Whenever I am asked to share my advice to new cancer patients, I always say the same thing, “Get as much support from as many different sources as you need.” It’s a life-changing experience to hear, “You have cancer.” I never could have gone through that experience, and all of the fallout that followed, without the support I received from my oncology therapist, breast nurse navigator and my family and friends.
CancerCare has been offering free, professional support to anyone affected by cancer for 67 years. Operating under the belief that no one should have to go through cancer alone, CancerCare offers counseling – face to face and over the telephone in its New Jersey, New York and Connecticut locations. If you’re not from the tri-state area, CancerCare also offers support conversations over the telephone to anyone in the United States. Face-to-face, telephone and online support groups are also offered.
In addition to offering emotional support, CancerCare also offers financial grants that assist patients who need help getting back and forth to treatment (there are eligibility requirements). CancerCare also works with clients to connect them to other available resources. Over 51,000 people listen to the Connect Education Workshops annually and you can order free copies from their extensive library of publications and fact sheets (currently over 77 titles).
Several months ago I had the pleasure of meeting with Claire Grainger, LSW, oncology social worker, and Kathy Nugent, LCSW, Director of Social Services, of CancerCare’s Ridgewood, New Jersey, office. We had a wonderful conversation about the importance of support to cancer survivors and I was so impressed with their dedication to people with cancer, caregivers, loved ones and the bereaved.
I am a huge believer in the importance of oncology therapy and support. I was extremely lucky to be offered free oncology therapy through my cancer center at Overlook Hospital. If you are dealing with the emotional effects of cancer, struggling with cancer anger, cancer loneliness or just need someone to talk to, please call CancerCare’s Hope-line at 1-800- 813- HOPE. All calls are answered by oncology social workers. One simple phone call can make a huge difference to a person with cancer or a loved one who is feeling overwhelmed and needing extra support.
If you live in the United States and are in need of cancer support, call CancerCare or visit its website today. No one should go through cancer alone, and, thanks to the totally free services of CancerCare, no one has to if they are willing to pick up a telephone.
Support > Existence,