Wings of Hope Project: The New Patient Bags


angel1Do you have different books lying around your house that may uplift someone’s spirit? The books must be in good condition that you would like to give away. Currently, the Laugh at Cancer Support Community has started to collect books, in order to give them out to a local cancer center in Jacksonville, FL. We also give out a “New Patient Bags”, which is filled with different things that the nurses can give away during the month of December.

These books will be given to men, women, and/or children. We are asking you to send all types of books that may be for children and adults. Additionally, I would like to include Bibles with these new patient bags. The patient generally gets brochures, a blanket, A beanie baby or small stuffed animal, a gift bag, figurines, Christmas cards, Christmas stuff, and an inspirational greeting card.

However, we do not give out “Get Well” cards; instead we add “Thinking of You” cards and “Christmas” cards. Volunteers can donate things like: small toys, throw blankets, Bibles, figurines, bookmarks, books, Christmas cards, and greeting cards. I am the founder and I would like to send more cards, but I would need help. Due to the clinic regulations, we give the nurses the “New Patient Bags”.

I am looking forward to getting this project off the ground quickly, so we can gather up enough Christmas gifts for as many patients as we can. These books will be in a box or spread among the clinic waiting room, where patients can pick a book or two to take home and read it. This is a way to help get patients something that may take their mind off their cancer treatment. They can allow their imagination run wild for a short while.

The visitors can also take and return a book, but the patient or caregiver can keep the book. We need bookmarks with inspirational quotes and positive quotes that will help raise a patient’s morale. Maybe, a church or company can help us make this happen, but for now it is in God’s hands. Thank you to all my friends and volunteers, whose help has made the project successful.

We also have been able to give away these new gift bags for their new patients or existing ones. The life of this support community has changed, since we first started in 2004, as a small local support group. In the past years, the Ning.com community was our home, until I could not pay the monthly cost about $30.00 to keep our network that we built. Many members described it as a Facebook for people, who have been touched by cancer.

Although, we tried several different free networks; I ended up staying with Facebook. However, now I would love to build a new private place or discussion board, where members can share their own stories. Additionally, the members may need someone to talk to or just a new friendship; who they can turn to when they are having good times and bad times. Get involved and become a volunteer, you just need to post inspirational stuff.

I also would like to engage the members into conversation, as we grow in the future. I pray for serious volunteers, who want to make a difference and/or a chance to help a person touched by cancer. The volunteers will help us grow into a place that helps patients. Share new article about health, nutrition, and inspirational post and/or pictures. However, please don’t post information about businesses or miracle cures.

Be there for the members, when they choose to talk to you about their journey with cancer’s touch. Any cancer patient can write their story and send it to me; if they would like to become a guest blogger on my blog. I thank you for continuing to be a part of this support community. I personally would like to create a community where all kinds of patients, family, caregivers, and loved ones can tell their story.

Anyone who would like to help build a free private community or discussion board, please email me. I pray that we can cheer up some patients this upcoming Christmas season. Just a quick reminder, that the yearly “Wings of Hope Project” has been changed, from two times a year to once a year in December. We will have a giveaway every year in December, because this will help us collect more gifts to give out to different centers.

We also take and need small donations to buy a few things for this project. We ne need help with things like: gas, coloring books and crayons, and dollar store toys or items that would lift someone’s spirit. The Wings of Hope Project involves making “New Patient Packages”; which different local nurses can give out to their new patients. This way, the patient knows that there is a network of people out here, who cares about what the patient is going through.

If you can help us gather the items we need, please contact me by Facebook Messaging or by email: laughatcancer@gmail.com. Please discuss your donations you plan to send or your intention to volunteer online and off-line with our Facebook community. We will be working on collecting at least “50 New Patient Bags or even more”, which is needed to give out to the different local cancer centers we visit.

Sometimes, we will visit one nursing home and donate every bag we having, which are filled for patients. They need personal items, so fill up a shoebox and mark it by its contents with either: women, man, or child–boy or girl. This helps the facility in gathering up enough gifts, so no patient is left out. When we are visiting a nursing, I will let you know as soon as I know. Help us collect gifts that can be used to cheer patients up, as well as let them know we care.

Thank you for taking the time to think of others, who are fighting for their lives and remember to say a prayer for them. In addition, I want to engage my members, so any thoughts and help are appreciated tremendously. I am collecting items now, so I have more time to receive enough donations of items or a little cash. My revenue from writing is used to keep our community alive and growing, so take time to read the articles I post on my wall or on my Author Crystal S. Kauffman page.

Please contact me, if you are familiar with monetizing my two blogs on Word Press or Blogger. Thank you, in advance for helping us to obtain this goal, by December 15, 2015. Thank for helping us to make cancer patients feel special, and loved by our volunteers. I look forward to chatting with you about the ways, in which you can help us create another successful Wings of Hope Project this year. Last year, we did not get any children’s items, so we need books, paper, and coloring supplies.

Let’s make a difference in the lives of those touched by cancer, who need to feel special on occasions!

The Laugh at Cancer Support Community on Facebook

Twitter: http://twitter.com/laughatcancersu

My Personal Twitter: http://twitter.com/imogenrayne

Email Me: laughatcancer@gmail.com

Volunteers needed to mail out greeting cards for holidays and important dates like: member’s birthdays, an anniversary of your survivorship, and/or a marriage anniversary. Also, we need someone who would like to post updated health information. This will help members stay informed and will possibly help our expanding community. It would be nice to have a nutritionist or member sharing the best health food website. Furthermore, we need Peer and Spiritual Counselors, for members who may need a shoulder to lean on, so become someone’s Wings of Hope.

©2015, Crystal S. Kauffman

Previously Published

Wings of Hope Project-Dec. 2014


Wings of Hope Project has started on November 1st, 2014. We will be giving out patient bags to the Shands Infusion Center for Women in Jacksonville, FL. After they are told they have cancer, the patients will receive one of our bags that will let them know that there is some out there that cares about them. Our goal is to make up 20 bags, so please take a moment and help us make someone day a little brighter.

We need small gifts:

Figurines (Angels are a big hit)

Homemade Bracelets

Small Bibles

Bookmarks (Positive Saying)

Journal or Diaries 

Stickers (positive stuff)

Small Day Calendar ( keep track of appointments for 2015)

Can you help us?

We will be giving them out the week before Christmas.

Thank you! 

Please email me for more details…laughatcancer@gmail.com.

Diagnosed with a Severe UTI


Kurinary_tract

Has anyone else experienced this? For months, I have been having issues my bladder. Unfortunately, my bladder always hurt from the cancer treatment 11 years ago. Plus, it is overactive and doesn’t empty well. SO, I am always running to the bathroom.

 I went to my regular doctor on 8/5 and she gave me some antibiotics. After running test she confirmed that I had an UTI.  Once, I had completed those antibiotics, I still felt like something was wrong. My back near my kidneys heart and my bladder hurt really bad, especially when I went to bathroomI

Yesterday, I starting peeing blood and a lot of it. with blood clots. By the way, aggressive cervical cancer treatment took away my menstrual, so I knew that I wasn’t just having monthly visitor. Immediately, I called my Aunt Donna and she advised calling the doctor, so I called and was told to go the ER. Well now, I am on another set of antibiotics and I truly hope this time it helps. Well, the ER doctor acted like it was no big deal, he even said it was common. I was stunned, but I made it through and I am still hurting a lot. I am so blessed it was not something life-threatening. 

I would love to hear your story or suggestions that may help me keep these UTI’s at bay.? Next stop…Urologist I hope!

Copyright 2014, Crystal S. Kauffman

A Glimpse into My Family’s Lives


We miss you papa and granny. This is my memorial to you and the generations of family that you both helped to create in your 49 years together. We love you! I hope you are dancing together in heaven. Please subscribe to my channel to see more videos from me. Thanks for reading and watching!

Wings of Hope Project – September 2014 – Next Give Away


Wings of Hope Project for March 2014

This is what we put in each bag, plus a beanie baby. We had fun and we give all the glory to God.

We successfully completed our Wings of Hope Project for March 27, 2014 give away, which consisted of 12 gift bags full of items that will be given to new patients at Shands Infusion Center for Women. We made up a nurses bag and threw some extra stuff in it, so the nurses can give them away to new patients. However, we need your help to continue the project and help us get ready for our next give away in September 2014. Let’s try to get more than 12 gift bags for our next planned visit.

We do as three times in year: March, September, December. This way, we can reach as many patients as we can during each year. We pick out local cancer clinics or nursing homes to bless with our donated gifts. Please take a moment to look around your house and see if you may have some of the items that we need, in order to make this project a success. Each time we visit them, the nurses are happy to see us because they do not have items give out to the patients at this time due to hospital rules.

Ask your church, school, or organization to get involved and help us to continue to bless many patients  with these gifts of love. For September’s give away,  we will need at least 30 gift bags for men and women.

Items we Need:

Small gifts

Gifts bags

Thinking of you cards

Blankets

Bookmarks

Non profits- organizations wristbands- prostate, cervical, ovarian

Anything to cheer a patient up, men and women. Every new patient will get a bag until they run out. No candy!!!

Together we can make a difference!

Send items to:

Laugh at Cancer Support Community

c/o Crystal s. Kauffman

7192 Park City Dr.

Jacksonville, Florida, 32244

 

EMAIL me laughatcancer@gmail.com

If you send a donation of any kind.

 

FYI: The Support Community cost $30.00 a month to keep it open, so if you can help out in that please follow this link to our donate button. http://laughatcancer.ning.com

Wings of Hope for March 2014


WOH1 WOH3

Yesterday, we gave away 12 bags for new patients at Shand’s Infusion Center For Women, plus we threw extras in the nurse’s bag. So, the nurse can make a few more bags. I am excited because we were able to bless so many patients. Come on and get involved for September’s give away.

WE Need:

small gifts

gifts bags

thinking of you cards

Non profits- organizations wristbands- prostate, cervical, ovarian

Anything to cheer a patient, no candy or perishables.

Oh No…My Mommy Has Cancer!


 

This story is in this book.  Avaliable as an e-book on Amazon.

This story is in this book. Available as an e-book on Amazon.

 

“Shh!” Molly whispered to her little brother Drake, who is four-years-old.

“Don’t wake up Mommy! She just got home from the hospital.”Kevin reminded them.

Molly stated “Mommy is sick and seems to sleep a lot lately.”

“I know but your mother is very sick. Sleep helps her body to heal.” Kevin explained

Molly is seven-years-old with big beautiful brown eyes like her mom. However, her complexion was olive color like her father. As she grows, she has more of her mother’s personality coming out of her. Molly has shoulder length golden brown hair that matched her father’s eyes. She has her mother’s unruly hair, but Drake has his father’s oily hair type and he was blessed father’s eyes. Drake favored his father yet many people have told Chelsey that Drake looks just like her.  Nevertheless, he has chestnut brown hair, just like his mother and his sister.

Chesley has complained about a sharp throbbing pain in her lower abdomen, since she was twelve years old. However, most doctors diagnosed her with Gastritis and each doctor informed her to get gas pills. In September of 2002, she began working for a landscaping service and a small plant nursery. She cleaned up the weeds in the plant, while taking care of the plants and the office. All month long Chelsey had a horrible pain in her belly, but due to no health insurance, she couldn’t go to a doctor without paying upfront. Her monthly bills ate up her money like: rent, electricity, phone, gas, and car insurance

She had no choice but to visit local emergency room to get the help she needed. She ended up staying in the hospital for three days, while the doctors pumped antibiotics in to her system. Chelsey finally got better, but the pain never really went away and she was advised to see a specialist. Thankfully, her visit to the emergency room actually helped her to get approved for a state medical insurance plan. The OB/GYN doctor she was referred to by the hospital, needed to recheck her in order to see if the infection had responded to the antibiotics that were given to her at the hospital.

This specialist examined her and took a biopsy of her cervix, which is the removal of a tissue sample. He wanted to see if he could explain why Chelsey’s lower abdomen was still in severe pain. The doctor sent the biopsy to the hospital lab to be examined and tested. The specialist nurse called Chelsey on the phone and asked her to come to the doctor’s office that afternoon in Oct. 2002. Molly noticed that her mom was crying the next day when she got home from work.

           “Did something bad happen at work?” She asked as her mother hugged her tightly.

“Nothing for you to worry about sweetie, Mommy is having a bad day right now.” Chelsey replied trying to reassure Molly.

Molly began cleaning her mother’s office when she saw some information about cervical cancer on her desk. This made her worry, so Molly got very sad because she knew people that had died due to cancer.

“Do you have cancer Mommy? Are you going to die?” She asked her mother.

Molly’s eye began filling tears, as Drake crawled into her mother’s lap and began crying as well.

“Yes, I have cancer, but tomorrow my cancer doctor will decide the treatment I will need to take. Then, I’ll know more about what we can expect once I see the oncologist.”

“Will you die mommy?” Drake asked with tears streaming down his face.

“I don’t believe I will die, but I will get very sick due to chemotherapy and radiation. Plus, there will be some other changes around the house.” Chelsey answered cautiously.

“You both will have to help your mother more out around the house now, Molly.” Kevin stated.

Kevin works as the maintenance man of the small mobile home park, which they have lived in for about two years. Sometimes, if needed, he can come home and help Chelsey during the day.

“Do I have to help care for Drake too?” Molly attested.

“Yes, you will have to help me from time to time with your little brother, due to my illness and upcoming treatment.” Her mother answered.

Molly helped Drake get a bath and helped her mother dress him, whenever he finished his bath. Chelsey began gathering up information that Molly and Drake could read about my illness. Molly decided to take a shower, while her mother was using the computer. She finished her shower and dressed in her favorite pajama, which is pink thermal underwear set with tiny purple and green flowers on them.

“Listen Molly, here is some information I gathered for you to read. This way, you can ask me any questions that you may have once your done reading.” Her mom said while trying to help Molly understand her illness. The information she was able to read would ultimately help answer most of her questions she may have about the disease itself. Molly and her mother began reading the information together and she understood why her mother’s stomach hurt a lot.

Molly read that people with cancer most always lose their hair, so she asked her mom, “Are you going to lose your hair mom?”

“No, my doctor said the type of chemotherapy I need will not cause me to lose my hair.” Chelsey explained.

Molly fell asleep reading the information about cervical cancer that her mom gave her. Chelsey knew that she need to call a family meeting the next day, once everyone was home. The next day Kevin, Molly, and Drake were sitting on the old brown and brandy wine colored couch. They waited for Chelsey in the living room that has been decorated in NASCAR memorabilia hanging on each of the walls. Molly and her family began discussing Chelsey’s illness and the changes that will soon become reality.

Chelsey asked Molly, “Do you know what cancer is?”

Molly answered,” Yes, I learned that cancer isn’t just one disease, but it is rather a group of blood cells that keep growing out of control.”

Molly asked, “How did you get cancer mommy?”

“I do not know how I got this cancer, but you cannot catch cancer by hugging or kissing me. Also, you cannot catch it by sharing the bathroom with me or using my hairbrush.”  Her mommy assured her.

Molly asked reluctantly, “Will you die from cancer like your friend Vicky did?”

Chelsey responded with a tear in her eye, “I don’t believe that I will die, but I don’t want to promise you anything.”

Molly hugged her mom really tight and declared, “I have been asking God to help you! He promised he would help if I ask.”

“That’s true God did say to ask and you shall receive, if you have faith of a tiny mustard seed you can move a mountain out of your way.” Chelsey assured Molly.

“Does anyone have any questions about my illness?” Her mom asked.

“Will you have to stay in the hospital?” asked Molly

“Yes, Sweetie, I will have to stay in the hospital for three weeks off and on to receive the chemotherapy by IV. I will require two minor surgeries to put sedum implants into my Uterus to deliver the radiation where it needs to go.” Chelsey explained, “I will be radioactive once I have the surgery and they place the implants. You won’t be able to visit me during that time. However, you can visit anytime you want. I will also require Radiotherapy, which is like a photon laser hitting the tumor everyday for about fifteen minutes a day.”

“Will you quit smoking cigarettes?” Molly questioned.

“Yes, I am going to try really hard to quit smoking cigarettes, because if I don’t the cancer will come back or will not respond to treatment.”  Chelsey responded with an uncertain tone of voice.

“We will help you!” Kevin and Molly promised.

Drake yelled, “I will help you too mommy!”

Chelsey explained, “You both will be staying with your dad, until I finish treatment. He will bring you both to visit me at the hospital or at home.”

Chelsey’s treatment started on a Monday, which was the sixth day of January 2003. Thankfully, both children visited her every weekend, whether she was in the hospital or not. They would stay over at home, if their mother felt strong enough to keep them. Molly and Drake enjoyed every moment they were able visit with their mother. Chelsey was very sad, but she stayed focused on getting better and beating the deadly disease. She finally called her family to tell them about her diagnosis and each member handled the news in their own way. Some offered assistance to Chelsey and her family, just in case they needed help. Chelsey’s doctor is called an Oncologist/OB, which is a doctor that is trained to treat the many kinds of cancers that may occur in women.

He explained that cancer is blood cells that began to divide abnormally. Soon, these cells can form a tumor, which begins to cause pain while getting larger. Although not all cancers form tumors, some are found in the patient’s blood stream or the bones. The doctor explained that Chelsey’s cervical cancer was already at Stage 2B. This means that the cancer had already begun spreading on the right side of her body. The doctor explained that Metastasis is the process of cancer spreading to other organs in the body through the lymph nodes. Chelsey’s doctor elected not to do surgery and referred her to a new doctor who will take over her care.

The new Oncologist prepared Chelsey for Radiotherapy or Radiation, while the Chemotherapy nurse discussed the type of chemotherapy she will be receiving. Chelsey became close with the chemotherapy nurse and she felt like this nurse cared about her future. According to her doctor and chemotherapy nurse, the chemotherapy nurse, believe that Brach therapy or cesium implants and radiation are supposed to help shrink the tumor. Chelsey had chemotherapy, which helped to send the cancer into remission.

So far, the treatment was helping Chelsey to become cancer free. However, Molly’s mom will need to be checked every three months, in order to make sure the cancer does not come back. The healthcare team that was taking care of Molly’s mom is just people doing their job, but Molly and her family swears that they saved her mom’s life. Molly’s mom is now a cancer survivor thanks to the efforts of her special healthcare team.

 

(This is my family’s story, but the names were changed for the publication of this story.)