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Resources for Breast Cancer Patients & Survivors

Did you know about the many resources available for Breast Cancer patients and survivors? I learned about these resources from Cancer Treatment Center of America (CTCA) Cancer Fighters group. I absolutely love this organization because they provide more than just care for their patients but valuable resources to help mentally, financials, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. As I mentioned on my special podcast yesterday about Breast Cancer tips and resources below is the list of organizations that provide FREE resources to current and past cancer survivors.

Resources for Cancer Patients List

Lodging:

  • Joe’s House:   www.joeshouse.org (nonprofit organization that helps cancer patients and their families find a place to stay when traveling away from home for medical treatment)
  • American Cancer Society:  www.cancer.org (finds accommodations for cancer patients who must travel for outpatient treatment)
  • HOPE Lodge:  800-227-2345 (gives patients and caregivers a free place to stay while receiving treatment)
  • Cancer Care:   www.cancercare.org (helps with lodging and other financial medical care needs)
  • Keys for HOPE:  www.ecoxplorer.com  (offers cancer patients and their caregivers free hotel rooms if they must travel far from home for treatment)

Transportation:

  • Road to Recovery (American Cancer Society) – 1-800-227-2345 – www.cancer.org – provides transportation to and from treatment for people with cancer who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves.
  • Giving Back/Uber – 1-800-593-7069 – www.uber.com – will help patients find rides to chemo/doctor appointments
  • Miracle Flights – (702) 261-0494 – www.miracleflights.org – provides free flights to those in need of life-changing medical care
  • MERCY MEDICAL ANGELS.  888-675-1405 / mercymedical.org.  Helps find charitable transportation for patients.
  • CORPORATE ANGEL NETWORK.  914-328-1313 / www.corpangelnetwork.org  Cancer patients fly free.
  • Angel Flight at 1-877-621-7177, www.angelflightamerica.org (is supported entirely by the generosity of the volunteer pilots who donate the costs of every flight, tax-deductible donations from individuals and corporations, and grants from foundations)

Retreats:

  • Little Pink House of Hope.  A non profit organization that provides peaceful beachside retreats at no cost to those battling cancer. www.littlepink.org.  Phone 336-213-4733
  • Castaways for Recovery.   Healing retreat for women with cancer.  www.castingforrecovery.org.  Phone:  888-553-3500.
  • Nancy’s List.  Camping retreats.  www.nancyslist.org .  Phone number: not listed. 
  • Harmony Hill Healing Retreat. 
  • Reel Recovery. 
  • Wind River Retreat. 
  • Stowe Weekend of Hope.
  • The Family Cancer Retreat.
  • Camp Make-A Dream.

Other resources:

American Cancer Society – 800-227-2345 offers lots of support in various manners.  Great resource.

The National Cancer Institute is an organization that keeps track of all the cancer hospitals across the United States and may be able to help a patient find treatment or a local second opinion/doctor/cancer specialist/hospital: http://www.cancer.gov  or (800) 422-6237 (offers clinical trials, and disease specific information); their website also has a great dictionary function for medical terms.

Cancer Care at 1-800-813-4673, www.cancercare.org  (offers financial help, education, support groups, talk to a social worker).

Patient Advocate Foundation at 1-800-532-5274, www.patientadvocate.org  (offers financial guide and clinical trials); Patient Access National Foundation, 1-866-316-7263, www.patientaccessnetwork.org  (list of available disease funds)

Needy Meds at www.Needymeds.com  (offers help with medications)

Health Well Foundation at www.halthwellfoundation.org – Helping the underinsured afford critical medical treatments

Medicine Assistance at www.PPARx.org – Helps patients and caregivers with health related needs

RX Assist at 1-800-332-2056, www.rxassist.org  (offers assistance to patients without prescription drug coverage who meet income requirements)

Health Well Foundation, 1-800-675-8416, www.healthwellfoundation.org  (help with prescription medicines)

Medwise at www.medwisehealthcare.com  (offers help to get medications free or at no cost); also Partnership for Prescription Assistance, www.PPARx.org  (offers help with prescription drugs and sometimes patients can get them free or nearly free)

Patient Advocate Foundation’s Co-Pay Relief Patient Assistance Program at 1-866-512-3861, www.copays.org  (offers financial assistance to afford co-payments that are required by insurance companies);

 Helping Patients, 1-800-762-6491, www.helpingpatients.org  (offers links to thousands of patient assistance programs)

National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship’s website you can select “search” to view dozens of links to cancer types, clinical trials, support groups, common side effects, nutrition, and many more resources than I can list here, www.canceradvocacy.org

CANCERCARE CO-PAYMENT ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION.  866-552-6729 / cancercarecopay.org. Helps with co-pays.

CANCER LEGAL RESOURCE CENTER.  866-843-2572 / cancerlegalresources.org.  Free legal information and resources

HEALTHWELL FOUNDATION. 800-675-8416 / healthwellfoundation.org.  Reduces financial barriers to medical care

Cleaning for a Reason – provides free house cleaning for cancer patients.  www.cleaningforareason.org  – 877-337-3348

WhatNext – provides monthly non toxic house cleaning to all cancer patient regardless of type of cancer for up to one year.www.whatnext.com – 800-227-2345

Be sure to listen to Part 1 of my podcast on Breast Cancer Tips and Resources. I share my own testimony, tips, and products that I used to help me during treatment and after treatment.

I will have more resources that will aid you along your journey in cancer treatment and after care. When I learned of these resources I knew in my heart this is information worth sharing with others. Have you listened to my podcast to hear my tips and advice? Was this list of resources helpful?

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When you accept your obstacles

When you conquer your obstacles of Breast Cancer the Warrior in you rises so you will become unstoppable and defeat such a horrific disease. One of the biggest struggles among Black Women who opt to go through chemotherapy that is loosing their hair. We as Black women truly love our hair and the struggle is beyond accepting at times. My first time going through chemotherapy was EXTREMELY harsh and going in blind was an understatement. I wished there were more women like me to help me along the journey. However, there were not a lot of women who looked like me to give me pointers or suggestions on what to do in preparation for the effects of chemo drugs. I would learn it the hard way and it was traumatizing mentally and physically.

In September 2019, I was ashamed of how my hair came out during chemotherapy. It was very devastating to me to go through my hair turning to literally wool and sliding off my head after only one chemo treatment. The women from support group and doctor both said, “Your hair will start to thin and then fall out after the second to third treatment from the same drugs they all had been given. I was totally embarrassed the first time around it made me feel very ugly and isolated. I refused to be seen inside our outside of my home without the scarf or hat. I would not even allow family or friends to see my bald head. It took time for me to get to a place where I was comfortable with the effects of chemotherapy and my outer appearance.

There is no right or wrong way to accept your obstacles. I finally adjusted and realized what I am going through is temporary and it is just hair that will eventually grow back. The one thing I had to accept was that I could not depend on what other women who did not look like me to understand what I was going through. I did reach out to a Black doctor who specialized in dermatology care for women like me going through chemo. She helped me understand what I needed to do to care for my skin, my head, and my body. Your body becomes extremely sensitive to lotions, soaps, facial care, and hair care products.

It would be my second treatment in September of 2020, that would not be embarrassed or feel ashamed about my appearance. It is okay for you to take your time, you don’t need to impressed anyone, or get anyone’s approval on your outlook. This picture is from my second diagnosis with Breast Cancer.

I do recommend that before you undergo chemo to cut your hair down short to avoid the traumatic experience that I went through. The time that you prepare yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally will help you in the long run. I learned a lot from 2019 to 2021 and I am sharing my story as a testimony to help other Black women.

These are products referred to me to use that were very helpful while going through Chemotherapy and Radiation. You must keep your skin moisturize.

  1. Facial cleansers recommended are CerVee Hydrating cleanser, and hydrating moisturizers.
  2. Cetaphil facial cleanser and moisturizing lotion for body and face.
  3. Aveeno Lotions and body wash
  4. Dove for sensitive skin body wash
  5. Shea Butter was a Big help used on my entire body including my head.
  6. Dickerson Witch Hazel facial toner

Articles that I read and researched that you might find helpful

Black Doctor.org https://blackdoctor.org/hair-care-chemotherapy__trashed/ This article is good read as it gives recommendations on how to prepare, how to pamper your hair, scalp during treatments, and what vitamins you should make sure you are taking. That is another blog that I will share this week regarding supplements to take during your treatment that you will benefit from decreased side effects.

Healthlinehttps://www.healthline.com/health/cancer/effects-on-body

Did you find this blog post helpful?

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How does Cancer Diagnosis affects your spirit?

How does hearing you have Breast Cancer affect your spiritual health? From my own personal experience, when I was given my first news in July of 2019 it felt like a punch in my spirit. I was trying to cope and be strong for my daughter who was my biggest concern than being worried about myself. I was worried this disease was going to take me away from my daughter and loved ones. We had been praying hard over the days that led to the results of my biopsy. I questioned my faith, belief, God’s love, and prayers.

How does it affect your spirit?

Cancer can have a huge impact on your spiritual health because it triggers a level of stress that is dangerous for you. Your entire body is in a state of shock when you are told that “I am sorry you have Breast Cancer.” At the exact time in moment, the world is in a time capsule that you are trying to find the remote control to rewind what the doctor just said. You cannot believe what was just said to you and your spiritual beliefs you had since you were 23 years old has left the room.

I honestly sat there questioning my spiritual relationship with God. I anxiety that raced through my body a rage of fear, doubt, and uncertainty. I begin to question my purpose. My entire mind, body, spirit, and emotions were in shambles. I felt broken in all areas that were apart of my humanity. I became very frustrated with God and even angry at times with the biggest question that I kept asking in my prayers were “Why me”, What did I do to deserve this?” I even went as far with the question to God and asked What did I do wrong to be punished with a life threatening disease? I tried meditating to calm down search for the comfort of his voice, but I could not find it at the moment.

Photo by Matheus Natan on Pexels.com

How did I fight through my spiritual journey?

To be honest, it was a hard. I had to go through a process ,but I was not alone. I had some amazing women who were supportive, praying women I called my tribe, my daughter unconditional love, and lots of talking to God. I did have to let go of the anger that came with being diagnosed. I had stopped talking to God because I was mad as hell at him so I did have some screaming and yelling matches in my quiet place with him, The truth is, you have to keep talking to him whether you did what I did which was yelling, crying, praying, or journaling what I was feeling and why. I found comforting listening to some of my favorite pastors or even watching them on YouTube. Each time I can tell you it was the Holy Spirit that guided me to a particular man or woman of God. The word they were preaching that particular day always resonated with me and I never not once said that was a coincidence. I told myself, “no, that was a Devine intervention from the Holy Spirit.” I remember when that small voice whispered to me that I will get through this storm, at first I doubted that voice. But I did get through it the first time and the second time.

I had to put my faith and trust back in God. I had to surround myself with positive energy that included people. I removed negative people from my presence because my spirit was vulnerable. I started keeping a prayer journal and a thought journal. I reached out to my prayer warriors who prayed with me and over me. You cannot do this alone. Furthermore, my daughter and I had to rebuild our trust, faith, and love for God’s healing that would get us both through this journey. My spirit is on a healing path after two years which makes me happy. I can give my testimony to other cancer patients. It took me over a year to let go of the anger and the unforgiveness that was in my heart toward many who didn’t give me cancer, but diagnosed me with Breast Cancer.

Dont’ let Cancer beat your spirit man down. Accept the things you cannot change but embrace the things God-The Holy Spirit can change. You will get through this. Are you feeling broken spiritually? Visit Cancer Council for support and read the articles that will give you reassurance on this emotional journey.

Resourceful Links

Cancer Council www.cancer.net/coping-with-cancer/physical-emotional-a…