In this episode, Jamie shares more about her experience as a cancer survivor and Dragonfly volunteer and supporter. (She also makes a joyous surprise announcement!!)
The unconditional love she received from her family, especially her mom who took on most of the burden as a caregiver, was so important to her recovery. She acknowledges the emotional strain her challenges had on the people around her, including her then boyfriend/now husband. This unconditional love is part of the recipe of survivorship.
She encouraged those closest to her to journal as much as they could as a way to channel their emotions and to share with her their experiences. She believes that having a positive mind set helped her, her family and others believe she WOULD make it through the dark chapter she was going through.
Reflecting back, Jamie suggests that patients create a bucket list of things they want to do after cancer treatment. Intentionally focusing on the future, both near-term and long-term and on the large and very small things, helps… even if it is just expressing the desire to shave your legs when your hair grows back. She had “cloudy snapshots” of what she wanted her life to be after treatment. Today, she is posting photos that show how she has made those dreams into reality.
Some things on Jamie’s list: swimming after central venous catheter was removed, finish college, getting married and having a family. She says, Dragonfly helps with this idea of focusing on the future by talking to the families at the beginning of treatment about all that they have to offer and giving patients and families something to look forward too, like a going to a concert or baseball game.
She believes having a vision for the future and maintaining hope are important coping strategies. This positive attitude continues to help anchor her today when the fear of recurrence reemerges or when she worries about her children’s health and wellness.
Jamie also discusses her time volunteering and giving to Dragonfly. She and her fellow coworkers at GE Aviation in Dayton, OH volunteer for Dragonfly by filling care bags with essential items for newly diagnosed cancer patients and their caregivers to use in the hospital. Dragonfly delivers approximately 30-70 bags each month to patients at the beginning of their treatment.
Jamie and Ria also discuss the Dragonfly Gala, celebrating The Dragonfly Foundation’s 10th Anniversary!
Hope you are able to join in and be inspired!
Dragonfly Effect Podcast
The Dragonfly Foundation(R), a 501c3 nonprofit, helps pediatric cancer patients and their families find strength, courage, and joy. We do this by providing ongoing support, relevant materials, and caring, nurturing and transformative experiences.
To donate and to learn more about Dragonfly, please visit Dragonfly.org or text WINGS to 71777.
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