My family and I have been dealing with cancer for over twenty years. My mother was first diagnosed in 1993 with breast Cancer. Since then she has been plagued with many different types of Cancer, now ending with peritoneal. For the past two years I have been her Caregiver, and I would like to share with you the many resources and tips that I have discovered over the years. Whether you yourself have cancer or you are family/caregiver, these tips and resources will be a big help.The first thing you need to do is : Learn about the type of cancer that you or your loved one has.
Here are a few resources I have found that may help you understand just what type of cancer you or your loved one has.

http://www.library.pima.gov/research/
The Tucson Pima County public library has a great online resource database

Oncolink
Oncolink includes information on types of cancer, treatment, and clinical trials as well as how to cope with cancer.

Oncology Informatics
Here is a gateway to resources at University of Arizona and National Cancer Institute

http://www.cancer.gov/
This is a government agency that provides information on the different types of cancer.

And of course there is the American Cancer Society for Arizona
http://www.acsinarizona.blogspot.com/
They provide news and information for Arizona

I suggest that you get a three ring binder with the following:
~Tabs: I would get around 15.
~Cardholder pouches: for the business cards of each doctor, therapy, and pharmacy
~Pouch to store receipts
~Pouch to store appointment paperwork.

This is how I have my tabs;
~First Tab: a list of contacts, from everything from Doctors to caseworkers.
~Second Tab: Blank calendar sheets, to keep all appointments and chemo schedule.
-When you are in the doctor’s office it’s easier to record the appointment then write it down in your calendar later. (I just use my cell phone for quick recording.)-
~Third Tab: List of medications with timetable for each one, Also the effects of each medication.
And I than have a Tab for each doctor.

Within those tabs, I have sections/ tabs for:
~Notes.
~Questions.
(I place a pouch here for “Doctor Paperwork.”)

My last two Tabs are:
~Bills (a “Bill” pouch is here as well)
~Needed resources.

This binder will make it easier to share information you have learned with your friends and family and will also help keep you organized.

Cancer treatment will cause a big drain on Finances.
Here are some things you should know to help with that strain.
If you have insurance, check with the insurance company to find out about the exact coverage you or your loved one has. Most companies have a catastrophic illness clause which provides the coverage you need for treatment. If you are uninsured, Congress just passed the Patient and affordable Care Act, this will help you find the treatment needed for you or the one you care for. I would also suggest looking into Medicare. The El Rio clinic in Pima County offers health care on a sliding fee scale.

To access health care in Arizona’s Medicaid program.
http://www.azahcccs.gov/

Be sure to keep all your bills together. Plus you will need:
~Proof of income
~Income tax returns

Here are some places that provide financial assistance with treatment and prescriptions.
Amgen Oncology Assistance
www.amgen.com/patients/assistance.html

AstraZeneca~Az&Me
www.azandme.com/making

GlaxoSmithKline~Commitment to Access
www.commitmenttoaccess.com

Partnership for prescription assistance
www.pparx.org

RxAssist
www.rxassist.org .

For more Expense help,
PatientResource.Net has a link with a huge list of resources.

The next thing I would like to address is the all-important Cancer Treatment Survival Kit. Most people wouldn’t think of this but believe me it comes in handy. Get yourself a big tote bag put the following things in It.:
~Disposable toothbrush.
~Bottles of water.
~Diapers or pads. (many treatments effect the bladder, do not be embarrassed it happens.)
~Two changes of clothes.
~Towel.
~Ginger candy or cookies. (these are a great help in controlling nausea)
~Snacks. (a lot of treatments last a few hours)
And last, Entertainment.
~Books,
~Dvd player,
~Puzzle books
~etc.

Here is a list of
treatment centers in Southern Arizona.
In Green Valley:
~Arizona Oncology Associates
(520)625-9850
(520)625-6600
In Tucson:
~St. Mary’s hospital
(520)872-4310
~University of Arizona Health Sciences Center
(520)626-8278
~Arizona Cancer Center at UMC North
(520)694-2873

A list of resource’s to help the patients in other areas
Look good feel better.
www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
http://nccam.nih.gov/health/cancer/camcancer.htm

Maxwell aesthetics
www.maxwellsurgery.com

Beat cancer boot camp is an exercise program designed for cancer patients located in Tucson.
www.beatcancerbootcamp.com

Hope has a name fund Inc. which provide;
Massage, reiki, reflexology, shiatsu, healing touch and acupuncture.
(520)760-6896

The last thing you should know is in dealing with cancer is that no matter who you are, you are not alone. ~Communicate.
~Keep that channel open.
~Hold a family meeting.
~Talk to your priest, minister, school counselor, friends.

UMC hospital hold a patient and Family support group
Call (520)694-0111 for more information

UMC North also provides support groups for patients and families.
(520)694-2873

Planet Cancer Is an on-line community for teens
www.planetcancer.org

Ulman Cancer fund for Young Adults
www.ulmanfund.org

Kids Konnected has services and support for children aged 3-18 with parents with cancer.
www.kidskonnected.org/

May the many resources I listed above, be helpful to you on your journey ahead.

Sources:
Yellow pages.com
Tucson Pima Public Library
Tucson Lifestyle Magazine, Issue Aprill, 2011
Cancer Resource Guide pamphlet. 2010
Umc North cancer center
Social worker- Psychosocial Oncology Program
Brenda Casey, LMSW (520)694-0347

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