Monday, February 20, 2017

Help Is Out There

Having cancer has been an exceptional drain on my family in many ways. You don't think about the different ways a diagnosis like this can change things. There are emotional, physical, mental, and financial challenges each day. I did not have enough PTO built up when I had surgery & my income is vital to keep this family going. We were going to be without half our income for several weeks & I was determined to do whatever I needed to do to keep this family rolling & that included taking advantage of the many programs that are out there to benefit cancer patients. I'm going to include many of these in this blog post so others can utilize them as well. Many of these are specific to breast cancer, but not all. Some are local to the Tulsa, OK area and others are nationally available. All of these programs require an application & some sort of proof that you are in active treatment & you will need things signed by a doctor or nurse. Many also require copies of bills that you are requesting assistance with. I will let you know which ones we were able to take advantage of & how it worked out for us. I hope this helps makes things a little easier for you or someone you know. Also - if you know another program that I have missed let me know! Life is easier when we help each other! 

~NATIONAL PROGRAMS~
Cleaning For A Reason - This is a program that provides free house cleaning services to patients going through treatment. This program isn't available in every area, but it was very helpful while I was going through chemo. Like every program on this list, proof of treatment has to be provided by your doc. or nurse. There is a very simple application that can be found on their website. I was approved for four cleanings & I rested so much easier knowing a group of professionals kept things dusted & vacuumed for me when I wasn't able. 

The Pink Daisy Project - This program sends gift cards to various places to help ease some of the financial drain. We received gift cards to Target, a gas station, and two restaurants. Making multiple trips for treatment can get very expensive & gas cards are a huge blessing. So are restaurant gift cards when you are just too tired to get in the kitchen. 

The Pink Fund - This program gives financial grants for non-medical living expenses for breast cancer patients. The application process was long & very thorough but it did take care of a month of rent & some utilities so it was worth it. 

The American Cancer Society - The American Cancer Society gives a lot of help to cancer patients where I live. They give rides to patients who can get themselves to treatment, they provided me with a wig, they have many different events that get cancer patients together & raise money for this very worthy cause. I did a program called Look Good, Feel Better that was through the ACS & it was amazing. I learned makeup tips that helped deal with my eyebrows & lashes falling out, learned some ways to tie a scarf, and got a bag full of really nice make-up. Calling their cancer hotline is where I began. I'm going to be very involved with the American Cancer Society this year - I'll post more about that later. 

Cancer Care - This is a great resource if you are looking for financial assistance. 

~TULSA/OKLAHOMA PROGRAMS~

BCAP Fund -The Breast Cancer Assistance Program (BCAP) Fund was a great help! They give financial assistance to breast cancer patients in the Tulsa area. This is another way we kept our bills paid & they even brought over some Christmas gifts for us. It was a huge blessing!

Assistance In Healthcare - We have not utilized this program, but it is another program that provides financial assistance to cancer patients in the Tulsa area.

Tulsa Community Foundation - The Tulsa Community Foundation administers several programs that are designed to help people in active treatment with various financial grants. 

Oklahoma Project Woman - This is a program that provides free mammograms, diagnostic procedures, and surgical services for OK women with no health insurance &/or limited financial resources.

Cancer Matters - This is another page that someone put together with some various programs. I do not have experience with all of these, but anything is worth a shot! 




I know there are more programs out there, but these are just some that I had direct experience or knowledge of. I hope this can help someone & if you know of something that I missed please do not hesitate to let me know of your experience & I'll add it to my list. 







 

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