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How free counseling services helped one central Kentucky cancer survivor

Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 3:57 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - When someone hears the words, “you have cancer,” many times the first thought is “how will we treat it?” The plan of attack focuses on ridding the body of cancer, but many times there is another treatment just as important, and that is a focus on a patient’s mental well-being.

Everyone finds peace in their own way, and when Rose Thiedich of Nicholasville and her horse Prince are together, nothing else seems to really matter.

You would never know she was diagnosed 10 years ago with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

“About every three years it seems to want to come back and so I have had some different treatments,” said Thiedich.

Through it all, Thiedich has always had her horses. They’re a bit of therapy for her.

“Horses were what kept me going through my initial chemotherapy, I had to get up every day and care for the horses, and that kept me going,” said Thiedich.

While she does not dwell on it, the thought of her cancer returning is sometimes in the back of her mind.

This past year, the pandemic coupled with cancer and losing several people close to her made her realize her horses were not therapy enough.

“I realized just making the appointment and just realizing I felt different, I felt like I was having trouble dealing with the grief and the losses and I just reached out,” said Thiedich.

Thiedich made a call to an oncology social worker at the University of Kentucky’s Markey Cancer Center.

The free service is offered to patients to help them work through their feelings during and after cancer.

It’s something Joan Scales, a clinical social worker, says can make a huge difference.

“It’s going to help improve just how we can adapt and cope to our current circumstances and situations as we progress through treatment. We want to make sure that we are addressing everything,” said Joan Scales, Psych-oncology program director.

Scales says there should be no shame in reaching out to get help.

“Patients who have worry about reoccurrence or survivorship or ‘how am I going to get through my treatment and I don’t feel like I have anyone to talk to what can I do,’ reach out,” said Scales.

For Thiedich, the call was a lifeline to feel herself again. A link to hope in her own cancer journey.

“Just making that step to reach out I felt better, I felt lighter,” said Thiedich.

One of the reasons Thiedich says she reached out was the counseling was free, and she says that is huge because of the financial strain cancer can sometimes have on your life.

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