LPN’s get the word out about the Canadian Cancer Society

Two LPNs hope that someone can be helped by what they have learned during their training

Two LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) students who have just finished a practicum working with the Canadian Cancer Society, say they felt a need to send out two letters, telling their thoughts, and personal experiences with cancer, “In the hopes that someone can be helped by what we  have learned in the last two weeks”.

To the editor;

As LPN students who just recently finished our first semester, we were unsure where our placement would be in the community [Kelowna]. But we were glad to be chosen for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Although our practicum will not be a long one, we feel like this is a special place, and we are glad to learn all we can. As an LPN we will be the nurses that talk more with the patient, and can pass important information on to them.

Canadian Cancer Society, is an important part of the cancer journey. Although you may never have wanted to begin this journey, they can help you see your way through, the tough road ahead. The road that seems to go nowhere.

There are many things that impressed us about the Canadian Cancer Society , Some of them are CancerConnection, Camp Goodtimes, and the Canadian  Cancer  Society Lodge.

CancerConnection is amazing for many reasons; it is a program for people newly diagnosed with cancer, and connects them with a trained volunteer that has taken the same cancer journey as they have.   We were also impressed by the fact that the program is free, even if the call is long distance.

We also had the honour to meet  a breast cancer surviour, she found CancerConnect helpful for her, and has since used it to connect with over a dozen other people.  She said sometimes people like to use the service just to get basic information; and others she has become friends with.

We find it amazing that with a simple phone call so many people’s lives can be helped.

There is such a huge outpouring of volunteers that are a part of the Canadian Cancer Society.  The Society is justifiably proud of its low cost to administer what they accomplish. In fact, only four percent of the budget goes to administration. The remaining funds ensure that the Society continues to lead the way in cancer prevention, support and research. When someone donates to the Canadian Cancer Society these funds help us right here in our own community.

We know that after our practicum is done, we will still hope to be able to volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society. There is much we can still learn, and many we can still help.

A light of hope in the moments of darkness

Imagine you are suddenly transported to a land of darkness.  Nothing is familiar and you don’t have a map. You feel lost, lonely and know you are the only one on this dark road.

How will I get out, who will show me a direction?

I can see no signs or light.   It is scary and foreboding.  You have a sense of panic and urgency to find your way as you are positive that a monster is just ahead.  You are right, and it is imperative as you have cancer;  but in the distance you see a flicker of a light and hope. …someone or something is up ahead.

I am a student LPN who has walked the walk with chemo and even though this light was not there for me where I walked, (and sometimes crawled) on my journey, the light is on for everyone who this monster has touched.

I am here with a fellow student and our advice to you is this:  It starts with a phone call. The hand that holds the phone at the other end is the Canadian Information Service   1-888-939-3333.   They can direct you on your journey with free support from someone who really understands, without leaving home, and it is all confidential.

I cannot believe all the avenues of support that come with this one number and that is why I am writing you to let everyone know.  No one should be without this number.  If you have a question, they will find an answer and if they don’t have it at the time you call; they will find it for you and phone you back.

We have never been so impressed at the compassion, caring and dedication of the people we have been privileged to mentor us while on our practicum.  We cannot express how important your call is to this phone number when cancer has struck you or a loved one.

Education and information will in no uncertain terms make your journey an easier and smoother road to recovery.  If you are near a computer, go to the site www.cancer.ca and just look at all the ways the Canadian Cancer Society can help.

Sharon Dutka

Kathie Newell-Charette

Student LPN’S on practicum