Healthier Me: Life After Cancer, Help is Available - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Healthier Me: Life After Cancer, Help is Available

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A cancer diagnosis can make you feel frightened, angry, or confused. It can be a whirlwind of emotions, quickly filled with appointments, treatments and sometimes surgeries.

Sanford Health has a special program that helps patients even after they are concerned cancer-free.

Sanford Cancer's Embrace Survivorship program brings together cancer patients, family members and caregivers to help address the emotional, physical and financial effects of cancer on patients and their families.  

Kristin Erickson celebrated her "cancerversary" on September 21. She is cancer free, but still has a lot of questions. She says the survivorship program has been very helpful, "When you're diagnosed, everything is set up for you. When you are done... it's like now what?"

Sanford Health Oncology Physician's Assistant Erin Welle helps with the Embrace program. She says the support never stops. "Once a patient is done with treatment, it's like a bird being pushed out of the nest. We can help them with a number of things," Welle explains.

Erickson admits cancer changes a person forever. Some people still battle side-effects of the cancer and the treatments. Kristin lost her hair and her fingernails were falling off when she was done with treatments, but more than that -- her nerves were frazzled.

Even after the treatments Erickson says she still wonders and worries if the cancer will come back. She says that's why it is nice to know there will always be someone to call with a question, no matter how big or small. She says the recovery process continues long after the cancer is gone and her questions and concerns are constantly changing. 
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