Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Supporting Survivors

Today is LIVESTRONG Day. While I respect the athletic and personal accomplishments of Lance Armstrong, I believe the greatest contribution to society that he may possibly make is the work that is being done by the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The purpose of LIVESTRONG Day is to raise awareness about the health policy issues facing cancer survivors. Few of us will ever be champion cyclists, but nearly half of us in the United States will face cancer in our lifetimes. The medical approach to cancer has been to eliminate it whenever possible, often at costs that impair the quality of life for survivors. The foundation is bringing people together to help each other manage the long-term effects of cancer and its treatment.

The most important lessons I have learned and the most important information I have gathered have not been from doctors and medical journals. Rather, the priceless information has been from people who have been there, had to make the same decisions, felt the side effects, experienced the fear, and watched the clock on sleepless nights. Luckily, I stumbled upon my friends in the computer that have provided wisdom, compassion, and insight. I have also found groups like the Young Survival Coalition (with great discussion boards) and the Lance Armstrong Foundation (with good information and tools) that bring people together to support one another.

Most recently, I have become involved with Breast Cancer Connections. It is part of the Healthcentral Network. The reason I became involved with this site is because of the approach. It provides resources to help you “Find, Manage, Connect”: Find answers and resources about breast cancer; Manage care, take action, and achieve goals; and Connect with a community where you can find support, get advice, and voice your opinion. It brings together the best and most useful features in one central location.

My first article to appear on the site is about adjusting to reconstruction. I welcome feedback and suggestions for the types of articles that might interest you. Most importantly, I welcome you to be part of the community. It is one more opportunity online to experience the healing and strength that comes from engaging others who have survived cancer.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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