The Tree to Resources
I remember the words chiming through a phone as if it was yesterday. I know it wasn’t a cakewalk for my mother as well, as she was the one who had to process it all. Sometimes it's difficult for me to be on the other side as a lung cancer care partner. However, I’ve had my own health struggles, so I definitely understood. What I can say is that the script for understanding lung cancer is not perfect.
I’ve stated before how incompetent and brash my mother’s oncologist was. When you step into high gear to figure the news of a lung cancer diagnosis out, the world spins on the high octave as you seek answers.
Oftentimes the way the news is introduced may not be the best for one reason or another. So, when the cards are not fully on the table as to what would be ideal in the perfect world, then it may call for making the leap towards taking necessary action ASAP!
Resources for lung cancer care - where are they?
In the early days of my mother's lung cancer, 13 years ago, finding local resources was like pulling teeth. It was when finally finding resources that it was clear there still were holes in getting the information that was needed in crunch time.
I recall reaching out to a major cancer organization by typing a zip code for local resources and hitting a wall as there was nothing listed in my mother’s borough in New York. I was beyond floored as to what and how is this possible.
Taking things into my own hands
My experience is what pushed me into high gear of forming Mae’s Breath Foundation. I truly believe if the answers are not available then it’s okay to open that space to what is missing or try to at least.
Where can you find lung cancer resources?
I’m so happy I landed on LungCancer.net. Over the years I have seen other lung cancer resource outlets make their showcase as they have been helpful. I believe many of the following have been around over the 13 years, but for those starting on this confusing journey, it doesn’t hurt to have more nuggets on the side.
The PAF- Patient Advocate Foundation is a resource that helps with case management as well as financial aid. We know that for many it takes a little more work to maintain their disease by just affording the care needed to manage it.
The CFAC- Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition is another resource that helps with financial aid as well as resources for lodging and transportation to and from treatment, just to name a few.
You deserve the guidance that you require
I always say, "Ask and he shall find." Again, the script is not perfect, so if your doctor doesn't guide you along towards getting answers, then see who else can guide you.
If your hospital or facility has an on-staff social worker, then reach out to them for a meeting to discuss your inquiries that may not have been covered. Many people leave their doctor with further questions, and some of those questions come along later, and that’s fine. It’s also okay to ask your nurse to help guide you to those lung cancer resources that help lead you on the way to the knowledge you need.
The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile…when you feel like it
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