I instantly liked Eleanor when I met her. She pays attention to you when you are speaking to her. She cares, is thoughtful and helpful.
She manages the Cancer Support Now Helpline which is available seven days a week for those in the community who need answers to questions about their or a family member’s cancer. She is available 9 am to 9 pm 7 days a week by calling: 505-255-0405 or 855-955-3500. This is what she told me about her work with the helpline:
“I refer callers, whether caregivers or patient/survivors to groups, or to one on one support or when neither seems appropriate I provide support to them in the moment, and on an ongoing basis, and whenever they need, sometimes for years.
Though cancer issues are what prompts someone to make the first call, supporting them becomes whatever they need…whether its referrals to other providers, or ongoing emotional support…about cancer but also about anything.
There are some people who need support but ask me to please call them regularly, rather than initiating the call themselves, and I’m happy to do that.
I support people on hospice and people who have a loved one on hospice, and I continue to support people who have lost a loved one to cancer for as long as they need, sometimes years.
Cancer often brings up issues of PTSD because new trauma tends to reawaken old trauma. I have experience with PTSD and often support people who are working through it. I have referred some with PTSD to counseling, though I continue to support them as well.
I love this work.”
It is easy to see that she does love her work. Beyond her work at the Helpline she has so much to her credit.
- She has written and illustrated over 30 published children’s books. When Mama Wore A Hat was distributed free to cancer treatment centers across the country by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. It is now distributed free by Cancer Services of New Mexico in every child’s gift bag made available to all adults treated with cancer who have children in their lives.
- She was a professional dancer in a NYC company.
- She loves to write. She believes,”writing allows us to follow a train of thought to completion in a way that expresses an inner wisdom that isn’t available in normal conversation.”
- For 10 years, she was a Writer in Residence in the Rio Grande Writing Project at UNM, a local site of the National Writing Project.
- She has been a community support for many writers. She has given author talks in Children Literature classes at UNM. She has done the same in many elementary schools around the city.
- Her writing experience spawned the idea of writing support groups for cancer survivors and for caregivers. She and Anjie Cureton developed the two ongoing writing support groups at UNM Cancer Center. They each meet once a week: Journaling Support Group,(caregiver, 255-0405) and Survivors Writing Together (255-0405).
“I believe that cancer, even with its traumas and losses, gives us each the chance to connect with a higher wisdom in ourselves if we do the work, and if we reach out for support in it.”
It is easy to see why I like Eleanor so very much.