By Dennis Shuman
Hi, I'm Dennis Shuman and I'm a cancer survivor, diagnosed with a rare incurable but treatable cancer called carcinoid. I am an eight-year survivor of this disease which has taken most of my small intestines. Although I have had surgeries that took months for me to bounce back from, I have determination, will, and the grace from God to maintain my health. With a lot of cancers, not just mine, you can suffer many side effects including a lack of strength, weight loss, diet, and fatigue. Even your mindset can be tested by cancer.
After my diagnosis, I got a phone call from the local YMCA in my area, inviting me to be a part of the LIVESTRONG program. At the time I was suffering from heavy fatigue, having difficulty with weakness, and taking naps every day. The YMCA worked with me twice a week to develop a workout plan to fit my abilities and to eventually improve my health. Within a few weeks I started feeling better, my fatigue improved, I was getting stronger, and my appetite increased. It's not just fitness, they teach other classes too such as diet and even yoga. I have new friends and many others from the YMCA who truly care for me and my health. I know that whatever struggles I endure I have a foundation of people who support me in my journey.
The LIVESTRONG Foundation provides free cancer support services to help people with the financial, emotional, and practical challenges that accompany the disease. Created in 1997 by cancer survivor and philanthropist Lance Armstrong, the Foundation is known for its powerful brand-LIVESTRONG-and for its advocacy on behalf of survivors and their families. I just want to say thank you to the YMCA and the LIVESTRONG Foundation. My journey with cancer is long from over, but I know at least I have tools to Fight the Fight and I am not alone. So when you hear hoof beats don't just think horses - think Zebras.