Nancy's List for Cancer Help
We all need to hear SURVIVOR STORIES! Not just any survivor story, but sometimes we need to hear stories of a person living 18 years after being diagnosed with a stage 4 cancer!!! That person is Nancy Novack.
“Nancy’s List is my love letter to the universe, an expression of my profound gratitude for my miraculous recovery from stage 4 ovarian cancer … and my amazing life.” — Nancy Novack
MCF's Favorite Financial Resources From Nancy's List
Nancy's Survivor Story
As an 18 year survivor of Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer, what is the most important piece of wisdom you can share with others diagnosed and given a difficult prognosis?
Open your heart. My best bit of wisdom. So many have asked, “What are your tricks? Did you have a magic potion?” I think I opened my heart to the many incredible patients and healers I met along my journey. It was magnificent.
Always hold the possibility that you will survive and do everything to make that happen. Believe in miracles. Form your own personal relationship with your cancer … ask your body how to heal. It knows. Don’t quit.
Share your gratitude. All the amazing people who serve the needs of the cancer community personally are “angels in our midst” … honor them as they honor you. Community is real. It worked for me.
What can you share about the importance of support, community and helping others?
When I started Nancy’s List, it was a “call to action” for the community in which I lived (Mill Valley, California) to care for the many families who were living with cancer. I gave a big party in Sausalito with the help of a group of “Young 30s” who were freaked out that their friends were getting breast cancer although they all ate kale, went to yoga, and thought they were invulnerable. I said at the party, “This
will take a village and I want to create a magnificent one.” I put out clipboards with “I will walk your dog, take you to treatment, bring your family healthy meals, prune your roses, etc.” The 600 party guests signed up and showed up. The whole San Francisco Bay Area including the media became involved and offered many many gifts and services. And the kids and the teens “adopted” families and the children in the local cancer hospitals. It was a beautiful thing. This was the commitment of Nancy’s List.
I love this quote on your site, “If you are on antidepressants, double them. If you are not on them, get on them. And find yourself a solid psychologist, preferably one who has experienced cancer. This will be a rocky road. You will need all the support in the world.” I can relate. What else gets you through each difficult day?
I keep coming back to my attitude of gratitude. I know I survived terrific odds. The message to me was “You better do something really powerful for the world.” So I spend my days talking with people who are living with cancer, sending them resources to mitigate the stress and deepen the healing, living by example, lending a hand and heart and hope when they have lost theirs. That is my thank you note for my life.
What are your top 5 resources on Nancy’s List?
Interesting question. There are so many subscribers … 23,000 people around the world .. and they use Nancy’s List in a myriad of ways.
At one point, it seemed I was “famous” for my research about financial resources for the cancer community with a zillion postings categorized by diagnosis, population, ethnicity, and more. This is a very hot topic since no one in the world can afford to have cancer. I have done a bunch of podcasts and seminars on that subject. It is a huge listing, a bit overwhelming, but my point is that there is money out there and we just need to explore the possibilities and apply for help. (Better to get someone else to do it for you since it is a daunting task). During the time of Covid, I researched “where is the $$ for cancer patients?” and found great resources. People were very pleased with that.
Right now, I am posting a new Directory of the many Integrative Practitioners and Healing Centers who focus on the cancer community. I have created profiles for over 1,200 persons and organizations who offer their services. This is invaluable not just for the persons living with cancer but for the social workers and patient navigators and all integrative oncologists. I especially like this project because it is so needed. Hopefully, we love our oncologists AND healing happens in mysterious ways and oftentimes needs to be complemented with modalities that heal our hearts and souls.
I love the stories of Hope and Gratitude as well as the book I co-authored with 42 authors who are living with cancer. The book I Am With You: Love Letters to Cancer Patients is written for the newly diagnosed patient and has been offered to patients around the country by the hospitals where they are treated.The stories encourage courage, strengthen the will to live, hold hearts and hands, and will get one through the night when you are weepy. It is a beautiful testament to the spirit and generosity of cancer patients who want to give back.
My favorite resources are all about quality of life … adults can go on free retreats, children and teens and young adults can go to free camps, wish fulfillment organizations to fulfill a family’s wishes.
My super favorite project was Nancy’s Club for kids who are living with cancer, whether it is their own diagnosis of someone they love. I wanted these precious kids to be KIDS, not just cancer kids. So each week, I offered an adventure for these children and teens and their parents. The Bay Area blessed us with tickets to sporting events, concerts, performances, and more. The kids loved sailing on the Bay the very most. They loved the thrills.They squealed. Boats and crews were donated. And the best part, they all became good friends and their own support teams, as did the parents. The kids, most of whom had leukemia or brain cancer, are all alive and well. They still send me updates and thank you notes.
Do you have a top 5 list of products that got you / get you through each day?
I don’t have many products … I would say a few good books (I especially love Rachel Remen’s two books), some really good conversations each day with honest people, and playing with my puppy. I do eat better. I do better skin care. I do live with an open heart.