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By Chandrama Anderson

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About this blog: I am a LMFT specializing in couples counseling and have lived in and around Palo Alto since 1969. I worked in high-tech at Apple, Stanford University, and in Silicon Valley for 15 years before becoming a therapist. My background i...  (More)

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And Now for Something Completely Different

Uploaded: May 5, 2016
For those of you who have been following Couple's Net for a while, you know I love doing grief counseling. I was the caregiver for my husband who had (and survived) cancer, my MIL died last January of cancer and many of you followed along that journey with me.

This June I will be the therapist for a week for Camp Kesem; a camp serving 140 kids and teens -- at no fee, who have a parent who is currently in treatment for cancer, is in remission from cancer or who has died from cancer. The camp allows these kids and teens to just play, hang out, do activities, and focus on things other than the backdrop of cancer in their lives.

Donations are what makes the camp free; relieving the families of any fiduciary worries amidst all of their other concerns. I hope you will consider making a donation to support this incredible opportunity for the campers.

The counselors are all Stanford students, and 120 of them applied for 30 open positions! What a terrific resource we have here at Stanford.

Here's a little more from the Camp Kesem website:

"Camp Kesem provides a safe, supportive and exciting overnight camp experience for children . . . and have the unique opportunity to build friendships and gain strength from peers facing similar challenges.

Our Purpose:

– To build a supportive community for Bay Area families coping with cancer by creating the week of Camp Kesem and camp reunions.

– To empower students to participate in community service by providing leadership positions, organizational roles, and opportunities to work directly or indirectly with children who has/had a parent with cancer."

I'm excited and honored to serve the campers and counselors.

Comments

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by amy w, a resident of another community,
on May 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm

Thank you for supporting Camp Kesem. My children were campers at Camp Kesem at Stanford after my husband died of cancer. My daughter is now a Camp Kesem counselor at USC. When a parent has cancer, the whole family has cancer. The children are often the overlooked, silent sufferers. Camp Kesem gives them a community of support. Thanks again. What will your camp name be?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on May 5, 2016 at 5:09 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Hi Amy,
Thanks for writing. I am sorry to hear that your husband died of cancer; what a tremendous loss. I'm so glad your kids got to to Camp Kesem. I just heard about the camp names (everyone has a name at camp that's not their actual name). I'm open to suggestions, and I am thinking of "Lucy" from Peanuts.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Whisman Station,
on May 10, 2016 at 4:21 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

" A man with three buttocks " from Monty Python's Flying Circus....

It's been 10 years since my spouse died from inoperable cancer. I was told that Chemotherapy would shrink to an operable cancer 6 months previously.
Six months of watching others from the waiting room while the patients read a newspaper or did their knitting while poison was being injected into their bloodstream...
CHEMOTHERAPY: Hopefully killing the cancer before it kills the patient!

That news along with the fact my best friend was killed by throat cancer in the same week probably gave me my first stroke...maybe my mind wanted to " check out " for a time.
I still have " anger issues " about Doctors who promise you a thing and tell you different later. My father and my Grandfather never went to a Doctor unless they had to. I'm the same way and Doctors killing my wife and friend and getting away with it is what gets me angry and unreasonable.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Chandrama Anderson, a Palo Alto Online blogger,
on May 10, 2016 at 7:18 pm

Chandrama Anderson is a registered user.

Hi The Punnisher, Wow, you have really been through a lot of health trauma. You sound like you still miss your wife and friend; I know I would, too. Life is cruel, and cancer is crueler. I hope you have family and friends who love and support you. Most hospice agencies have free or low-cost counseling available, if you're inclined to talk with someone.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by the_punnisher, a resident of Whisman Station,
on May 11, 2016 at 11:45 am

the_punnisher is a registered user.

I've accepted it. That means I don't have to like it. I've studied most religions and I find that A Supreme Being had to give us FREE WILL after eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.


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