Mike’s Story: ‘I’m in a Much Better Place Now’

Sharing common bond, enjoying comforting services at Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center
Mike Frances

Mike Frances has one regret about Waterford Place Cancer Resource Center — that he didn’t start using the services and programs sooner.

When Mike was diagnosed with cancer, his doctors at RUSH University Medical Center in Chicago told him about “this really neat cancer center” in the suburbs. Mike lives in Oswego so Waterford Place is close to his home. He took a tour and it piqued his interest.

“I got a couple of massages there and thought ‘great,’” he says. 

But that was the extent of his participation — until he joined the men’s support group. Then, he was encouraged to try additional services after hearing other men speak of their good experiences.

“It was a firsthand connection with someone telling me what they got out of it,” he explains. 

Comforting services

When the other participants spoke about how great sound therapy was, he thought, “I should try that” and asked himself, “Why aren’t I using these services?” He has been taking advantage of them since, including acupuncture, sound therapy, massage and facials. 

 “They’re very comforting, relaxing and destressing,” he says. “Now I wish I had done more earlier. It’s amazing how many good things they’re doing for people.”

Funded by philanthropic donations, Waterford Place offers services and support — at no cost to participants — to anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis. Mike describes it as a stress-free place to go and says he appreciates the chance to talk with other men who are going through something similar. They have a “common, unwritten bond,” he explains. 

Mike’s treatment included radiation for his head and neck cancer, which affected his saliva glands. His doctors suggested acupuncture post-treatment, but he would have had to travel downtown for the treatment. Reluctant to make the drive and deal with traffic, he tried the acupuncture at Waterford Place. 


“The convenience is tremendous,” he says, and he believes the acupuncture is accelerating the recovery of his saliva glands.

While Mike expected treatment to be difficult, he didn’t realize how challenging post-treatment life was going to be, both physically and mentally. “The services offered definitely have helped me get through post-treatment,” he says. “I’m in a much better place now than a year ago.”

His advice to others is to try out the programs and services that are offered at Waterford Place. 

“Just do it,” he says. “Get involved. Use the resources that are there. It can’t hurt and, most likely, will help you.”

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