This week we have a guest blog from a helpful WhatNexter Nancebeth. Nancy is a Breast Cancer survivor that has been through a lot during her journey. While fighting cancer she discovered there are things that a cancer patient can use help with. Financial resources, social resources and a myriad of others. She accumulated this list that might help others along the way.
While fighting breast cancer, I spent a lot of sleepless nights online. I found some great resources for cancer patients while I was surfing the internet and also while chatting with my fellow chemo recipients at the infusion center. The following are just some of the myriad of resources available to cancer patients in varying stages of treatment and recovery.
Cleaning For A Reason cleaningforareason.org provides free house cleaning services once a month for four months while a cancer patient is undergoing chemotherapy treatments. I utilized this service and it really was so helpful. The last thing I wanted to do on the few days I had any energy was clean my house. Cleaning For A Reason matches you with a company in your area to clean your home.
Compassion Partners 407-396-5320, (no website is available) is an organization that provides free tickets to either Sea World or Universal Studios Orlando for adults with life changing illnesses like cancer. The patient or caregiver writes a letter requesting the tickets and your doctor confirms your diagnosis. Compassion Partners obtains tickets for you. I was able to enjoy two days at Universal Studios with my family and forget about my illness for a bit. My oncologist had written a letter requesting a handicapped pass as well so I wouldn't have to wait in those long lines, as I fatigued so easily. When I got to Guest Services and handed the cast member my confirmation from Compassion Partners and my letter from my doctor, she was so helpful and told me the doctor's letter wasn't necessary, as I was to receive a "Golden Ticket" with my admission tickets to Universal. The "Golden Ticket" is an assistance pass which basically bypasses the lines for you.
The United Special Sportsman Alliance childswish.com is a wish-granting organization that specializes in providing children and adults with disabilities or advanced illness an outdoor adventure of their dreams. Trips include hunting, fishing, water sports, and other activities.
Casting for Recovery castingforrecovery.org is an organization that provides two and a half day retreats for women with breast cancer. The organization provides fly fishing lessons and breast cancer information in a setting that lessens isolation, providing a recreational activity with both physical and emotional benefits. They have not started accepting 2013 applications for the retreat in my state, however, I plan to apply.
First Descents firstdescents.org is an organization that provides an outdoor adventure for someone going through any stage of cancer treatment. You can choose from surfing, rock climbing and white water rafting. It helps if you can pay for your transportation to the location of your trip but if not, they help with that as well. I applied for a trip in 2013 and am waitlisted.
Look Good, Feel Better lookgoodfeelbetter.org is a non-medical, brand-neutral public service program that teaches beauty techniques to cancer patients to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. The program is open to all women who are in treatment for cancer.
France Luxe goodwishesscarves.org will provide one beautiful It's a Wrap© or Good Wishes Scarf to anyone experiencing the thinning or loss of hair as a result of illness or treatment. Their goal is to in some small way ease the journey, provide a small bit of comfort and share the power of positive thinking and good wishes with these individuals on their path to healing and recovery. I received one of these scarves when I lost my hair to chemo and it is gorgeous and so soft and silky. Along with the scarf, I received a card signed personally by all of the staff at France Luxe. It was so touching to know that these people who don’t even know me were wishing me well and sending encouragement.
Peninsula Medical reidsleeve.com will send, at no charge, an alert band to any patient with or at risk of developing lymphedema. After a mastectomy and lymph node surgery patients are forever at risk for lyphedema. Many times a patient is sedated or under anesthesia and can not protect or prevent at risk procedures such as injections, blood draws, IV insertion, or blood pressure readings. A brightly colored lymphedema alert band worn on the wrist will let medical personnel know about the lymphedema risk.
I also found that every wig shop in my area gave me a 10% - 20% discount when I told them my head was shaved due to hair loss from cancer. In speaking with other cancer patients I have found that most wig shops will provide a discount to cancer patients if you just ask.
Having cancer sucks, but there are people and organizations out there that try to make the journey through diagnosis and treatment to recovery easier. Take advantage of them, that’s what they are there for.
Have you found some additional resources cancer patients might be able to use? List them below in the comments section.