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Franciscan Health support group changing lives of cancer patients

A new support group is offering help to people who are battling cancer.

Posted: Feb 8, 2018 11:27 PM
Updated: Feb 8, 2018 11:37 PM

Lafayette, Ind. (WLFI)- A new support group is offering help to people who are battling cancer.
Franciscan Health in Lafayette is helping to make a difficult time a little easier.

"I was shocked." 

In February of 2017, Ronald Eugene Greek was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer.

"It put me on an entirely new journey," Greek said.

The next month, Greek began an intensive bi-weekly treatment.
His oncologist said it would be a "miracle" to be cleared, and Greek should plan on being on chemotherapy indefinitely.

"I asked my oncologist if she had ever had somebody come all the way back from stage four cancer to undetectable," he said.
"And she said she's been in practice for 18 years and she's had one patient do that."

But he is determined to get better.

"I'm currently trying to be her second patient to do that," he said.

One month after Greek began chemo, he heard about a support group and decided to attend.
There, patients talk about medical treatments, side effects and even the what-if's.

"As a patient sometimes you have a really caring family, but you don't want to worry them," said Lora Hays. "So if you're coming together with other cancer patients, you can share some of those really deep thoughts or some of your deep worries that you don't share with your family because you don't want to scare them."

Lora Hays is the Executive Vice President of Cancer Support Community for Central Indiana.
Hays leads the group, which started in the fall of 2016 when a navigator at Franciscan Health in Lafayette reached out to her at Cancer Support Community.

"It's different if someone who has cancer tells you to have hope, than if someone who doesn't have cancer tells you to have hope," Hays said.

Greek says the group satisfies the two things that he believes are part of a good support group.

"Number one- it reminds everyone that we're not alone. And the second thing is that it reinforces that we should never lose hope," Greek said.

There is also a support group for caregivers.

The free meetings for both patients and caregivers are every first and third Wednesday of the month at Franciscan Health Lafayette East.
They get underway at 5:30 pm.

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