When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, as a 35-year old single mother with no family in the area I had so many things on my mind … how am I going to take care of my son, who was only 10 when I was diagnosed? How am I going to take care of the house? What about errands? How am I going to get to my treatments if I’m too sick to drive? What about the bills? Who can I talk to? How am I going to draw on my eyebrows? And so many other things.
I didn’t know what to do, so I turned to the internet to help me and I had some awesome friends share some resources and ideas with me, as well. I want to pay it forward by giving you a list – although NOT all inclusive because depending on the area you live in some of these things may not be available, or there may be many more resources. This list is just a compilation of the resources that I used or heard of that I found a lot of cancer patients hadn’t heard of.
The Young Survivor Coalition: I was looking for breast cancer support – for young cancer patients – and I found the Young Survivor Coalition; this is a great resource and online support system. There are honestly too many resources on this site to list, but this is definitely a worthwhile site to check out.
The Tigerlily Foundation: Again, another amazing website for support and information. This site also offers a Hope Box Program that women who are under 45 years old and diagnosed with breast cancer can apply for a Hope Box, you will need to check when they have open enrollment and apply, but once you do, you’ll get a “goodie bag” of sorts. I applied and received some wonderful gifts including: Shea butter lotion, chapstick, socks, a soft pink blanket, two inspirational books, an inspirational bag, and a lot more! These items were so wonderful and useful when I was going through chemo. They have many wonderful programs available, so another site to check out!
Cleaning for a Reason is a service that gives breast cancer patients four free maid service cleanings. You just have to go to their website and apply; you will need a note from your doctor, or any documentation that shows your diagnosis. Once you apply – If the service is offered in your location – you will be contacted by the organization who will provide you the cleaning company who will service you and you can schedule the cleanings any time.
Susan G. Komen has a dedicated section on their website that lists certain financial assistance that may be available for you. Full disclaimer, I didn’t use any financial assistance programs so I can’t give any firsthand knowledge; but if you are in need, please check this site out because you may find help. Breast cancer, surgeries and treatment is stressful enough, please don’t let finances put any added stress on you.
The American Cancer Society has the Road to Recovery Program which provides free rides to and from cancer treatments and appointments.
Look Good Feel Better This program teaches beauty techniques to people with cancer to help them manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. The program includes lessons on skin and nail care, cosmetics, wigs and turbans, accessories and styling, helping people with cancer to find some normalcy in a life that is by no means normal.
Lolly’s Locks This service offers high quality wigs to cancer patients in need.
Thank goodness for living in the age we live in! You can now order your groceries online and have them delivered to your house! You need to Google what stores in your area offer the service, but when it doubt, you can always use Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry; honestly, Amazon was my “go to” for pretty much everything; I truly recommend paying the $99 and getting an Amazon Prime membership – free 2 day delivery will be your absolute best friend.
Feeding The Family
There’s nothing worse than not being able to get up to cook your children and family a meal without being sick and there’s only so much pizza and Chinese food your family can tolerate…thank goodness for a service called Food Scooter. You go to the site and enter your zip code, and they give a list of the many restaurants and menu items you can choose from that don’t offer delivery and pick it up and deliver it to your home. This service isn’t available in all areas and the restaurants they deliver from vary from location to location.
There are so many programs and services here to help you; it’s actually humbling and inspiring that so many people want to help. Living Beyond Breast Cancer provides a lot of additional resources.
Please pass this list on to any of your friends or family members who are battling cancer and if you know of any additional services, please share them in the comment section.