Imagine receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, going through the treatment process and moving on. It sounds like a simple 1-2-3 process, but it is no easy task. This can all take a toll on us physically, mentally and emotionally. The desire to go back to our ‘normal’ way of life can at times overwhelm us. This can bring about range of emotions such as shock, fear, sadness and sometimes even anger. All this has been found to be a coping mechanism for cancer patients, but no one has to go through it all alone.

Did you know that there are a number of support services available to you and your loved ones to help you get through this difficult time. These are all out here because you matter! These services can include, but aren’t limited to:

Support Groups: A support group is a safe space to share your feelings and expand your personal network. And in the process, you can learn how to cope with the emotional issues associated with the diagnosis and the treatment process. Groups meet regularly (ie. monthly or a weekly basis). Most support groups are tailored to individuals of a particular age, race/ethnicity, gender or the recovery stage.

Financial Assistance: The costs for breast cancer care can quickly add up and become a financial burden on the patient, their family or friends. Medical bills can pile up from right, left and center from each doctor of each department you will deal with along the way as well as all the medications. Particularly for those in the US, not all medical care expenses are covered by your health insurance provider. Any balances are up to the patient to cover. However, there are a number of non-profit organizations, hospitals and financial counselors who can help provide any needed financial aid and guidance you may need.

Transportation: Depending on where you live, you may need to travel to get access to health care. Lack of available and reliable transportation can be a huge barrier between you and the care you need. Many community based organizations provide patients with free transportation to and from the treatment facility. This can be done through volunteer drivers, ride sharing programs (i.e. Uber and Lyft) or church groups.

Exercise Programs: Physical activity is very vital for our well-being. It is also now becoming an integral part in cancer recovery. You can work with a cancer fitness specialist who is knowledgeable with exercise training that is safe during and after cancer treatment.

Wigs and Head-coverings: A common side effect of cancer treatment is hair loss. This process can cause fear and increase insecurities amongst the cancer patients. However, I encourage you to remember that this is only temporary and that your hair will grow back. In the meantime, feel free to wear a wig, a head scarf, a hat or anything that will make you comfortable.

For more information on these options and many more, speak to your hospital’s patient care navigator or social worker.

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To learn more about Dance to Wellness, group fitness classes or other services offered, please contact us to discover your options.