Notes of Hope for January

Colleen’s Story

“Shave Day is the day I shaved my head…I wouldn’t let cancer and chemo control my hair loss.”
~ Colleen Carfara

“I thought about losing my hair from treatment more than I thought about the treatment itself.” Colleen Carfara stops, as if vaguely embarrassed. “I’m a little obsessed with my hair. I didn’t wear hats, I didn’t like people messing it up with a pat or a hug, and I spent an hour every day making sure it was right.” 

Colleen would never describe herself as vain. First, she’d say she’s a beloved and loving wife and mother. Then she’d point out that she’s a devoted fifth-grade teacher. And, finally, she’d say she tends to look at the gloomy side of things, whereas her husband, Tony, is always positive. She’d never talk about her hair.

Colleen’s story continues here.

Really, Really Relevant

Lost your hair from cancer treatment? You’re eligible for a free wig from the American Cancer Society’s Wig Salon at CSC. Email or call 610-758-7555 to make an appointment for a Tuesday or Wednesday, 1-5 pm.

Which wig did Colleen pick?

Long hair (with CSC exec dtr. Amanda)? Or short?

Notes from the Program Director
As we begin tending our gardens so they will bloom abundantly, it’s fitting that we’re also re-introducing Living Life to the Fullest, a program for survivors and caregivers to explore meaningful aspects of their lives and reflect on unfinished business.

Approaching life with an open heart, acceptance, and appreciation for who we are rejuvenates our appreciation for living. Through journaling, art, and discussion, members can achieve a greater sense of peace.

People often think about death and dying with solemnity, fear, and sorrow. But a helpful discussion often lets us address concerns like caring and providing for loved ones after we’re gone. Can we achieve a sense of hope and calm even while dying? 

We believe so. The late Amy Krouse Rosenthal, who passed away March 13, ten days after writing this heartbreaking dating profile, joined the conversation in You May Want to Marry My Husband.

Jen Sinclair, program director


Thanks to Barbara Starr for contributing to this piece

Hello from the Exec Director
The last four months have flown by, and I’m loving every minute leading this wonderful organization. The people I’ve met have increased my commitment to making it the go-to place for cancer support.

During April, local non-profits often celebrate their volunteers. I, too, want to thank all of those who support the small staff at the Cancer Support Community.

Volunteers are hugely valuable to nonprofit organizations. Recent studies estimate that 100 million people volunteer each year, with an annual value of $150 billion. Not only do they help reduce the costs of operating, but they can improve an organization’s client services, and increase contact with the greater community.

We’re very fortunate that each year over 100 volunteers help us fulfill our mission in different ways: some come to the office to laminate ID cards, build storage shelves for our yoga mats, or distribute our program calendars throughout the area.

With your help, we’re able to support over 3,000 people who have been affected by cancer in the Lehigh Valley. Thank you!

Amanda Buss, executive director

p.s. Here are five really good reasons why you should volunteer.

Volunteer with CSC!     

Working Out
Most studies show exercise reduces the incidence of many cancers, and, after diagnosis, may improve survivorship and quality of life. For more: National Cancer Institute

Before you start exercising, make sure your healthcare provider gives you medical clearance. Once you have received clearance, design a plan that you enjoy and won’t cause an injury or aggravate an old one.

If you look like the lady on the right, you're in luck. It means you have good posture, which affects physical, mental, and emotional health. Here’s how to get good posture, Thanks to Tahya, Danse Orientale instructor

Dishing It Out
Eating right before, during, and after cancer treatment can help you feel better and stay stronger. For more: National Cancer Institute

April recipes from Prevention Magazine.
Power foods for any spring gardening or running you have in mind.

Breakfast Burritos

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

Did You See This?
Links to important news about cancer.

This month’s news focuses on breast cancer.

Scalp-Cooling Caps Help Prevent Hair Loss in Chemo (New York Times 02/14/17)

Barbequed and Smoked Meat Tied to Risk of Death from Breast Cancer (Washington Post 1/21/17)

High-Tech Tool for Breast Cancer  (Morning Call 2/6/17)           

Getting By
Tips from other survivors and healthcare professionals to make your journey easier.

-Got an awful metallic taste in your mouth? 
Suck on lemon drops and
Eat with plastic forks and spoons

-Zzzzzz's escaping you? For a good night's sleep,
Try lavender (lotion, essential oil diffuser)

Have a tip? Let us know.

On the Lookout
What's coming up.

C’mon over for Bingo-April 2, 1 pm; doors open at 12 (CSC office). SOON! 

Head to the Boutique at the Rink's volunteer meeting-April 5 at 2:30 or 6:30 (United Wesley Methodist Church, 2540 Center St., Bethlehem)

Best food ever at Chefs for a Cure: Hell’s Kitchen-May 8 (Marianna’s, 24 Stockton St., Phillipsburg, NJ)   

Get a foursome for the Charles B. Patt, Jr. Golf Outing-May 15 (Woodstone Golf Club, Danielsville)   


Thriving Together: 2017 Conference on Metastatic Breast Cancer-April 28-30 (Philadelphia)

Helping Out
Will you lend a hand?

Click here to sponsor a runner on the Strides for Hope team-The 25 runners and walkers have a mighty goal: raising $20,000 before the St. Luke's Half Marathon & 5K on April 23

Still wishing: 6'-long tables (11 of 'em)

This walk is a day at the beach. Register for the Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community-June 3. You walk and raise money for the Cancer Support Community

Hanging Out
What to read, what to do, or what to craft.

We love

-watching This is Us (heartstring-tugging family drama)

-reading The Lexy Baker Cozy Mystery Series (good mysteries, with recipes for the baked goods in the story) Thanks to Kathy Moyer, CSC staff

-making clothespin trivets  

-looking at ourselves on WFMZ

Have a tip? Let us know.


Foundation & Corporate Supporters—thank you for helping us complete our mission:

to ensure that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action and sustained by community. We help people affected by cancer actively engage in their health care, connect with others, reduce stress and isolation, and restore hope for a better quality of life.

Foundations & Corporate Sponsors

Air Products

Air Products

Highmark Blue Shield Hospital central Services Ironton Global Lehigh Valley Health Network
Liberty Property Trust PPL PPL Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
The Hartford Women's 5K Classic Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Women's 5K Classic  
Andesa Strategies
Bethlehem Business Forms LLC
Blue Star Screen Printing
Buckno Lisicky & Co.
Burkholders HVAC
Fragrance Manufacturing, Inc.
Gillespie Printing
Hogan Social Club of Allentown
Janssen Biotech, Inc.
Keystone Savings Foundation
John A and Margaret Post Foundation
J's Run
Landmark Communities
Lehigh Valley Community Foundation
Medstar Television
Phoebe Ministries
Rea Charitable Trust C/O Wells Fargo
Saucon Valley Country Club
Sylvia Perkin Perpetual Charitable Trust
The Bill Sugra Memorial Fund
The Century Fund
The Charles Hoch Foundation
The Fleming Foundation
Trexler Trust
Trumbower Hospital Foundation, Inc.
Waste Connections Inc.
Weintraub Family Foundation

Society of Hope

John Berseth and Carol Dorey
John and Shirley Biggar
Marilyn Claire
Eugene and Janice Connell
Dan and Jennifer Eck
Shelby Eichenlaub
Ryan Flynn and Rebecca Rij-Flynn
Bernard and Grace Fried
Robert and Susan Gadomski
Sara George
Bruce Getz
James and Eleanor Harbaugh
Todd and Cathy Holmes
David and Pam Kennedy
Don and Patricia Lockard
Clarence and Suzanne Mason
Daniel and Lucindalea McCarthy
Tom and Nipa Neuhaus
Don and Diana Patt
Douglas and Georgine Patt
Joan Lardner Paul
Karen Pell
Kumar and Aruna Pendurthi
J.B. Reilly and Kathleen Waterbury Reilly
Herman and Claire Rij
Jay and Jan Ruhle
Michael and Krisann Seislove
W. Cordes and Kim Snyder
John and Sandra Soler
Craig Spitzer and Susan Lee
W. Jay and Paulette Stiver
James Tanenbaum and Elizabeth Scofield
Ralph Teti
Charles Tucker
Charles Tuskes
David Yandrasitz

This list begins at the $1,000 support level.