In February of 2006, ten months after my treatments, I called Hope & Cope to express my urge to volunteer. The Survivorship Program Coordinator told me it was normal protocol to wait one year, following the completion of our treatments, before volunteering. I imagine the reason for that is to assure your mental, emotional, and physical capacity, before you can offer strength to others.
She emailed a profile form to complete with personal details, diagnosis, and treatment information. An application went further into my experience with cancer, requesting details about how I coped and what I can offer others. We also spoke about my interest in volunteering and what capacity I would offer. Peer mentoring, telephone communication with patients or family members, would make it easier for me to provide more of my time. She seemed to like what she heard, and read from the forms I submitted, so she decided I was ready. I was so happy to be accepted, and excited to get started, even though I wasn’t sure if I would do well.
Do you volunteer in any capacity?