When my son was diagnosed with TCell ALL in the fall of 2015, I felt like I was steamrolled by an ocean-liner. One moment, life was completely normal and the next, shattered into a million shards of glass. I went through so many stages of grief, anger, jealously, resentment, sadness, numbness - you name it, I experienced it. As time wore on, I bandaged my soul and moved forward in helping my family heal. Problem was, I wasn't helping myself heal. My community did not have a support group for my particular situation and I found myself searching online for caregivers like me. I found Momcology and instantly was drawn in by the privacy component along with the ability to connect with people in my exact situation. When I discovered there was a retreat where I could replenish myself and connect with other mothers, I was beside myself. I filled out my application the moment it was uploaded to the site! My weekend retreat with Momcology was a lifesaver for me. I bonded with a group of women that were just like me. A battle we face together and only we can understand. It was deep. Mind blowingly deep. It was also cathartic. Beyond connecting over our stories, we did Reiki, massages with Essential oils, painting, hiking, journaling, and eating delicious and beautifully prepared foods. In essence, we were taken care of for the weekend. The women who ran the retreat were as much a part of the group as the attendees. Each was effervescent and glowed with the warmth us mamas need right now. The glow of kindness and understanding. For me, the only sad part is that I live far away from all the people I met. They are my sisters forever. I hope we keep in touch. What this experience taught me is that I am not alone. I am here. I am not a shadow of my former self. I'm surviving. The beautiful thing is now I have an army of sisters to do it with.

Marjorie Waxman

No one walks alone.... I can't begin to tell you how many times in the beginning of my daughter's diagnosis in 2008, that I felt so alone. I had family support, but no one knew or understood the things that I did. They all lived so far away, which made it harder for them to see all the things we were going through. I had made a few friends here and there that understood to some degree. We kept in touch via email or on Facebook as just friends. However, when Momcology came into the picture for me, it became a HUGE blessing! I finally was able to find many people whose children shared my child's diagnosis. I connected with moms all over the country that could understand what we were going through. We shared everything from "nausea secrets" to new medical research on our kiddo's tumor type. It is such a great feeling to know that the people who have your back in Momcology, TRULY get where you are coming from! They share all your joys and all your pains and frustrations. They stand beside you when you feel like no one else is.... they become family.

Jennifer Bailey

Momocology has been a lifesaver for me and my family.  Through Momocology I have been able to connect with other families with similar stories such as mine and learn from others on different paths.  My son has diagnosed with Wilms Tumor - Stage 2 just after he turned three years old.  No one is prepared to hear "Your child has cancer."  During the initial part of the process our family felt so alone.  Our friends felt sorry for us, but didn't know how to support us.  With Momcology, you can get the support you need from people who have been there.  It is easy to send out a quick note asking for advice or support.  The kind words or knowledge from others who have been through this are priceless.  I am so glad I found this community.

Robin Chambers

In my 5+ years experience dealing with childhood cancer, I would say the most helpful coping mechanism has been connecting with other parents dealing with the very same issues I deal with every day. To have the support, even if just in the virtual world, of someone that “gets” why or how you feel the way you do. It doesn’t matter if it is 3a.m. and you are scared about your sick child’s sudden symptoms, you are worried about how your other children are dealing with this journey or you are wondering how this will affect your child’s future, someone is likely available that has experienced the same symptom or same emotion. Sometimes saying a praying or reassuring you that you should call the Dr. is all you need. I find it especially rewarding to be able to offer help to another family in need. That is where a group like Momcology comes into play. At any moment, in any day, you can reach out to seek help or offer support to another family dealing with childhood cancer. Truly a remarkable experience to connect with others during such a seriously, life-changing event. 

Wendy Marecle

Momcology was a game changer for me. Where I live, most of the other families live two hours away. Momcology gave me connection and community where, in my region, that's a hard thing to create. Momcology also gave me a goal to be the community to these distant, local families. 

When a parent must go through this alone, confidence, self assurance, stability are lacking and stress is way up simply because this is a new uncharted territory. But when you give that parent more legs (or peers) to stand on, who are at various stages of the same trial, that parent can feel more successful knowing that these life-altering decisions have been made and felt by others too

Julie James

This past weekend I had the honor of sharing time and space with 15 beautifully wounded and stunningly courageous women. We were are all so different on the surface - carrying life’s cuts and bruises each a bit differently. Our roots differing so much that the likelihood of our meeting on another occasion would be rarer than the thread of darkness that wound its way through our lives and ultimately brought us to one another. This retreat was more than a little (though admittedly much needed) escape, it was the opportunity to connect with other women and with ourselves. To take time to remember who we were before our worlds exploded and figure out where the women we once knew fit in to the lives we are now living. Momcology Retreats provide an open, trusting, gentle and encouraging environment that allowed me to form lifelong relationships as well as to find a deeper, centered and more forgiving relationship with myself – these are gifts far greater than I could have ever imagined. My deepest gratitude to Momcology, Children’s Cancer Research Fund and Pinky Swear Foundation for bringing me 14 new sisters to travel this bumpy road of life with, and for bringing me back to myself.

Cat Paciente

Peer support for parents of children diagnosed with cancer is important because we feel "normal" in the company of others who truly feel our pain, struggles or even joys that might not be as significant to others. The chance to form friendships with other moms going through similar experiences helped me immensely to get through each day when we started this journey. It also gives me great joy to be able to offer support to moms just starting out their journey with cancer. Momcology offers the platform to be able to do this. I am very thankful!

Erge-Edgu Fry

Momcology is important because it truly takes a village to get through pediatric cancer. It is paramount to have emotional support through such a trying time. You just can't beat a mother's intuition, and it is incredibly helpful to be able to contact other mothers 24/7 to find out if they've been through something similar and how they got through it or just get a virtual hug and encouragement. 

Peer support for parents of children diagnosed with pediatric cancer is important, because medical workers can only tell you so much. They know how to lovingly take care of the children and prescribe the right medications, but it's the mothers, caring for the children, who have learned how to take care of different symptoms. Their knowledge is incredibly powerful to other mothers. Other friends and family seem to have a hard time coming up with the right words to say, but other moms "who know" always seem to get it right.

Melissa Wilson

Before the retreat, I nearly cancelled several times. I had to force myself to go because I have a hard time being kind to myself. I was greeted immediately with love and acceptance. Over the course of the weekend, I bonded with the women there like I never have with anyone. We became sisters that weekend. I learned more about myself in that two days than I have been willing to admit for a very long time. I left feeling more pampered, loved, accepted, peaceful, hopeful, happy and supported than I ever have at any other time in my life. I feel good about where I am, where I'm going and what I need to do. I feel stronger and more confident. I have a deep gratitude in my heart for the women who made this happen, the sponsors who made it possible and the group of women who became my soul sisters. Thank you!!!

Beth Cook

When you hear the words, "your child has cancer", your world comes to a screeching halt. You gaze out the window at the freeways and the bustling city below and realize that it is indeed ONLY your world that has suddenly stopped spinning. You are thrown into the world of confusing medical terms and mile long medication lists, although you never signed up for medical school. Momcology provides online support from other parents who are navigating the terrifying journey of childhood cancer. It is important to me because nobody truly understand how to support a fellow "Momcologist" like someone who has or is currently living in this cruel world of childhood cancer. 

As an attendee of the first Momcology retreat for bereaved moms, I think that Momcology peer support is ABSOLUTELY necessary. When it hurts every day just to wake up, because you tried so hard along with medical teams to save your child’s life only to rock them to sleep forever in the end, it is so so important to know that you are not alone.

Crystal Henshen

Before Momcology, I felt like I was in a sterilized bubble on auto replay every single day. I didn't have that mom to talk to who could encourage me. I was blessed with the most amazing oncologist for my son. She was my person, and I would call her and text her over everything. It wasn't until about 5 months into my son’s treatment, that I heard of Momcology, and it was a game changer for me. I'm sure my son’s oncologist was also relieved!!

I had a place to connect, share my feelings, and not be judged by others who didn't know exactly what I was going through. I had a place I could ask questions about treatment, side-effects, and a place to feel normal again. Our life was trips to the hospital and keeping a sterile home. No visitors could come in, and I felt like I was losing my identity. Not until I found Momcology, was I able to share hope with other moms. Every mom needs someone to just listen, and I found my place. Momcology is my saving grace, and I share it with every single new mom I meet.

Misty Day

Simply stated, Momcology is important to me because it changed my life. My son is on the autism spectrum and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) at age 3. For the first two and a half years or so that he was on treatment, I searched high and low, looking for someone else – anyone else - who had a child with both cancer and autism. Just one "someone" who could understand the unique obstacles we had been facing. Eventually, I made contact with one mom in Arizona (I live in PA) who had a son with autism and ALL! She immediately referred me to Momcology. Over the next few months, I found six more moms like me, spread out across the country, and from there the Special Needs subgroup was born. I haven't had the privilege to meet those moms in person yet, but I hope to one day. They understand every high and every low of this life like very few other people can. And I never would have found them without Momcology. For that, I am eternally grateful.

Momcology support for parents of children diagnosed with cancer is important because raising a child with a life threatening illness is very isolating. When your child is fighting to stay alive, you fight with them. Often people who were close to you "before cancer" drift away for one reason or another. It's a hard life to live, and not one any of us would choose willingly. Momcology is a place where we can share questions, worries, frustrations, sorrow and joy with people who have real life experience "walking in your shoes". I would not be the same person I am today without the comfort, support and advice I've received from the diverse group of parents I've met through Momcology.

Beth Kerr

For me, Momcology has been my lifeline during the most difficult time of my life. When I first heard the words no parent wants to hear “your child has cancer” I had no one to turn to for support and certainly didn’t know anyone that had been through this before. I was terrified for my son and felt alone and isolated. Through Momcology, I found the support, understanding and connection that was so needed as a mom with a child with cancer. When the caretaker of a chronically ill child feels supported, this in turn helps the whole family be strong and heal together. Thank you Momcology for making this connection happen, I honestly don’t know how else I would have made it through my son Alex’s two years of cancer treatment.

Peer support for parents of children diagnosed with cancer is essential. No one understands better what you are going through than another cancer mom. When my son was first diagnosed, I was surprised and hurt by how many people that I thought would be there for us were not. Momcology filled that need for me. When I am worried, stressed or upset, I know I have my cancer moms through Momcology that will help me through. Knowing that I have this amazing group of women to count on, has given me peace and comfort during the most difficult time of my life. For me the peer support of Momcology became even more of a reality when I attended a Momcology retreat in April of 2015. Upon meeting each other at the retreat, the 9 of us immediately felt connected and became family, our own little tribe, and still are today. I have to say that Momcology has created an amazing and essential support system for cancer moms both with their online community, support programs and especially the retreats. Every cancer mom out there needs to know about Momcology.

Julie Martin

Momcology gives me a place to go when my worry keeps me up at night, or when I need to feel connected to other moms who share in this battle. It provides me a safe space to air my concerns, that other friends or family may not understand, with others who truly do. Momcology also allows me to share those small milestones - like finally having some peach fuzz on his head - with a community of people who understand their significance in our lives. Momcology keeps me connected to a community of people who I can truly relate to, and would not have a connection with otherwise.

This battle is so isolating: it cuts you off from your friends, traps you in your home, and can make you truly afraid. Peer support is crucial to our ability to parent our children through this difficult phase in their lives. Through Momcology, I can instantly be in contact with another parent in almost the exact same shoes, the value of that connection is immeasurable.

Jillian Goldman

Before Momcology, I was lost in the cancer world. When Mason was diagnosed, I had no one to talk to about the anger I felt and what I could've done to prevent this. Momcology helped me understand that those feelings are normal and hearing other women's stories and how they cope was life-changing. I've leaned on these women when I had nowhere else to go, and they have leaned on me in their time of need. Momcology is vital to the healing, transformation and courageous journey families go through after a cancer diagnosis. My only regret is not finding Momcology sooner.

While anyone can sympathize when your child is diagnosed with cancer, there is something comforting in the empathy from another cancer family. When you hear the words "You child has cancer" your entire world changes. You have to become a stronger advocate for your child; essentially becoming their nurse, learn medical terminology and what medications work/don't work for them. Support from other women is vital because we all have the mother's instinct to protect our child and that drive/force is fierce. The support I've received for various marital, social, medical and day-to-day questions from Momcology is irreplaceable. The love, compassion and friendship I have found through the Retreat I attended saved my marriage, changed my outlook on life and helped me be a better caretaker/mother/wife and most importantly, woman.

Nikki Kleman

There are very few "silver linings" of a childhood cancer diagnosis,but finding Momcology has been the best thing that has happened to my family since Ellie was diagnosed with leukemia two years ago. The friendships that I've made with other mothers have helped ground me and inspire me during the hardest time in my life. My kids benefit because I have the input of thousands of other mothers whenever a question or issue comes up. And my husband loves that fact that my Momcology connections have helped give me a sense of purpose and well-being that spreads out into our everyday life.

Feeling isolated and scared makes caring for a critically ill child an even more impossible task... once parents feel supported emotionally, by others who can truly understand what they are experiencing, they are able to bring their best and healthiest self to fight. Momcology brings together parents who are in treatment all over the country and world- enabling us to quickly share new ideas and information. When primary caregivers are informed and inspired, we are empowered and proactive with our children's care.

Miriam Matz

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