We Get Letters…

While talking over the phone with one of our dedicated volunteers she related a wonderful story on how she learned about our foundation. I asked her to write her courageous story so I could share it on the website. We hope you appreciate it and other comments from callers to the Bloch Cancer Hotline.

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When I was first diagnosed with cancer in February 1992,  it was not the shock of discovering I had cancer that knocked me to my knees,  it was the 5 doctors I had telling me that I probably had 8 to 12 weeks survival time,  I could not make my self believe this.  I needed to find something positive, some bit of hope I could believe in and hang on to.  I knew my diagnosis was bad,  2 tumors in the left breast,  2 different types of breast cancer,  as well as cancer in 18 lymph nodes,  and my liver and my lungs.  Bad, bad news, but I needed to find a way to believe in a positive outcome.  The surgeries and the chemo could take care of the cancer, but I had to start feeling I could survive long term.

I’m not sure where I saw the notice about the R. A. Bloch Cancer Hot Line, but I knew I needed to call.  I spoke to a woman who told me they were going to send me Richard’s book  “Fighting Cancer.” When my book arrived I sat down and read it from cover to cover,  and then I read it all over again.  This book became my power of positive thinking. This wonderful book told me to believe I could get well, to find a doctor and a treatment I could believe in.  I started to think of the future, my future,  life beyond cancer no longer seemed impossible.

“Fighting Cancer” made me want to read more,  I read Richard’s other 2 books, and I also read Dr. Bernie Siegel’s book,  ‘Peace,  Love and Healing’.  More positive thinking.  From Bernie’s book I learned to be a ‘difficult’ patient,  I wore my own clothes in the hospital instead of just a hospital gown,  I woke up every morning believing I could survive,  I could get well again.

And I did.  After treatment I had 12.5 disease free years,  then in 2004 the cancer returned,  this time it was all through my lungs,  liver, and 6 to 8 spots in the bone.  I went back into treatment, and I went back to my books,  I read and re-read them until I once again felt empowered to believe I could get better,  I could get well.  And once again I did.

During my 12.5 disease free years I got the greatest gift ever, I got to meet both Bernie Siegel and Richard Bloch.  Dr.  Siegel spoke at the City of Hope, where I had been treated in 1992, and I got to tell him that after I read his book I decided to become a difficult patient and get well.  He laughed and hugged me and signed my book.  Then in June of 2000 I got to attend the National Cancer Survivors Day Rally in Kansas City,  MO.  This is when I got to meet Richard and thank him for writing the most amazing book.  I thanked him for the knowledge and empowerment “Fighting Cancer” gave me.

That phone call to the Cancer Hot Line back in 1992 has made so many things possible, 18 years with my family and friends.  And a chance to meet 2 men who will always be my heroes.  Shereth

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Dear Mrs. Bloch and Family,

Thank you for your inspirational book. It gave me courage when I had none left. God bless you forever, Lisa in  Brooklyn

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“Give Annette a hug and thank her for the books I got at the Wellness Center in Sarasota, Florida. You can’t imagine how much those books mean to me.” Call from Marcia, a patient

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“I just wanted to give you an update on my daughter. Remember she had a malignant brain tumor? She is happily living in Peoria, Illinois, and has returned to work substitute teaching.

She has new doctors there and likes them better. They both specialize in brain tumors and decided to keep her on the temodar (chemo) for longer than the old doctors had planned. She had an MRI just before Christmas and all was well. The neurosurgeon said he doesn’t need to see her again unless there is a problem.

She seems to be so happy. I hope our story can be used to encourage another family facing the same awful diagnosis, and I don’t want to forget anyone that was there to help us.” E-mail from Missouri

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“I am well aware that surviving late stage ovarian cancer for 8 years offers many hope and dissipates a lot of fear that comes with this particular diagnosis. Richard Bloch’s book was one of the first I’d read and it had the message that is essential to us all….HOPE.” E-mail from Suzanne, a future volunteer

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“I have enjoyed reading your books. I thought you would like to hear a happy and blessed story of a cancer survivor.

This is about my husband, who will be 83 on June 7. He was operated on April 10, 1969, for cancer and had his entire right lung removed. Recently he was awarded a beautiful citation from “Guinness book of Records” for the longest-living cancer survivor living with one lung.

On Feb. 28 we were notified by Guinness that he was going into the 2006 world record book.

What amazes me is that he never had chemo or radiation way back then, and his doctor is still living.” Letter from Betty, Illinois

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“Please forward these thanks to the two volunteers my mom and I spoke to after she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma brain cancer. Thank you for existing to provide hope for people who need hope.” Letter from D’Ann, Texas

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“I want you to know that I am still cancer free! God has richly blessed me and I am most thankful that you came into my life when I needed your caring the most. Your concern and encouragement from your personal experience was a most profound experience. I will always remember you.” Cynthia, to a home volunteer

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“Thank you all for the wonderful job you do to provide compassion and support as well as much-needed information to cancer patients and their supporters. We first became aware of you and your foundation when a friend, a cancer supporter, had you send us copies of your terrific books….These books have been invaluable sources of information and hope.” From Ted & Elva, California

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“I am so very grateful for the information received and the promptness to my request.

Within 24 hours of my initial contact, I received three calls from cancer survivors who had had similar experiences.

What a wonderful network your organization has created, and what wonderful volunteers you have recruited in this very noble effort. Although separated by thousands of miles, I feel I have gained three new friendships in my journey as a cancer survivor.” Letter from Joe, Florida

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“I love talking to people helping them deal with their cancer, and I am SO honored to be part of the Bloch organization.He did so much for me.” Email from Pat, a volunteer

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“Dear Mrs. Bloch,

I would like to thank you and your husband for sharing a vision of hope in surviving cancer with a positive attitude—a vision that knows no boundaries. When I first came across the R.A. Bloch Cancer Survivor Parks on the Internet, I doubted their existence, for they seemed to be too inspiring to be true. When I learned about how many people die of cancer in my country, Hungary, your parks seemed to capture just that message of hope I didn’t see around me: Cancer is not equal to death. Your message of survival inspired us here, too. One of the country’s largest cancer organizations was determined to bring the meaning of the parks to Hungarian cancer patients. By adapting the project to the Hungarian setting (‘cancer survivor’ still sounds slightly awkward when translated into Hungarian) a drop of positive mentality fell into the pool of fighting cancer in this part of Europe. Therefore it is with great happiness that I would like to invite you and your family to the unveiling of the Statue of Hope in the National Institute of Oncology’s Hope Park in Budapest on Friday, September 29.” Felix Fabiny, Budakeszi, Hungary

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“I appreciate the correspondence you sent. As a cancer survivor I could have used much of this information when I was going through my decision-making process. We will use your services in the future. Thank you so much for your thoughtfulness and willingness to share with others.” – Bill Ward, Native People’s Circle of Hope – The Dalles, Oregon

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“In Chicago recently, I enjoyed a concert by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Grant Park…as night fell, my girlfriend and I took a walk….I found myself walking beside a wonderful garden and the smell of the flowers drew us into a courtyard where we sat on a bench….after about 20 minutes we strolled through this courtyard. Then I realized where we were and I was moved to tears.My aunt died in 1979 and mom in 1990, both from cancer. It is difficult to express how moved I was to see this park. I’ll never forget this experience.” Jeff B., British Columbia

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“Thank you for encouraging my husband to get another opinion on kidney cancer. It was almost in direct conflict with the first. It led to exploratory surgery showing the cancer was much smaller than the first opinion. It resulted in minor surgery, removal of the cancer, and further tests that revealed there was no metastasis.” Mrs. V.P. (via e-mail)

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“Thank you for the books you sent to my daughter. We really appreciate it. God Bless!” Dolly P., U.S. AID – The Philippines

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I was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 1982. Your book helped me survive. I very much appreciate your book Fighting Cancer. It has been very helpful for me and for others I have referred it to. Please send me a copy that I can give to a breast cancer patient. Bernilda, Illinois

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Your book saved my life. In 1992 I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer. I was 36. Not much was out there at the time for breast cancer especially for women under 40.

My cancer journey was long and difficult. But I went for a second opinion and took my slides and I went to a major cancer center. They found that cancer was in 4 lymph nodes when I had been told by a previous hospital that I had cancer in ZERO lymph nodes.

I was given aggressive chemo. After reading your book I took another step and had a prophylactic mastectomy on the breast I had left. I figured it was a miracle the cancer was found the first time and I wanted to do all I could on my end.

I am just so grateful for your book that I would love for everyone to have one when they find out they have cancer.

May God continue to bless you in your good work! Suzanne, California

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I would like to extend an enormous “Thank you” for having Wanda, a 10-year survivor with my condition (uterine leiomyosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer) call me!  That phone call was a God-send! So few get the cancer, and even fewer survive.  Wanda gave me hope…THANK YOU! Laura, Michigan

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I called all over the nation to find a lung cancer survivor I could talk with, but everyone just wanted to send me to a group.

I didn’t want to talk to people who were in the same boat I was in. I wanted to talk with people on the other side of the puddle!

You connected me with Herb, a long-term survivor, and through him you gave me the hope and courage to get through this. I have had my surgery, and I am having my chemo, and I’m doing fine.

I don’t know how I got your phone number, but I thank God that I got it. Yvonne, Nevada

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I wanted to let you know that Sue had her brain surgery this morning and came through it with flying colors.

She will be in ICU through tomorrow and able to leave the hospital on Thursday.

Thank you, again, for your help in this miracle.  As soon as I can get the name of her surgeon I will forward it to you so you can make sure they know about the Bloch Cancer Foundation. Debbie, Missouri

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I thank you for your letter and am so pleased with the Bloch Foundation. It has really helped me out a lot talking with other survivors. I hope I will be another one so I can help someone. Thank you for the wonderful work you do. Marjorie, Florida

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I’m calling to thank you for sending out your books to my friend whose friend’s husband is battling Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. They’ve received them and are so thankful. I really do appreciate your time and effort and assistance. Bonnie, Missouri

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I am a 23 year old cancer survivor…. I consider myself to be a miracle of modern medicine and am very thankful for all the new research, medicine and treatment options. One of my goals is to write people who inspire me and to tell them why. You have had an impact on many lives, including mine, and will continue to help many others. I admire you and hope to someday make some impact on the world as you have. Thank you for being a part of saving my life. Micie, Kansas

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I wish SO much that Mr. Bloch was still alive so I could thank him. My brother has Stage 4 small cell lung cancer. I have searched the Internet for positive information for months, always with mixed or very sad results – until last night, when I found your site.

The writings, teachings, and beliefs of this man are incredible. I do not use the past tense to describe these things, as his teachings and values are still here to guide us. I read his words, and a sense of “someone else actually gets it” washed over me. I am not sure if my brother will be ready to make the kind of commitment that Richard did. I am going to share this information with him when I go back to Michigan to see him. I thank all of you for keeping the single best source of cancer information available on the Web. Michael, California

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I would like the Guide for Cancer Supporters sent to me. I have gotten so much useful information and comfort from reading through all of the articles on your website. The journey to find answers and support can be overwhelming. Joe, Illinois

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This has been a wonderful experience. It gave me comfort to talk with your gal about my cancer experience. I’m so pleased with her response to my questions, and my sincere thanks for her welcome phone calls. Marian, Ohio

I just received the ‘address’ for this site from a friend who is also winning the war on cancer. Looking through it is like walking down my own wonderful memory lane.  I am a 3-1/2 year small cell lung & esophagus cancer survivor. Mr. Bloch was ‘right on’ on most of what he said. I enjoyed reading through and knowing that I am one of THOSE people. Thank you.  Cheryl

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Thank you for your website.  My dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 5 months ago and we all needed some encouragement. Susan, Georgia

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My mom has really appreciated hearing from your volunteers.  She really connected with a woman from Tennessee who called her today.  This volunteer is really active like my mom and I think my mom really felt inspired by her. So thank you so much.  I think you might have a future volunteer after she kicks this thing! Amy, Kansas

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I am a four year survivor of Non-Hodgkin’s B cell Lymphoma and believe that the Dick Bloch booklet “Fighting Cancer” had a lot to do with my success. I have had the book sent to about six new cancer patients and have given my copies to other cancer fighters. Would you please send me a couple copies plus the Dick Bloch letter to new fellow cancer patients. Richard, Arkansas

 

It was discovered by accident that I had carcinoid tumors in my stomach. Testing determined I needed the complete removal of my stomach. Well, it worked. A few weeks ago my 10-year-old son and I had the wonderful experience of finding the survivors park in San Diego. It was breathtaking.  We went around and read all the plaques, taking turns.

I was proud to be a survivor and appreciative to be indirectly involved with such a monument.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving another place of such comfort. We will visit it often. Belen, California

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My family helped my father fight his cancer for five years, then we lost him three years ago. When I visited the park for the first time with my daughter this weekend, I was moved to tears.

It was overwhelming for me – that someone would do something so beautiful to help others fighting such an evil disease. Not only is it a beautiful park but it has a beautiful message.

I wanted to say thank you, thanks to the Blochs who founded it. They are an inspiration to us all. I hope it will help others, inspiring and giving them a place of retreat when they need some peace.

So thank you, to everyone who had anything to do with the creation of a little piece of heaven in the corner of a busy world. Sema, Ontario, Canada

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Thank you for your help in providing a contact in which to share our experiences with brain stem tumor.  I have had a long conversation with a 16-year survivor, which I hope and pray,  I could do half as good, since I am 30 years older than he and recently had a bout of lung cancer as well, for which I underwent a lobectomy and aorta resection.

But I’m still in there fighting, and I appreciate what you’ve done for me. Continue with your good works. Stan, Massachusetts

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Within an hour of our conference with our urologists I called the hotline. Within an hour, I got a return call from a volunteer who specializes in prostate cancer. He asked a few questions. After some discussion, he concurred that the place for me to start was to investigate radiation options. Within an hour, he emailed me a list of seven websites, each introduced with some guiding comments. Each site had volumes of relevant, on-point, material . On a Sunday, I emailed some additional questions, expecting an answer on Monday. Within an hour, I received another email with six more websites, each introduced with knowledgeable comments. The R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation put a very enthusiastic, and highly skilled research assistant at my elbow! Bill, Kansas

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The books you sent me were very helpful. Bless the Blochs for doing them! Lynn, Minnesota

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I just wanted to tell you that with all of these things with my dad´s cancer, I have met many people with cancer and I would like to give them some help. If there is anything I can do for your institution here in Guadalajara, Mexico, I will be really happy to do it.   Luis, Mexico

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I received your parcel today!!! Thanks for your quick reply and support. I found the information is very positive and inspirational!!! This is a first step to my positive thinking but now I believe that I can get there. Tatiana, Australia

Thank you for helping me so much. It is just wonderful being able to talk to someone who gives you encouragement and support. You’ve given me hope for a future. Amy, Ohio

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Bloch was a Godsend. I’ve gotten so much information and been given hope, which is the most important thing. I’ve decided I want to live! Mary, Arizona

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(Your hotline) was the best thing that happened to me. There are no support groups at all in our area, and your volunteers were my source of inspiration and hope. A big thank-you to you all! Fern, Florida

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Your help and the materials you  sent were great, but the best part of it all was when you assigned home volunteer Lee to me. He was dedicated, knowledgeable and very caring! Lee was just great! Brent, Canada

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The work done by the Bloch Cancer Hotline is priceless!! Linda, Ohio

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I talked with your volunteer from Texas, thank you for setting him up with me. I just wanted to tell you that you’ve been a wonderful support for me, and to thank you for all your help. Bernadette, Canada

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Many thanks!  You are doing a wonderful thing. Ruth, Maryland

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Thanks for providing this website for cancer patients, their friends, and relatives. This support from long-living cancer survivors is invaluable and of utmost importance for patients. Lev, Minnesota

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Thank you for your annual support. Because of your gift of books we have spread the awareness and hope about this dreaded disease. May God continue to bless the work that you do! Elise Bourne-Busby, chair – More than Friends, Passaic, NJ

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You sure do a great job. If there’s any other way you could help cancer patients  and their supporters, I don’t know what it would be. Troy, Kansas

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Agradesco toda la ayuda que me ha enviado desde aqui de California resopor que yo me encuentre personas como Usted, para poder ayudar a tantas personas que no tienen informacion y que ni saben cual es el cancer que tienen y que no investigan mas alla de lo que los medicos les dan su diagnostico.  Alicia, California

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You were an enormous lift to my spirits when I needed it the most.  I felt hopeless and you reached out with some real ideas. I have checked out your website and read many of the chapters of the book that Mr. Bloch wrote, and I think much of what he says is real, important and meaningful. Thank you again for your good heart and your kindness to me.  I will never forget you reaching out to me.  God Bless you. Jean, Japan

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I have found your book Fighting Cancer very helpful–especially when I had it the first time.  I have received several more free copies from you since that time to give to newly diagnosed friends. Thanks for your wonderful services! Evie, New York

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3 Responses to “We Get Letters…”

  1. janet sellmeyer November 8, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    Just a quick note of thanks for your great organization! I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2010. The Breast Center at St. Luke’s Hospital on the Plaza in Kansas City put one of your books in a packet for me. The reading was easy to absorb with so many resources.

    You have helped so many people. Again many thanks.

    Very Sincerely,

    Janet Sellmeyer

    • Vangie Rich November 9, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

      Thank you for your kind words. Should you wish to speak with one of our cancer survivor volunteers do not hesitate to call and request it. Local number 816-854-5050 and toll-free 800-433-0464.

      Any cancer treatment facility that would like free copies of our books, Fighting Cancer(English and Spanish), Cancer…there’s hope, and Guide for Cancer Supporters, can request them through the Bloch Cancer Hotline 800-433-0464.

  2. Rosemary O'Neill July 18, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    Dear Friends, Many years ago my daughter was diagnosed with t-cell ALL. The doctors told me that she would hopefully live to see Christmas. It was Halloween and Sara was only five and a half years old. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered a phrase from somewhere. “People die on schedule” I decided to shut out the doctors timetable and work on one of my own. Sara is living her 20th “bonus” year this year. Over the past two decades we have had many close calls with my beautiful daughter but the closest call was almost believing that she wouldn’t see Christmas of 91.
    Rosemary

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