THE CANCER DOULA
Passionate About Supporting the "WHOLE" Person
You're trying to digest the fact that your life is about to change because you have been diagnosed with cancer or you have started treatment and you are trying to manage the challenges of your care.
But how do you manage the substantial physical, emotional, social, and financial effects of cancer while trying to adjust to your new reality?
My name is Talaya Dendy and I help people that have been diagnosed with cancer navigate their cancer journey by bridging the gap between the medical and emotional sides of cancer.
Believe me, when I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011, I had no idea where to start. In fact, I was relatively healthy prior to the cancer diagnosis so I was not a sophisticated consumer of medical services and to me navigating the health care system meant making sure that I schedule my annual exams/screenings and bi-annual dental cleanings.
I had NO IDEA what was in store for me!
Like so many of my clients, I was experiencing so many emotions. I was overwhelmed, afraid, angry, you name it. I did not have much warning or opportunity to adapt to my new circumstances.
I was not educated about cancer, but I had other skills that I could use to help me expedite the learning curve. My love of learning, analytical and organization skills kicked in.
I took a step back and realized that I could not think of myself as a powerless, uneducated patient. I had to start thinking and living as the "GATEKEEPER" of my overall health and quality of life!
I knew that I had to get clear about what my challenges were, what I wanted, what I needed, and where to get it. I had to create an action plan and then break it down into smaller, manageable tasks.
Everything that I had read and briefly heard about cancer said that it would be a very dark and powerless journey. That I should do whatever my doctor says because he or she knows best. Quite frankly, that was just not good enough for me!
I knew that If I was going to survive cancer and live the quality of life that I wanted, I had to dig deep and become the leader of my journey.
Because here is what I realized:
To be the owner of my health and quality of life, I have to be an EXPERT on ME!
As I took more action and more steps along my journey, I began to feel more confident, more optimistic, more knowledgable, and more in control. These are the same feelings that I help my clients achieve. I learned how to make the disease more manageable.
And I learned how the body and the mind work together. They are very powerful allies. I realized that I could take some of my power back by being mindful of how I was thinking and feeling. My mind could have a positive impact on my health!
It can be hard to see or believe how much power you have when you are living with cancer. That is where I can help with your cancer journey!
One of my greatest abilities is to hear what you are really saying and feeling and help you reframe anything that is not in alignment with your well-being and healing. This can help to reduce stress and anxiety, help you cope, get unstuck, and trust yourself.
MY PURPOSE FOUND ME!
Survivorship had its own set of challenges. Going from being able to see my oncologist every two weeks to being told that I did not have to come back in for three months was very nerve-wracking believe it or not.
It was like, "Your treatments are done. Bye! This is as far as we go. Call us if you need us." That was when I felt the most alone. The normalcy that I had gotten used to was once again pulled from under my feet.
Newsflash! The effects of cancer don't end when the treatment is done. The process of recovery is long and It adds another level of uncertainty. What will my future look like? How will the treatments affect my long-term health? How will I pick up the pieces and move forward in my personal and professional life? Will cancer come back? These are some of the questions that I thought about often.
In 2014, I joined the Cancer Survivor Advisory Council at the hospital where I was treated to offer key suggestions in services that needed improvement and to help create the procedure used to evaluate the distress of patients and families. I wanted to play a part in making things better for cancer patients.
I want to do the same thing for you! Make your journey easier!
On a personal note, I love traveling, basketball, and reading. I am also a huge sneakerhead! What woman doesn't love a cool pair of shoes?
I love being around people that I can laugh with, learn from, walk with, and be myself with.
If you want to get my personalized support, click here or on the button below for a FREE Cancer Doula Support Services consultation.
You’ll walk away with action steps you can take to overcome your challenges and barriers. If it looks and feels like a fit, I’ll be happy to share how I can support you. NO PRESSURE!
I look forward to talking with you soon!
The Cancer Doula
“I’ve worked with Talaya for more than 6 years and am familiar with her cancer journey. I can still remember how nervous but determined she was at the time of her diagnosis. During her 6 months of chemotherapy, Talaya remained positive and poised beyond her years. In her follow-up visits, she has remained positive and keeps up to speed on issues associated with survivorship. I can’t think of a better person to offer support to those who are coping with a new diagnosis of cancer, going through treatment, or in the follow-up phase of disease.” ~ Daniel M. Anderson, MD, MPH, Hematology/Oncology