Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"I Can Cope"

In a December column, Tom Plequette, 62, a colon cancer survivor, was lamenting that there were not enough cancer support groups in Amarillo. He'd fought a lonely battle against cancer, and was eager to share what he had learned and be a support to others. In other words, he didn't others to face much of it alone as he did.

His hope was to get a support group together to encourage, support, explain, and learn. That support group is here, beginning Wednesday night.

The first of what will be eight monthly sessions -- "I Can Cope" -- is set to begin at 6 p.m. at the Texas Oncology Group at 9th and Coulter. It's free to cancer patients, survivors, their friends and family.

Eric Palmer will facillitate the discussion. Plequette is technically a co-facillitator, but he said he'll be there just in an unofficial helpful capacity.

"To me, what I want to do is maximize my quality of life, not to live longer, but to live better," Plequette said. "In September, I went in for a checkup with my oncologist, and he asked how I was doing.

"I said pretty good. I've learned this, this and this. He said, 'Really, you ought to write a book about this.' I said that I didn't want to do that, that I wanted to interact with others, to share with others, to tell them what I've gone through and we can all learn together."

For more information, call (806) 457-2005.

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