Introducing NOCC (National Ovarian Cancer Coalition)
Being diagnosed with ovarian cancer during a pandemic was tricky with regard to finding online support. Many online groups filled up fast as all in-person meetings were canceled. I also found that the cancer center where I received treatment had very little online support to offer with respect to ovarian cancer.
Services provided by NOCC
While going down a rabbit hole on the internet, I came across the NOCC. They are a non-profit organization that offers FREE online support groups (TEAL comfort for the Mind) for newly diagnosed ovarian cancer patients, recurring ovarian cancer, and a special online support group for caregivers. The NOCC was the first national organization that was created (1995) to provide awareness and education for ovarian cancer.
Support groups not for you? The NOCC also provides a free voucher for 2 months of one-on-one professional counseling through BetterHelp.com.
Other free services that NOCC offers include:
- webinars offering updates with ovarian cancer research
- providing an annual Wellness Retreat (2021 was virtual and lovely to attend)
- meal deliveries for women who are currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments (TEAL comfort for the Soul)
- Ina® The Intelligent Nutrition Assistant
Benefits of online support groups
I've personally taken advantage of the newly diagnosed online support group. It's wonderful being with other women who are in the same place mentally and physically. We always leave feeling uplifted and heard which is vital when going through active treatment. Now that I'm on the "other side" and done with treatments, it was tough finding my new "normal" so I took advantage of the one-on-one counseling offered through BetterHelp. My counselor has really helped me focus on what is important and dealing with letting go of a career, and starting a new one!
Learning about the latest research
What's encouraging is that the NOCC is on top of all the newest research and recruits GYN oncologists, ovarian cancer scientists and researchers to be interviewed and answers questions. There is so much happening with cancer research and it's fantastic to meet and see scientists who are doing real research behind the scenes.
When I attended the 2021 NOCC Wellness Retreat we were introduced to a scientist who was creating a tiny camera that could be inserted through the vagina, gently penetrate the cervix, view the uterus, enter the Fallopian tubes and then see the ovary. Up close and personal. HD vision so the tissue is ultra clear which is better than a CT scan and PET scan. It was exciting to see the passion in her face. She hopes to make a real difference in trying to create an early detection screening tool that is non-invasive to the patient.
Joining NOCC's Team Teal
To give back to NOCC, I became a part of NOCC's Team Teal®. Team Teal® is a group of endurance athletes who are cyclists, runners, hikers, and triathletes. We fundraise for the NOCC before our event and then create awareness around ovarian cancer and what NOCC provides for support. The event I'm currently training for is the Empire State Ride. A 7 day cycling tour across New York State - from NYC to Niagara Falls.
When I'm asked what is the one thing that got me through my cancer journey I always say "I asked for help".
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