Patricia first heard of SLEW Cancer Wellness Center from her Case Manager at Family Services. The case manager called us while Patricia was still in his office and told us he had a Katrina evacuee with breast cancer that needed a variety of services and because she was not from here didn't know where to go. She had no family or friends here at the time and didn't really feel like she belonged. She had been shuttled from the shelter to transitional housing with her two children and the stress had really taken a toll on her family.
Pat says that thru individual and group counseling sessions she was able to meet other cancer survivors as well as other Katrina evacuees and realized that she was not alone. The center gives her people to bond with to help her feel like she is a part of the San Antonio community. In fact some of these women where going thru cancer for the second or third time, which made her realize that she could get through this, and things will get better! She says she has also benefited greatly from the education classes and the nutrition classes because she is the type of person that when she finds out something is wrong with her she wants to research it completely. These services would not have been available to her if not for SLEW. The team at SLEW has been able to answer many of her questions that she would have otherwise just worried about. Regular treatments have finished for Pat and she feels that she is back on the road to recovery.
Cynthia first heard of SLEW Cancer Wellness Center from her family doctor Hilliard Floyd, M.D. Doctor Floyd had another patient that was attending our agency and asked her to talk with Cynthia about SLEW because she was so happy with the services that she had been provided. He knew that Cynthia was afraid and needed support.
Cynthia says that thru our counseling services and nursing services she has a better understanding of what's going on with her body and is able to accept her diagnosis. She has met a lot of new friends and doesn't feel alone in her journey. She is able to understand what caused her lymphedema and is now having it managed successfully. Group Day is a time for bonding and the presentations from the guest speakers gives her a lot of information that she could not get anywhere else.
Lastly, she cannot work and her husband does maintenance work so she really would not have been able to afford the wigs and other services without SLEW. She finished her treatments but is still going in for regular check-ups and is currently coming to SLEW for counseling, lymph drainage, massage therapy, and group sessions. Her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer a few months after Cynthia, and is now also a client of the agency.
Gloria first heard of SLEW from her State Representative/Med Team Home Provider. She then called the American Cancer Society who also referred her to SLEW. She had just been released from the hospital and was feeling very alone because she has no family to lean on for support.
Gloria says that the thing that stood out the most when she first entered SLEW was the support of other women. In her first group meeting when she started to cry and everyone came around to hug her and hold her she knew they understood without her trying to explain anything to them. They had gone through or were going through the same thing. She had to go through 6 operations because the doctors had trouble getting clean margins on her which made her very angry and just wanting to give up some times, but the women at SLEW kept her going, helping to build her self esteem and self worth.
SLEW has provided her with wigs, caps and other necessities that would have caused a big hardship on her. She is very thankful to receive those items and all of the other services from SLEW at no charge.
Finally, her tumors have shrunk, she is finished with chemo, and she feels that she is in a good place right now! She's surrounded by people who she knows cares about her. Gloria says she is looking forward to the day when she can go back to college. She has also gotten back into the church, which gives her a sense of fulfillment.