We should always be mindful of our health. However, sometimes life gets in the way. That is why Breast Cancer Awareness month is the perfect time to remind ourselves to make our annual breast check with our gynecologist. To understand the best way to prevent, act, and recover we talked to Gail Benboid about her journey healing from breast cancer.
Gail Benobaid, is a very brave and sweet woman we met recently at ecru. We believe that by sharing her experience with us, we can take care of each other and create a better awareness of breast cancer.
Gail used to be a kindergarten teacher in Gulf English School and then New English School, in Kuwait for many years. Once she got cancer she was given medical retirement and took care of her children at home. They are adults now, but she still loves taking care of and supporting them. She aims to continue volunteering for Sidr cancer support in the Kuwait Cancer Control Center. Below she answers our questions about prevention, action, and recovery.
What advice would you give to a woman to help her prevent or screen breast cancer?
I can’t stress enough that early detection is the key. It’s important to keep up with breasts check-up as if caught early the treatment can be less invasive if you leave it too late and the stage of the cancer is higher therefore chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation are involved.
What advice would you give to someone who is diagnosed with breast cancer?
My advice for anyone who is diagnosed with breast cancer is to be as positive as you can. I know it’s hard and frightening but through the right treatment and support, you can do this. You need to keep your mind engaged and positive as that is 50% of the battle with cancer.
Can you tell us about your experience and how did you recover from breast cancer? And how do you take care of yourself and follow up?
Well my experience has been a journey and all I can say is totally shocked and scared in the beginning but thanks to Al Sidra support cancer group in KCCC (Kuwait Cancer Control Center) who in 2015 had a British lady, and all their other wonderful staff working there who truly gave me the courage and strength to battle through advising me on all aspects of the cancer battle. My faith in God and the beautiful support from my family and friends kept me strong!
I have continued to keep up with my 4 monthly CT scans especially since I found out 6 months after my treatment that my breast cancer has spread to my spine and pelvis but I continue my 3 weekly infusions of medicine and take alternative natural supplements as I believe in integrative treatment for all cancers. I live for every day and thank God I’m still here. Power of the mind and meditation also helps. Traveling to places with beautiful nature also helps me a lot. Cancer has been and still can get tough but it also taught me how to slow down and change my way of life and mind for the BETTER!
Below are some sources that can help you or any loved one who is battling with cancer in Lebanon, Kuwait, and India –
Nation Station Clinic: Providing care with specialists, generalists, and psychotherapists. Support is also provided through workshops and health guidance (not cancer-related)
Mammography centers in some of the main cities in India.
Mammography Test in DelhiH.O.D. House of Diagnostics – 9089089089Dr Lal Pathlabs – Test Code: X745 – 01130403230
Mammography Test in JaipurDr Lal Pathlabs – Test Code: X745 – 011-49885050, 011-39885050
Mammography Test in BengaluruDr Lal Pathlabs – Test Code: X745 – 011-49885050, 011-39885050, 080-26763655
Mammography Test in GhaziabadMax Super Speciality Hospital – 07947066851
Mammography Test in PatnaSarita Diagnostic Centre – 07947282404
Mammography Test in JaipurDr Lal Pathlabs – +91-1425-603838
Mammography Test in KolkataSuraksha Diagnostics – 033-66059750, 033-66191000
Mammography test in KochiLakeshore Hospital and Research Centre Ltd – 0484 270 1032, 0484 270 1033
Mammography Test in GuwahatiApollo Clinic – 7664812001
Counselling & Rehabilitation for breast cancer patients
All IndiaCaring Souls FoundationThis Foundation has established its Counseling-cum-Information Centers at 70 locations all over India.HO Lucknow: 0522-400 0298, 406 2740. Regional Offices:Ahmedabad: 079-4039 1434, 90811 23939, Hyderabad: 040-2447 8989, 98490 00883. Vellore: 04172-320 195, 93623 firstname.lastname@example.org
All IndiaMITR – Lifestyle Support Program for Cancer Patients by Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories LtdThis is a toll-free helpline is a confidential psychological/emotional support program for cancer patients. After enrolling, cancer patients can discuss their feelings, needs, and concerns, and seek self-care tips.1800-425-0014 email@example.com
All IndiaMake-A-Wish Foundation of IndiaThe Foundation grants the wishes of children between the age group of 3-18 years with life-threatening medical conditions. When a wish comes true, the kids feel stronger, happier, less fearful and keener to fight the disease. Then the kids are more willing to comply with difficult, but vital, treatments.111, Vasan Udyog Bhavan, Sun mill Compound, Opp. High Street Phoenix Mall, S.B. Marg, Lower Parel (W), Mumbai 400013Deepak S Bhatia022-2491 9139, 2497 9457, 98212 firstname.lastname@example.org
Delhi-NCRCancer SahyogTheir volunteers (who are former cancer patients) attend clinics at 10 leading hospitals in Delhi-NCR. They actively listen, share their experiences and offer hope. They provide literature, helpful suggestions, and tips regarding the side effects of treatment. Also facilitate communication between patients, families, and health professionals.86/1, G.F., Shahpur Jat, New Delhi 110049Helpline: 99105 16562
AhmedabadKarunakare Foundation(KKF)KKF’s team of dedicated volunteers and staff support cancer patients, their families, and especially children. The psychological, emotional, and financial support helps the victims cope with the disease and maintain a relatively better quality of life.B/808, Ganesh Plaza, Ahmedabad72279 email@example.comFacebook Page
Bangalore‘Survivorship Care Program’ by Anvay Integrative Care StudioSurvivorship Care Program (PCC) is a personalized program for people free from cancer. The program seeks to rehabilitate, rejuvenate and detoxify the body. The holistic healing methods employed are Yoga & Meditation, Nutrition, Naturopathy and Lifestyle Elements.#47, Byrasandra Main Road, Jayanagar 1st Block, Bangalore 56001198800 firstname.lastname@example.org
ChandigarhSahayta Charitable Welfare SocietyVolunteers who are survivors or caregivers of survivors, attend clinics in oncology departments of PGI Hospital, Chandigarh daily. The focus is on emotional support to the patients and family members. Sector 15-B, Chandigarh 1600150172-272 2454, 93161 20808 email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Chennai’Can-Stop’ by Sundaram Medical FoundationThis is a community organization helping people afflicted with cancer by providing counseling services in a holistic manner to patients, family, and friends, conducting awareness programs, and screening camps.4th Avenue, Shanthi Colony, Anna Nagar, Chennai 600040044-2614 4560, 99410 email@example.com
Coimbatore Coimbatore Cancer FoundationTrained counselors provide individual, family, group, palliative & bereavement counseling services, to help patients and their family members to cope with their feelings such as fear, isolation, grief, and financial stress.1435, Trichy Road, Near ELLARGI Petrol Bunk, Coimbatore 6410180422-450 firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
Goa’Can Survive’ Campaign of Caritas India, GoaTo cancer patients in Goa, they provide assistance through local communities, offer counseling and support, inform on palliative care, etc. First Floor, Old Goa Medical Complex, Maquinez Palace, Near Entertainment Society of Goa, Panjim, Goa 40300181828 firstname.lastname@example.orgFacebook Page
GuwahatiRodali – A Centre for Cancer Awareness & CounsellingRodali guides breast cancer patients to survive and go back to their normal lives after treatment. A free counseling center for breast cancer patients is run at St.John’s Hospital, Christian Basti, Guwahati.Damayanti Mansion, Dighali Pukhuri (E), Opp.Gauri Sadan, Guwahati 781001Dr. Jayantimala Chakrabarty98599 80138, 92070 email@example.com
HyderabadNatco TrustHave placed 11 counselors in 6 major Govt. Hospitals in Hyderabad (including MNJ Institute of Oncology) who guide and counsel rural patients and help them avail healthcare services.Natco House, Road No.2, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500034040-2354 5298, 2354 firstname.lastname@example.org
Indore Indore Cancer Foundation Charitable TrustHave set up a Rehabilitation Centre with donations from IDBI. Here persons cured of cancer receive physiotherapy. In addition, patients and/or their families are counseled and directed to government-aided institutes that offer free or subsidized vocational training. Centre’s location: Indian Institute of Head and Neck Oncology, Pigdamber Road, Rau, Dist Indore 4533310731-256 email@example.com
KolkataKalpana Datta Foundation for Cancer CareProvide one-on-one communication with people facing cancer to provide them with the mental and emotional support necessary to cope with cancer. P.O. & Vill: Dakshin Gobindapur, Dist: South 24 Parganas, Kolkata 700145033-2437 9603, 99031 firstname.lastname@example.org
MumbaiCancer Aid and Research Foundation(CARF)(a) Their professional counselors assist patients on conscious, emotional levels and try to clear misgivings about cancer (b) CARF Rehabilitation Centre (CRC) in Mumbai provides training to cancer patients & their relatives in making paper bags, candles, craft items, etc. Efforts are also made towards job placement. Byculla Municipal School Bldg, Ground Floor, Near S Bridge, Byculla (W), N.M.Joshi Marg, Mumbai 400011022-2300 5000, 2306 email@example.com
Take care of yourself