Companions & Family Members Share Insights at National Conference

The recent National Conference on Prostate Cancer, held in Washington DC June 16-19, 2005, featured a wealth of information, support and hope. Some presentations were clinical in natural while others spoke directly from the heart. The Us TOO Companions & Families panel, "You Matter Too! Affirming, Empowering and Supporting PCa Caregivers," was a fine example of the latter, featuring six partners of prostate cancer patients, including the panel moderator, Shirley Grey. While each panelist brought with them a unique perspective and set of circumstances, common themes were heard from them all:
  • Prostate Cancer is a disease that impacts the entire family, not just the patient.
  • Self care is important for care givers, though not always practiced.
  • Prostate cancer, while extremely difficult, is an opportunity to grow, learn and evaluate life.

The panel discussion addressed various serious and challenging topics, such as intimacy, caregiver struggles, and the impact of prostate cancer on the family. Yet the program featured great wit and laughter as well. Panelists Mary Dolan, wife of prostate cancer patient, Kevin, put things in perspective when she said, “If we can drive ninety minutes for crab cakes, honey, we can certainly drive two hours for a second opinion.”

Special thanks to all our panelists and their partners for their presence and valuable insights at the National Conference on Prostate Cancer: Jo Ann & Jerry Hardy, Anne & Frank Brusca, Doris and Kenneth Howard, Bill Margolis and Ed Fisher, Mary & Kevin Dolan and our moderator, Shirley and Herb Grey.

Four of the panel members are featured in The Circles of Love Collection, the recently released book which is part of the Circles of Love Companions & Families Care Kit. Available individually or in the care kit.

Panelists from the Us TOO partners' presentation, "You Matter Too! Affirming, Empowering and Supporting PCa Caregivers," Left to Right: Panel moderator: Shirley Grey, Panelists Mary, Jo Ann Hardy (Secretary, Us TOO Board of Directors), Anne, The Circles of Love Collection author Elizabeth Cabalka, Panelists Doris and Bill.


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