Circle the Wagons
by Lynn Eib
I remember so well the first cancer support group meeting I attended. I was 36 years old and working as a reporter for a local newspaper. I had recently written a story about our community hospital’s new support group and interviewed its facilitator, Mary. Two months later when I showed up at a meeting, Mary naturally assumed I was visiting the group as a follow-up to my published article. “How sweet that you would come to our meeting,” she said with a big smile. “Actually, I was diagnosed with colon cancer last month,” I said.
Cancer Care Connection
Established in 2001, Cancer Care Connection is a free national telephone resource for cancer survivors and their families, caregivers, coworkers, and others affected by cancer. A team of Cancer Resource Coaches® responds to callers with psychosocial (non-medical) questions and concerns without regard to cost or time.
The Role of Social Workers in Cancer Care
by Kathryn Brzozowski, LCSW
As a cancer survivor, you have a large team of professionals on your side. At this point in your journey, your body is going through a lot, which is why you have a group of competent and caring physicians, nurses, dietitians, pharmacists, and radiation therapists all working together to provide the best cancer treatment possible. However, it is important to also keep in mind that a diagnosis of cancer doesn’t only impact your body. Cancer can affect a person and their loved ones on many different levels – mentally, emotionally, interpersonally, practically, and financially.
Talking to Your Doctor About Cancer Care
Talking with doctors about cancer and cancer treatments can feel like learning a new language, and people facing cancer often need help to understand their treatment options and the risks and benefits of each choice. “People are making life and death decisions that may affect their survival, and they need to know what they’re getting themselves into. Cancer treatments and tests can be serious. Patients need to know what kind of side effects they might experience as a result of the treatment they undergo.”
The Oral Cancer Foundation
The Oral Cancer Foundation is a national nonprofit organization designed for advocacy and service, created to promote change and save lives through prevention, education, research, and patient support. Approximately 37,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year.
Some Dreams Do Come True
Sometimes a positive diversion can help improve the outlook of a child whose life is touched by cancer (either they have cancer or a parent with cancer). Many organizations provide activities, adventures, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for children coping with cancer. The following is a partial listing of organizations that offer different ways to make wishes and dreams come true.
Free Mobile Apps for Cancer Survivors Now Available
The American Society of Clinical Oncology has released Cancer.Net Mobile for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch – a free app designed to help people with cancer and their caregivers plan and manage cancer treatment and care. Cancer.Net Mobile is available for download in Apple’s App Store.
Cleaning For a Reason™
Every 90 minutes, a woman who has cancer is matched with a housekeeping service that will provide a free professional housecleaning. Thanks to Cleaning For A Reason, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing free housecleaning services for women undergoing cancer treatments.