Ulman House: A Magnificent Lighthouse

By Julia, Ulman House Resident
The first time you hear those three spectacularly awful words, a thousand questions pop into your mind. The doctor says, “You have cancer,” and suddenly the way forward is a misty forest path with echoey, noxious voices whispering.
“What does this mean?”
“How did this happen?”
“What is treatment going to look like?”
“What sort of side effects are there?”
And once your brain catches up to the fact that this is reality now, the logistical questions start pouring in. This whole new batch of considerations is just as scary as the first, with answers that aren’t always as clear cut as trusting doctors to know their stuff.
For me and my family, that’s when Ulman House came into the picture like a magnificent lighthouse.

My social worker at Johns Hopkins was the first to mention Ulman House and connect us with the wonderful people working there.
From that point, it has been a touchstone through my treatments, offering a home base to return to after long, draining days.
It has been a constant comfort to have some place close to go back to where I know that I can find quiet on bad days and companionship on good.
Family dinners offer a fantastic opportunity to connect with other people staying at the house and with the volunteers who provide a myriad of delicious meals.
Even on days when my cumulative treatments are starting to make themselves known, it’s wonderful to hear volunteer’s stories and connect with people, forgetting for a little while the day to day troubles that come with life with cancer.
I know my parents have also greatly enjoyed these opportunities, especially as it gives them a chance to connect with other parents. Everybody needs support systems though this, and sometimes that’s as simple as being able to commiserate with others going down this same bumpy road.
In my time at Ulman, I have been consistently grateful for the peace of mind that it has fostered and everything else it provides. It truly was a lighthouse in a confusing, tumultuous time and I know it will be the same for other families as they come face to face with those terrifying three little words.
So, good luck and best wishes to all those on their own cancer journeys. And thank you, Ulman House, for all the support and help you provide.


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