Six years after I was diagnosed – I remember LBBC’s Survivors’ Helpline

This entry was written by Jo Ann Cottman of Jeffersonville, Pa. LBBC is pleased to share that over the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen a rewarding boost in helpline calls. It means a lot to the organization that we are able to provide a program that is fundamental in supporting women diagnosed with breast cancer.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in November of 2004. The night before I was scheduled for my first six month mammogram, a follow-up appointment after my surgery and radiation treatment, I was very anxious and could not sleep. I read Dr. Marisa Weiss’ book, Living Beyond Breast Cancer and it dawned on me that I had a card with LBBC’s Helpline phone number. Dr. Marisa Weiss, founder of LBBC and my doctor at the time, offered me the number.

I called about 10 p.m. and left a message. In a very short time my call was returned by a Helpline volunteer. I explained to her what I was feeling. I told her that I could not understand why I had these feelings because I felt that I should be strong. She heard my tears, she listened to me, she talked with me and she helped me to understand that it was ok to feel the way I did. Even though I felt the need to encourage others, I needed words of encouragement and hope also.

I will always think of that Helpline volunteer as my sister — someone who understood my feelings because she had taken the same journey. I will always be thankful to LBBC for providing this outstanding support program for women affected by breast cancer. This Survivors’ Helpline provides someone that will listen, provide information and more importantly, care.

Jo Ann shares her breast cancer story during the White House | Black Market photo shoot and credits LBBC’s Survivors’ Helpline.

To request a call from a Helpline volunteer, submit your availability here. All Helpline volunteers are professionally trained to be able to offer you support and guidance in efforts to aid your concern. You can also access external resources that may be viable to your treatment plan, especially in times of financial need.

Call the Helpline toll-free number at 888-753-5222 on Tuesdays from 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. to speak to a live Helpline volunteer. We also encourage you to leave a message and within 24 hours of your message a Helpline volunteer will call you back!

2 thoughts on “Six years after I was diagnosed – I remember LBBC’s Survivors’ Helpline

  1. Thank you for that story. I had breast cancer stage 2b in Nov. 2002. I found out less than a year ago that it has spread to my spine and ribs. Yesterday, I went to a new lymphedema therapist. Whole new method, and new exercises and massage to learn. I have severe lymphedema in my left arm. I understand feeling insecure and trying to be brave and happy on the outside. It is hard and lonely that way. Thank you for posting your story. It is nice to know we are not alone. Thank you, Tammy

    • Thank you for your response. My heart is full as I read your story. No that you are not alone. We have never met face-to-face but I know you and you will be in my heart and prayers. You are loved.


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