The Lilies of the Valley Support Group meets monthly on the last Tuesday of the month (if you are a Lilies member, you will get a meeting reminder email about a week before each meeting). Meetings are held at Clearview Cancer Institute, 3601 CCI Drive N.W., Huntsville, Alabama. We meet on the 2nd floor of CCI in the Community Room from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Most of the meetings are for Lilies only since we often discuss matters pertaining to personal, medical matters. But occasionally there will be a speaker on a topic of interest to family members or caregivers. You will be notified in your meeting reminder email if family members or others are invited to attend.
Our next meeting will be Tuesday, September 25 and we are celebrating Gynecologic Awareness Month with dinner in the Lilies garden. It will be a time of celebration as we ring the bell for years of survival, and also a time of sadness as we recognize those members we’ve lost in the past year.
TVGO nurses in the infusion room with Judy Berkowitz.
At our meeting in August, Judy Berkowitz organized a “chemo care bag” team. We all brought items and then put together care bags that have been distributed at TVGO, Crestwood and CCI.
At the June meeting, Regina Parker and Susan Leighton gave a report on the first meeting of the Alabama Study Commission on Gynecologic Cancers (Alabama Act 2018-86). The purpose of this group is to produce a report of recommendations to be submitted to designated Alabama governmental officials by the spring of 2019. We are very excited to have been instrumental in getting this Act passed and appreciate the efforts of physicians, researchers, government officials, survivors, advocates and caregivers statewide who will be working with us on this project.
At our May meeting, Regina shared her survivor’s notebook, which contains all her medical records and copies of bloodwork, pathology reports, surgical reports and other records that are vital for cancer survivors to keep. We will be working on notebooks for those who don’t have them at our meeting in October. In April, we got a report on the latest findings from the SGO meeting held in late March.
Regina Parker (Lilies), Patrick Dempsey, and winner Susan Leighton (Lilies)
At the Tuesday, March 27 meeting, we told you about our trip to New Orleans where Susan Leighton was honored as an Ovarian Cancer Hero by Cure Magazine!
February meeting: Lilies only planning meeting for the One Year Later movie showing that will be held in March at UAH Charger Union Theatre.
We kicked off the new year with a great guest in January, Claudia Agnew P.A. A lot of us know Claudia from her time working at CCI. She shared with us her personal cancer journey and how it has changed her perspective and relationship to patients. We appreciate her heartfelt story and willingness to talk with us about it.
Our December was our annual Christmas luncheon. We have a great time visiting with each other and enjoying a delicious lunch.
On Tuesday, November 28, 5:30 pm, 2nd floor Community Room, at CCI, Valerie O’dell of Heartbroken Jewelry will be joining us, and we will be making necklaces out of the beautiful teal stones we were given earlier this year by a lady in honor of her sister who had died from ovarian cancer. If you don’t want to use your stone to make a necklace, bring your favorite locket or other item. We can still make something! And we’ll pick a date and place for our annual December holiday get together.
Our October meeting was awesome. Caitlin Crawford and Erin Whitehead from Sigma Alpha Omega sorority at Jacksonville State joined us to present us with a donation. They raised money on campus during September Ovarian Cancer Awareness month. We appreciate these thoughtful young ladies working on behalf of all women with ovarian cancer.
Our September meeting was another special event. Lilies and family members enjoyed a dinner provided by CCI in honor of September, Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. We appreciate our fearless facilitator, Leigh Ann Childress, for putting this together. We also appreciate Jill Wilson and staff for working to make the tables so beautiful. Dr. Marshall Schreeder also stopped by to thank us for the work we do on behalf of survivors. Thanks all, we love you.
July and August were just us Lilies. These are some of our best meetings because we get to share where we are in recovery and ask all those questions we might not want to talk to the doctor about (or at least talk to the doctor about after we’ve run it by our other Lilies!)
We had a great time at our June support meeting with yoga instructor, Jennifer Cagle, showing us how anyone an do yoga with a few simple adjustments if needed. Jennifer teaches regularly around town at the YMCA and the Huntsville Hospital Wellness Center, so check out one of her regular classes. Yoga has been shown to be beneficial for both the physical and mental (stress, anxiety) aspects of cancer treatment and survivorship.
We enjoyed the March support meeting with Adrienne Dowd, nutritionist, speaking to us about good nutrition during and after cancer treatments. Thank you Adrienne!
During our February meeting, we had a special guest who brought us all a teal “No Worry” stone in honor and memory of her sister who she lost earlier this year to ovarian cancer. It was a special night, and we appreciate her remembering us and her sister.
Our January 31 meeting was Lilies only. Nurse Practitioner Leigh Ann Childress brought us up to date on the latest in ovarian cancer treatments, including some newly approved PARP inhibitors.