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Cancer Connections Helps Joni Keep Moving Forward

When Joni Alvarez developed stomach pains, headaches and noticed that she was extremely tired most of the time, she assumed it was due to work, stress, or a lack of exercise. The diagnosis of cervical cancer caught her completely by surprise. "I'm still shocked at how quickly cancer happened to me," Alvarez says. "It was only four months from the onset of my symptoms, to receiving my diagnosis, to the completion of my treatment."

Alvarez, who was diagnosed and treated at the Lurie Cancer Center in 2005, says that although she had to move quickly to prevent the disease from spreading, there was never a moment when she didn't feel comfortable with and confidence in the treatment plan. When Alvarez finished her treatment seven years ago, she suddenly had a new set of questions and concerns. She learned that the financial, emotional and physical issues of cancer treatment can be overwhelming at times and found the Lurie Cancer Center could help her manage those challenges.

She is an active participant in many of the Lurie Cancer Center programs, including Cancer Connections -- coming up next on Saturday, March 9, 2013 on the 3rd floor of Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Feinberg Pavilion. At Cancer Connections, patients and caregivers are able to experience the benefits of massage therapy, and learn about tools, techniques, and services they can use during and after cancer treatment. Workshops led by Lurie Cancer Center clinicians and Supportive Oncology team members will include:

Alvarez says that in addition to learning new things at each Cancer Connections, which is offered quarterly, she values the chance to ask questions and interact with other cancer survivors in such a relaxed and positive setting. "Cancer is always somewhere in the back of my mind, but I'm proud of how far I've come and that I'm still learning and growing," said Alvarez. "Now I focus more on the quality of my life as a cancer survivor than the fact that I survived cancer!"

View the agenda and register for Saturday, March 9th's Cancer Connections here.

(Last updated on February 20, 2013 )