Cancer Action helped me to get back in the swing.

On my forty-second birthday in 1997 I went to have a baseline mammogram as part of my annual checkup. Micro calcifications were discovered and the biopsy showed it was cancer.

What a surprise! This was supposed to be a routine, baseline mammogram, not invasive, metastatic breast cancer! This put me in huge tailspin.

I was desperate for information at the time. I was facing a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. I started grabbing every piece of literature I could read. It was in the yellow pages that I found Cancer Action.

From that first phone call they were with me throughout all nine months of my therapy. They gave me all the right resources, including the supplies I needed for my central line. When I was housebound during my chemotherapy they called to see how I was doing.

After treatment, it feels like everyone just lets you go. You feel like you're not doing anything to fight the cancer. Your friends say, 'Okay, that's done.' It's like you're in limbo. Suddenly you feel you're on your own. And every thought thatís not about work or family is about cancer. You think, 'Oh my, I had cancer. Will it come back?'

Cancer Action helped again, but this time it was by allowing me to help them. I started volunteering at Cancer Action and it helped me get going again. I provide office support, computer work, whatever is needed. I also help newly diagnosed clients.

I'm giving, but my Cancer Action experience is more about getting.

- MARY MCINTYRE, wife, mother, cat lover, Medical Technologist