Sheri Alexander works as the Chief Strategy Officer at Gregory & Appel Insurance…and she received news of her breast cancer on her way into a client meeting. In this episode, Sheri tells her story of managing the demands of work, marriage, and parenting in the midst of fighting cancer. Sheri shares her coping mechanism of “putting things on the shelf”, imparts a host of helpful local resources, and reflects on how she now gives support in the workplace as a result of her diagnosis.
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Three reflections came as a result of my conversation with Sheri
If you or someone you care about is dealing with a cancer diagnosis, look for support organizations in your community. If you live in Central Indiana, Little Red Door Cancer agency can help those in need of financial assistance with things like getting to appointments, wigs, and prosthetics. The Cancer Support Community runs a center with support classes, cooking demonstrations, and a yoga studio. The Komen Center hosts events and donates portions of every dollar raised. Resources mentioned:
As Sheri put it, don’t go radio silent. Do something. Perhaps you worry about what to do or say to someone who is going through cancer. You don’t have to have all the answers, a card or a note, some flowers, or simply a statement like, “I am sorry that you are going through this” communicates a great deal of care.
As Sheri worked throughout her cancer treatment, it was helpful for her to “put things on the shelf” until she had to time to process them with her family and her support network. She also worked through some of those emotions on the way to work. This is one way that people deal with difficult emotions. If someone does not want to talk extensively about their cancer during a particular day, they may be putting those emotions on the shelf for the time being. If that is the case, allow them the space to not discuss their cancer.