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Sharp Health News

When surviving means living with advanced cancer

Oct. 22, 2018

When surviving means living with advanced cancer

Sue Davis (right) receives support for her cancer diagnosis through Sharp Chula Vista’s Living With Advanced Cancer Support Group.

Sue Davis is a survivor. She survived breast cancer once and is currently surviving stage 4 colon cancer, which has spread to her liver.

“Getting a diagnosis like this just takes your breath away,” Sue says. “I was really angry at first, but I’ve gotten over that. I have an attitude of gratitude — every day I wake up and thank God for letting me be here.”

Sue attends the Living With Advanced Cancer Support Group at the Douglas & Nancy Barnhart Cancer Center at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center. The free support group is open to patients with any type of cancer to share experiences and information with each other.

“Attending the support group gives me like-minded people to talk to,” Sue explains. “No one will understand cancer like a cancer survivor, and the group gives us a safe place to share. We focus on the effect cancer has on our hearts, minds, bodies and souls.”

Cara Fairfax, MSW, LCSW, the cancer patient navigator at the center, facilitates the support group. She says that Sue is an inspiration for the other women who attend.

“Sue is an incredible woman,” Cara says. “She comes to the group faithfully and offers support to so many here. She often copes with laughter, but I’ve also seen her allow herself to feel and share the emotions that come with a diagnosis like this, which serves as a great example for the group.”

When told that she inspires others, Sue admits that she has her up and down days, but says she chooses to live her life to the fullest. “The group helped me learn to cope with my diagnosis, face what’s coming and continue to be resilient. I don’t let cancer stop me from doing the things I love,” she says. “I’m happy to be alive and looking forward to my future.”

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