Navigating cancer

In the past 20 years I have had the privilege of working as the psychological facilitator for the Breast Cancer Survivor Navigator Program. During this time, numerous women have volunteered their time and energy to share their own breast cancer experience and knowledge with newly diagnosed women.

It was an amazing experience to work with women who gave generously of their time to help them navigate the challenge of breast cancer mentally, physically and emotionally. They have made a difference for so many. They directed women to resources, helped formulate questions for medical personnel, educated about normal emotions, listened, validated and provided an objective listening ear. They shared tips that came from real life experience.

As I leave the program I wanted to send out one final salute to all these wonderful women who volunteered over the years. It is indeed heartening to know there are people who understand and act on the concept of compassion, action and connection.

It is said that “volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live” — Unknown author

Mary Raymer, LMSW


Celebrate the truth

We need truth for a functioning democracy. Mueller’s report supports what newspapers say, and this administration’s lies should be called what they are: lies! Trump and his backers must acknowledge they are the fake news. Sanders admitted she lied to Americans. Alternative facts are lies!

Trump’s lawyer says “Nothing wrong with taking information from Russians.” Russia flooded social media with lies about Clinton. Pizzagate should’ve been called what it was: lies. Its pushers didn’t research or they would’ve known there was no basement. Trump backers say more than 300,000 illegal immigrants cross our borders daily. This wasn’t true. When one is willing to believe lies, one is willing to give up democracy.

Bill Barr acted as Trump’s personal attorney and not attorney general of all Americans. Barr’s summary of Mueller’s investigation is inaccurate. Mueller’s report intended for Congress to decide on obstruction, because of the non-law that a sitting president can’t be charged with a crime. Mueller’s report provides evidence of Trump’s interference in the Russian probe. Barr gave Trump’s lawyers the report before Congress and, if Trump is innocent as he and Barr claim, why not release it to the public? We paid for it! I want truth and hope journalists keep going after it.

Mary O’Neill

Presque Isle