Finding Beauty In Strength

Finding Beauty In Strength

As someone who lost many loved ones to cancer, I always thought on some level I understood the struggle, both physical and emotional that they endured.

And then one day I got the diagnosis: invasive breast cancer. I was 49, a wife and mother to three young daughters. I quickly realized that I understood nothing about what my loved ones endured. I was scared not so much by the thought of a mastectomy and chemo, but about dying. I quickly went into survivor mode and almost existed outside myself. It felt like I watched myself make decisions about treatments, have surgery, go for chemotherapy and lose my hair.

Mourning Hair Loss During Cancer is Not Being Vain

When I was going through chemotherapy, scalp cooling was not yet available. Six months later, it became available. Too late for me, but just in time for many others. While a cancer diagnosis inflicts layers of trauma from the physical to the mental to the emotional, it was losing my hair that finally brought me to my knees.

I began to avoid seeing just about everyone and eventually had trouble looking even my husband in the eyes. I felt ugly, and somehow like I was undeserving of being loved. I remember one day I was on the phone with my sister and she was trying to comfort me. She said “ listen, you are alive and your hair will grow back so just be thankful.” What those who have never had their life interrupted by cancer fail to realize is that mourning hair loss is not vanity, and it is not being ungrateful. When you lose your hair to this disease you lose your dignity! And it becomes very easy to start seeing yourself as diminished, and soon, the person you thought you were seems to vanish, because you no longer recognize the face looking back in the mirror.

And so when Infinite Strength began, I knew Scalp Cooling was going to be one of our initiatives. Why? Because insurance coverage for scalp cooling is not yet standard in the United States…sadly! This means that many patients who have the option available to them are unable to take advantage of its benefits due to financial limitations. If you are being treated at Smilow Cancer Hospital or one of its Care Centers around the state in Connecticut, ask your physician about scalp cooling, and the financial assistance available. For those being treated in other hospitals or outside of Connecticut, ask your healthcare provider about assistance available through organizations that are dedicated to helping patients afford this treatment, like The Rapunzel Project. Here are just a few links for more information on scalp cooling:

https://www.paxmanusa.com

http://www.rapunzelproject.org

https://www.breastcancer.org/tips/hair_skin_nails/cold-caps

💕 Roberta

PTSD After Cancer

PTSD After Cancer

One moment is all it takes for your life to change. For those of us who have been diagnosed with cancer of any type, we have it burned in our memory the exact second life as we knew it - as we loved it, was no more. For me, it was September 8, 2016 when I went for a biopsy on the lump I had found, and the radiologist told me to “prepare myself”. For those of you that follow Infinite Strength, for those that support us and the work we do, you know my story and how it evolved. But what you may not know is that it has been two and a half years since my diagnosis and I still struggle. Once you end treatment your cancer journey is not “over”, and things don’t get back to “normal”, and I really get aggravated when people make those comments (even tho it is innocent and meant to be helpful).

Infinite Strength Joins Big Y in their Partners of Hope Campaign

On Friday, March 8th, Infinite Strength officially joined the Big Y family in their Partners of Hope Campaign. Each year BIG Y has a capital campaign that generates funds from customers and employees of their 70 plus stores throughout Connecticut and Massachusetts. Infinite Strength is honored to be a long-term partner with a brand that is synonymous with family and community!

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A Good Old Fashioned Hoedown 2018

Families and friends gathered on October 13th to have some old fashioned fun at Infinite Strength’s Hoedown. The sun came out just in time for our celebration, and it is safe to say that everyone enjoyed the amazing music provided by Midnight Rodeo, and the tasty BBQ provided by Pig Rig. Our sincere thanks to all that joined us and donated to Infinite Strength. We raised funds and awareness for the patients of the Smilow Breast Center.