Counseling Helping Cancer Patients To Live With The Disease

BEL AIR, Md. (WJZ) — While millions are raised every year for cancer research, much less comes in for the counseling of patients fighting the disease.

As Mike Schuh reports, some in Harford County are trying to tip the balance back the other way.

She didn’t mean to, but Amanda Hichkad made a grown man cry. She is a good triathlete, an even better mom and a great cancer patient.

“When you hear you have cancer, you don’t hear anything else,” Hichkad said.

She heard “cervical cancer” and that she had a 95 percent cure rate.

Her treatment worked. Partially, she says, because of people like Patsy Astarita–a social worker who has important work.

“Addressing the emotional and psychological impact of cancer, which is tremendous,” said Astarita.

“Help you live your life and focus on living with cancer rather than dying from cancer,” Hichkad said.

Hichkad took yoga lessons with others fighting cancer. She also learned how good food will help.

“You always begin where the person is,” Astarita said.

But a short time ago, the person Hichkad is became the person she was.

“I have Stage IV metastatic cervical cancer. So it’s spread, unfortunately,” she said. “I made the five percent. I didn’t stay in the 95 percent.”

Chemotherapy stopped working. She is no longer fighting the cancer.

“I’ve got three kids and I’ve got a fantastic husband and I get days with them that I might never have had if I hadn’t known about this,” said Hichkad.

Counseling has given her strength, outlook and peace. Now Hichkad’s name is on the inaugural fundraiser to pay for Cancer LifeNet’s free counseling.

Schuh: “Are you going to be here for walk number two?”

Hichkad: “No guarantees. I’ve got no guarantees of that. And nobody does, but… but I have more reason to think not.”

The fundraiser goal is $40,000. The walk is May 17 at 8 a.m. at Ripken Stadium off I-95 in Aberdeen.

For more information, click here.

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