Friday, March 25, 2011

one of the many places that can help

According to statistics, almost no american will get through life without being closely affected by cancer. Whether that means you will get cancer or a family member, and no doubt some of your friends and colleagues. There are many places that can help you get through a cancer diagnosis and treatment including state and local agencies, american cancer society, komen, avon, livestrong, hospitals and schools. I received a lot of free help at my local teaching/university/hospital in utah. I've pasted today's livestrong blog below because it shows some of the ways it can help you. I'm not sure how their services work for previvors, but it is worth checking out.

Navigating Treatment Options

Herb called because the doctor told him to “get his things in order”. Steve emailed because he had no idea what his doctor said. Larry said he had no money to pay for his chemotherapy. Peggy called because she was so depressed that she couldn’t get out of bed. And Jennifer couldn’t make her doctor understand that she was worried about a recurrence.
All of these people got help through ONE phone call to LIVESTRONG Navigation Services. Most people ask, “What are “Navigation Services”? The answer is simple…..they are just fancy words that mean “We can Help.”
Herb is receiving ongoing consultation with a cancer nurse who told him there was hope and she helped him get a second opinion. He is currently excited about the clinical trial that he is enrolled in and hopeful that he will be around to see his grandchildren.
As a young man, Steve was especially concerned about how prostate cancer treatments would affect his quality of life. He received extensive education sessions and working with a cancer nurse, he created a framework to make his decision. He completed his treatment and has no regrets about his decision.
Larry didn’t realize that there were financial and insurance counselors to help him apply for assistance. He is currently undergoing treatments and getting most of it paid for.
Peggy was so overwhelmed with sadness that it was affecting her family. She is now talking with counselors at LIVESTRONG and signed up to get a peer mentor to share her journey. And Jennifer decided that she could talk to her doctor after all, without being intimidated. She did and got the results that she wanted – she is scheduled for an MRI sooner than planned.
A cancer diagnosis is difficult to face and very difficult to understand. The medical terms are like another language and the treatment choices make you dizzy; all this at the very same time you are afraid and anxious if you are going to live or going to die. Finally, getting cancer costs a lot of money and most people don’t have enough. LIVESTRONG and their partners are here to “navigate” you through this overwhelming situation that cancer creates.
LIVESTRONG partners with the NavigateCancer Foundationto provide you with free consultation services about your cancer. NavigateCancer are experienced cancer nurses who are experts at helping you become empowered, educated and an active member of your health care team. They teach you about your specific tumor and about the options you can choose. They translate your pathology reports, scans and medical documents so you can better understand where your cancer is and where it is not. Most importantly, they help you weigh the pros and cons of these big decisions from a decision framework that they help you create. They will make you feel confident about asking the right questions and getting prepared to talk with your doctors. They will connect you to resources that you need to know about. And they will help you find a qualified doctor for a second opinion or be a sounding board to see if you are on the right track. They are with you for the journey; available both online and on the telephone.
The new LIVESTRONG Navigation Center in Austin, Texas will be a “one-stop” shop where the abundance of free services is only matched by the generosity of spirit you will find there. All are welcome; those that are newly diagnosed or those that are survivors, those that are caregivers or those who are family members, all can come to get help to navigate their journey away from cancer.
Sharon M. Bigelow, RN MSN ANP-BC AOCNP®
Executive Director
NavigateCancer Foundation

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