A breast cancer diagnosis leads to a range of emotions, from fear to sadness. Women facing breast cancer need a support system, including both personal relationships and professional help. The help means she doesn’t have to face the diagnosis and treatment alone. Asking for help isn’t always easy, and finding resources is also challenging.
Personal Support Network
Friends and family make up the base of support for most women facing breast cancer. Ask one or two people to serve as your assistant when it comes to things like communicating your treatment and progress or coordinating help from other friends. Friends and family help in many ways, including meals, babysitting, transporting kids to activities, cleaning, advocating for your medical care, driving you to appointments and helping you emotionally on rough days.
The treatment for breast cancer comes with a high price tag. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure website offers an extensive list of financial help and resources for women with the disease. Several organizations offer transportation to treatment facilities. The Air Charity Network, Corporate Angel Network, National Patient Air Travel HELPLINE and Raquel’s Wings for Life programs offer air travel to facilities for cancer treatment. The American Cancer Society not only transports cancer patients to treatment facilities on a local basis, but also offers financial assistance in the form of family lodging while patients receive treatment.
Medical Care Assistance
Assistance with medical care is also available. This could be in the form of financial aid for medical care or advice and advocacy. Medicare might be an option to cover treatment costs for women who meet income and eligibility requirements. Susan G. Komen for the Cure offers free or reduced-cost mammograms. The Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization donates wigs, mastectomy bras and prostheses for low-income women. CancerCare offers different forms of assistance. The Linking A.R.M.S. program offers financial help for certain treatments and also also has a co-payment assistance program to help financially.
Support groups are filled with other women going through breast cancer treatment. Personal acquaintances can’t always understand how it feels, but others going through the same situation can serve as a valuable support system. Relationships with breast cancer survivors also offer emotional help and hope. Ask your health care provider or check with the hospital where you receive treatment to find local breast cancer support groups. The American Cancer Society offers several support groups, both in person and online.
Asking for Help
Many people don’t know what to help with or what to do for a woman diagnosed with breast cancer. Asking those around you for assistance gives them purpose and helps them understand what you need. Help comes in many forms if you’re open and willing to seek out the resources.