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East Texans take a break from cancer

Stacey Spivey

POSTED: Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 4:31pm

UPDATED: Thursday, April 24, 2014 - 5:27pm

On April 22-24 The East Texas Medical Center's cancer institute is having a retreat for East Texas cancer patients and survivors.  Pine Cove Wood's Resort in Tyler is hosting the three day retreat. Patients say its gives them a chance to relax, and rekindle friendships they've made over the years. They do arts and crafts, watch local bands perform, and comedy skits. However most would agree, the food is the best part. It also allows newcomers to share their experiences, and hear other's stories. First year, Tina Reed, shared her story with KETK.

"The doctor came in and said um well its what you expected, and its cancer," said Reed. After 13 years of symptoms and seeing doctors, in August, Reed finally got her answer. She said she was ready for whatever was next, but her husband didn't take it as well and said, "he didn't remember anything after that, but I was ready to get on the ball because it had been so many years of me worrying about it."

Reed immediately began treatments to fight her cancer, and said "at first it was horrifying and scary and sleepless nights and the fear overwhelmed me." Determined to win this battle, Reed found strength within and from her daughter. As Reed is still going through treatments, a friend told her about ETMC's 'Great Getaway.'

Janice Terry, an ETMC cancer therapist, said, "people have been coming for many years and are just able to reconnect with their stories and do arts and crafts and do activities, and sing and laugh." After only being there for a day, Reed said she is enjoying every minute of relaxation, and camaraderie. "No ones afraid to talk about cancer or say the word or.. Everyone's understanding and compassionate," said Reed. She told KETK she doesn't want to leave. "I've met so many new friends, so I'll definitely be coming back."

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