Notes of Hope for June

Amy’s Story


“The doctor called my brain tumor an ‘almond’ because of its size and shape. I told my friends that when the almond was removed, I’d replace it with joy. So they brought me Almond Joy's.” ~ Amy Musser


It was weird to wake up from a nap on the sofa where she’d fallen asleep with her boyfriend Jay, open her eyes, and feel as if she were going to pass out. It was last August, not so long ago, and yet, the story reels out like a movie. Where does it start and stop? How long was each phase? What did people really say to her?

Something was wrong. Amy Musser knew her body too well to know this was not normal. She nudged Jay and told him that her arms, and now her legs, were tingling and heavy. Jay didn’t wait a moment longer. He called an ambulance.

But what was going on? The EMT evaluated her, and concluded she’d had a panic attack while sleeping. Was that really the case?

Amy’s story continues here.

Really, Really Relevant

So, you need surgery. It's imperative. But, are you an informed patient when you sign Informed Consent Forms? (The New York Times, 3/1/2017)

Notes from the Program Director
Whether you are newly diagnosed, living with a history of cancer, a current or past caregiver, or a healthcare professional, we can all agree--cancer impacts our lives.  

National Cancer Survivors Day brings us together for common goals: to build awareness about issues facing people living with cancer, celebrate life, and show appreciation for those providing support. On Friday, June 2, 8:30 am-1 pm, CSC will celebrate this important day with workshops on topics like nutrition, coping through survivorship and caregiving, and a Cancer Moonshot update. Join us at our office, and become one of the many empowered, informed advocates as we face cancer together.  

Jen Sinclair, program director



Don’t miss this: Being Mortal, a documentary film based Dr. Atul Gawande’s outstanding book, which explores the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness and their relationships with the doctors and nurses caring for them. Too often, conversations surrounding death and end-of-life decisions are avoided due to discomfort. See the film and set an example for your family by taking this important step to break down communication barriers. Offered in conjunction with St. Luke’s Home Health & Hospice. 

It’s June 5, 7 pm, and it’s free (First Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall, 3231 Tilghman St., Allentown).

Hello from the Exec Director
Happy National Cancer Survivor Month, fellow survivors!

I recently read a blog post from Marc and Angel Hack Life which asked

What would happen if you approached each day intentionally with a positive attitude?

What would happen if you embraced life’s challenges with a smile on your face?

What would happen if you surrounded yourself with people who made you better?

What would happen if you paused long enough to appreciate it all?

So I challenged myself to try these for a week. The first two were easy since that’s how I’ve been living since I was diagnosed with breast cancer 11 years ago. The third question wasn’t hard either, as I’ve always surrounded myself with people who challenged me at work and enhanced my social life, as well as with my family who always encourage me to give my best.

The last question is difficult. Ever since my cancer metastasized in 2010, I’ve felt the need to live each day to the fullest. Most of the time, that led to over-committing, instead of appreciating what I’d been able to accomplish that particular day. But this past week, I made sure that I was not only home at night with my family, but spending quality time with them. And I finally began using my “gratitude journal” by starting and ending my day writing down positive things that had happened.

I now challenge you to think about the four questions and see where they lead you.

EnJOY the sunshine,
Amanda Buss, executive director

Amazing Service
Makes life a little easier.

Get free mammograms and pap tests from the PA Dept. of Health’s HealthyWomanProgram for eligible women (right age, residence, income, insurance status). Do it!

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

June recipes from Prevention Magazine.
Vitamin C festival!

Grilled Citrus-Honey Chicken

Creamy Broccoli Salad

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

A Mysterious, Rare Cancer Has Been Linked to Some Breast Implants (The New York Times, 5/14/17)

Biking to Work Links to Lower Cancer Mortality Risk (American Institute for Cancer Research, 5/3/17)

FDA Warns Companies Not to Sell Illegal Cancer Treatments (American Cancer Society, 4/26/17)

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

Smells bothering you?

-Serve foods at room temp, and keep them covered

-Use cups with lids (like travel mugs)

-Drink through a straw

Know kids who need to know about cancer?

-Read them The Truth About Cancer by Kelly Strenge

Have a tip? Let us know.

On the Lookout
What's coming up.

Survivors Day Celebration-June 2, 8:30 am-1 pm (CSC offices) SOON! 

The best shopping is still to come at Boutique at the Rink-Through June 3 (345 Illick's Mill Rd, Bethlehem) SOON!

Win the raffle, and Hell’s Kitchen’s Heather Williams will cook at your home. Highmark Walk for a Healthy Community-June 3 (DeSales University) SOON!

Watch this PBS documentary, based on Dr. Atul Gawande’s outstanding book, Being Mortal, about the practice of caring for the dying, and the relationship between patients and doctors during this time-June 5, 7 pm, free (First Presbyterian Church, Fellowship Hall, 3231 Tilghman St., Allentown)

Wear your summer frock to the festive Garden of Hope cocktail party-June 29  (Bell Gate Farm, Emmaus)

Consider these:

Women Survivors Alliance, presented by Survivorvile 2017-July 20-22 (Nashville)

Camp Kesem, a free camp for kids 6-16 who have been touched by a parent’s cancer

Helping Out
Will you lend a hand?

Please shop at and designate the Cancer Support Community as your charity. A portion of each sale comes to us.

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.

Exercises to Keep Your Brain Churning

Hanging Out
What to watch, read, and craft

We love

-watching the new season of House of Cards (diabolical fun!)

-reading Truly Madly Guilty (read it before the movie release with Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman)

-crafting rope bowls (very cool)

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
The Hartford Women's 5K Classic Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Women's 5K Classic          
Andesa Strategies
Blue Star Screen Printing
Buckno Lisicky & Co.
Burkholders HVAC
Charles B. Patt, Jr. Memorial Golf Tournament
Fragrance Manufacturing, Inc.
Gillespie Printing
Hogan Social Club of Allentown
Janssen Biotech, Inc.
John A and Margaret Post Foundation
J's Run
Keystone Savings Foundation
Phoebe Ministries
Rea Charitable Trust C/O Wells Fargo
Rij Family
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 and Shirley Biggar
Malcolm and Rebecca Briggs
Dean Browning
Robert Cawley
Marilyn Claire
Eugene and Janice Connell
John Berseth and Carol Dorey
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
Cathy Holmes
Todd Holmes
David and Pam Kennedy
Gregory and Camille Llewellyn
Don and Patricia Lockard
Clarence and Suzanne Mason
Daniel and Lucindalea McCarthy
Jeffrey McElhaney
Tom and Nipa Neuhaus
Patricia Oswald
Don and Diana Patt
Douglas and Georgine Patt
Joan Paul
Karen Pell
Dr. Kumar and Aruna Pendurthi
Lance and Deborah Post
J.B. Reilly and Kathleen Waterbury Reilly
Claire and Herman Rij
Jay and Jan Ruhle
James Tanenbaum and Elizabeth Scofield
Michael and Krisann Seislove
W. Cordes and Kim Snyder
John and Sandra Soler
Craig Spitzer and Susan Lee
W. Jay and Paulette Stiver
Ralph Teti
Charles Tucker
Charles Tuskes
David Yandrasitz

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