Sarah is a current house guest at Sorrentino's Compassion House who shares her thoughts on having to travel for cancer treatment.
What does it mean to you to stay at Sorrentino’s Compassion House?
Sorrentino's Compassion House is a safe and affordable haven for women on their cancer journey. Coming from the NWT, with the rest of my family in Ontario and further east, I am here on my own, and a long way from home. This place has given not only myself, but my family, peace of mind knowing that there is such a wonderful place to call home for the duration of my treatment.
We are all on different journeys, at different stages in our fight, and with different cancers and treatment regimes; but at the same time we are all dealing with similar things - side effects (there are many), finances, special diets, family and friends, anger, sadness, fears, questions about our treatments. It is really great to be able to talk with others who understand or have experienced what we are going through.
It’s also nice to be able to spend time NOT thinking about cancer...doing something to take our minds off, being watching a movie or getting out for a few hours knowing that there is understanding if we bail at the last minute. This all helps fight the loneliness that results from being far from home.
Anything you would like to share with donors?
There are so many things that Sorrentino's Compassion House offers, besides a bed. The rooms are gorgeous - a place I feel very comfortable spending hours in - having my own space with a TV and private bath (really a necessity when you are going through this - sorry TMI but I can't understate it).
There are also many places to be outside of your room - where you can still find time to be alone, or gather with others. The workout room, with personal trainer and yoga, are also amazing - keeping strength and positive energy up are so important when going through treatment, and I don't have the energy right now to seek these elsewhere.
Finally, the Avon van. Without a car in the city, it would be way more challenging, and expensive, to do grocery shopping, let alone trips to the Farmer's Market or the mall. It’s just nice to get out of the house at times and enjoy some social time with other residents.
And the staff are amazing! Always available and they go out of their way to make our stay comfortable. From crafting sessions to someone to talk to.
Coming from out of town, there are not many affordable options for cancer fighters -- this place makes the fight almost tolerable. Many residents have even said that they have bittersweet feelings leaving the place!