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The Path to Cancer Survivorship

Danielle Calvano, Clinical Navigator

June 4, 2019

The Path to Cancer Survivorship

Life is always different after cancer, and for some it’s even better.

When someone goes through cancer treatment, the first thing they want is, of course, a cure. The second thing they hope for is to get be back to normal as quickly as possible – to be the person they were, to reclaim the life they had before all this miserable stuff happened. They want to put it all behind them, pretend it never happened, resume all the activities and relationships they had before that fateful diagnosis.

But you are always a different person after cancer.

As someone who was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer at age 36, been there, done that… still doing that. It’s an ongoing process, and an important part of what is called Cancer Survivorship. Survivorship doesn’t end when the regular medical appointments and treatments end – on the contrary, for some it’s only the beginning.

Everyone experiences cancer differently, and in my role as Clinical Navigator of the Breast Program at the Center for Cancer Care at White Plains Hospital, I help patients navigate that road no matter what their individual experience becomes. I answer questions, provide educational resources and websites, and support and educate the patients and their families. I am here as much or as little as you need. I am here to help.

A diagnosis of cancer is scary – there’s no way around that. I like to help make it a little “less” scary by giving people the resources and support they need to help them through their journey.

On June 2nd, White Plains Hospital celebrated National Cancer Survivor’s Day with approximately 200 survivors --- just a fraction -- of the more than 15.5 million people in the world surviving cancer. We celebrated the success of their treatment thanks to the highly skilled oncologists, surgeons, nursing and support staff that helped them to be there, as well as behavioral and social support they received and continue to receive along the way.

Both current and former White Plains Hospital patients reflected on their own particular brand of Cancer Survivorship, whatever that may be. I like to think of it as a new normal, and with help and support, hopefully some of them will also see it as a new beginning – another chance of life that will most certainly be different and maybe a little more uncertain than they’d like, but also just as special and fulfilling as the one they had before.

Visit our website for more information about the White Plains Hospital's Cancer Program