Meet a Helpline Volunteer: Dorothea

Meet Dorothea

Why did you decide to be a SHARE Breast Cancer Helpline volunteer?
Being a Helpline Volunteer, for me, is a way to be part of something meaningful. In many ways it is a good fit with my former work as a social worker.  It is particularly gratifying if and when a caller finds our conversation helpful.

When were you diagnosed, and what was your diagnosis?
I was diagnosed in 1981. At the time I was told I had a “garden-variety” estrogen-positive (ER+) breast cancer, although it was Stage 3 because of nodal involvement.

Where are you now in your experience with breast cancer?
I am long past active treatment but still go for annual mammograms followed by an appointment with a breast surgeon.

What did you learn about yourself while going through your breast cancer experience?
The only thing I learned about myself through my breast cancer experience was that I gratefully followed doctor’s orders and preferred to know as little as necessary about the disease as possible, as I would immediately think I had whatever came up.

In addition to volunteering for SHARE, what else do you do? What do you (or did you) do for work?
I was a social worker. Now retired, I am a member of 2 book groups and take piano lessons, but I have problems getting myself to the piano to practice.

What do you do for fun?
I feel very fortunate to live in New York City and be able to take advantage of its cultural life. I feel like I am making up for lost time going to the ballet and theatre now. I continue to enjoy concerts and art exhibitions.

Call the Breast Cancer Helpline at 844.ASK.SHARE to speak to a peer like Dorothea.