complete funding applications, to provide wigs, scarves, hats, and education materials and this fall, to introduce the new free tele-health tablets to connect families with CSC services and medical provider appointments from home. We are grateful for our partnership with TCRHCC.

Check out the beautiful smiles and incredible excitement in this photo which was taken on August 5, 2014, the final day of chemo treatments for Cindy May, the woman I am walking for today.  Exactly 9 years ago, the celebration took place and Cindy hasn’t looked back. August 5 is your day Cindy May. Listen to the positivity in the words Cindy shared:

“I was incredibly blessed during my cancer journey by my loving and always supportive husband, my sweet kids who were teenagers at the time and my amazing parents – they were there for me in so many different ways. But it was a circle of friends in our amazing Flagstaff community who sent me cards, and texts and food for my family that made me feel incredibly loved and supported. On those really down days, reading Kris Carr – Crazy, Sexy Cancer (thank you Cory!), meditating (a new found passion of mine because of cancer) and Cheerios helped me through.

If cancer becomes a part of your world, please let people love you through it. You will want to pull back and be alone. You’ll say “okay, I’ll let you know” when people ask how they can help or “I’m okay”. Make yourself accept help or even better find a buddy who will do it for you. Liz was my ‘no going it alone buddy’ and whenever anyone asked what they could do for me or my family, Liz had me send them her way and she let them know. We need a meal for 4 delivered on Tuesday, no more chicken, clean up team this Saturday, send a happy text, cards to this address – Liz was one of my angels that God blessed me with and prayed for me when life was a bit uncertain and scary. Find your ‘no going it alone buddy’ and let them let others help love you through it all. It’s a beautiful thing.

P.S. Have fun with wigs and wear lipstick. I had 3. Long Tina Turner style, short red bob and shoulder length with amazing highlights. When I had the energy to ‘go out’ I could be ready in 5 minutes flat! Humor helps with healing. No lie.”

Thanks for letting me walk in celebration of your final chemo treatment, Cindy.  My goal is to find things along today’s path that make me smile and laugh.  I’ll even wear lipstick and bring humor into today’s journey.