Cancer Navigators and Other Care Coordinators

Posted by Charles on September 12, 2016 with No Comments

Cindy’s Hope Chest. This small nonprofit provides support, education, and encouragement for women battling breast cancer. They work with women where they are at the moment; they focus on a global perspective rather than simply providing individually requested services. Call 704-529-2935 to leave a message for a return call any time any day. http://www.cindyshopechest.org

Navigators at CMC (Levine Cancer Institute). Invaluable support from a trained nurse navigator who amswer questions, expedite schedule, educate and suport, work with teams of doctors, help find resources after discharge, and explore and assist with work-related or financial concerns.  They work at several hospitals in the region.   Call 980-442-2000 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. http://www.carolinashealthcare.org/levine-cancer-institute-patient-navigators 

Navigators at Novant Health Cancer Center. Trained nurse navigators help patients and families reduce confusion and anxiety by helping them to understand their cancers and treatment options at every step of the process. Contact them by filling out thewebform or by phone. Call the interdisciplinary clinic at 704-384-5373 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm (leave msg if necessary). https://www.presbyterian.org/Home/Services/Cancer/OurServices/PatientNavigators/ContactUs.aspx 

Hints for healing

Posted by Charles on September 12, 2016 with No Comments
For the person with cancer

hint-for-healingFind the best team for you.  Choose a doctor based not only on the recommendations of professionals, but also on the suggestions of other people with cancer.  If you have a choice, visit each doctor once before deciding which one will work best for you.

There is no such thing as a silly question.  Most people find it helpful to write down questions before a visit to the doctor. Bring a friend with you to see the doctor; your friend can help you ask questions as well as remember and understand new information.

Take your time.  When you have an important decision to make such as choice of a doctor, treatment, or surgery, think it out and confer with friends and others you trust.

Consider joining a support group.  The people there are likely to have had experiences similar to yours; they can give you reassurance as well as important facts based on firsthand experience.

Take good care of your body.  Find out about good nutrition, relaxation techniques, and anything else that helps your body heal.

Treat yourself well.  Celebrate triumphs, no matter how small they may seem.  Find any excuse to reward yourself with a massage, walk in the park, or something else which will give you peace of mind and will make your life better.  [Editor’s note:  Sometimes I celebrate Tuesday with a piece of chocolate.]


For friends and relatives 

Food is love.  When taking food to your friend (and to the family, too), ask what they would like and can eat. Use a dish that does not need to be returned.

Make trips fun.  Combine a required trip to a physician or therapist with a fun activity.  Make arrangements to go out to lunch, stroll a mall, or do whatever he or she would like to do.

Keep your friendship a two-way street.  Although you will no doubt spend time listening to your friend, talking about your own life (both good and bad) will allow your friend to feel needed and to contribute something in return.

Touch or hug your friend at every appropriate opportunity.  People who are sick rarely get enough hugs. Cancer is not contagious. Greeting cards are another way to express your love; avoid “Get Well Soon” messages unless that is is the case for sure.

Use the same language as your friend uses.  If he says cancer, you can say cancer.  If he says tumor or malignancy, use those words.

Everybody’s battery needs recharging. If you know someone caring for a loved one with cancer, take over his duties for an afternoon to give him a chance to do whatever he wants to do.  If you are the caregiver, give yourself adequate time off; leave any guilt you might have behind and have a good time.

Exercise and Wellness

Posted by Charles on May 12, 2017 with No Comments

Carolinas Cancer Wellness Program (CCWP). A free 12-week cancer wellness and exercise program to help survivors manage the physical side effects of cancer treatment.

  • 1)  Customized exercise program supervised by a registered nurse and
    exercise physiologist
  • 2)  Access to a personal weight loss program
  • 3)  Quit Smart smoking cessation program.
  • 4)  Mutual support with others travelling the same path.

Funded by the 24 Hours of Booty. Call to ask questions and register at 704-716-6150 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. http://www.carolinashealthcare.org/levine-cancer-institute-cancer-wellness-program
Levine Cancer Institute of Carolinas Healthcare System (education/exercise programs). Helpful classroom programs as well as programs focusing on activities. The latter cover wellness and exercise, integrative medicine, healing arts, and others, all sponsored by the Survivorship Program. These occur at a variety of CHS hospital locations. Call to register or ask questions at 980-442-2000 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.  

Strides to Strength at Novant Health. This 24 session cancer three-day-a-week wellness program focuses on exercise, nutrition, support, and education under supervision of an oncology dietitian, oncology nurse, and exercise physiologist. The goals include overcoming fatigue, physical limitations, and emotional challenges along with enhancing the immune system by improving overall physical condition. Call one of their friendly staff at 704-384-6956 anytime — leave a message as neededd.http://www.presbyterian.org/Home/Services/Cancer/OurServices/SymptomManagement/StridestoStrength.aspx 


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“To live is to dance; to dance is to live.”
Snoopy

Equipment Loan and Advice

Posted by Charles on April 12, 2017 with No Comments

Durable Medical Equipment Closet of Charlotte Institute of Rehabilitation. They loan medical equipment including walkers, manual wheelchairs, and whatever else has been donated.  Their facility was damaged by a runaway car, but they continue to run on a limited basis. Call Vickie to borrow or donate at 704-355-4461 Mon-Fri 9-5.

Matthews HELP Center. For residents of the greater Matthews area, they provide closely linked programs assisting Matthews residents including a food pantry, thrift boutique open to the public, medical equipment loan, limited emergency crisis financial assistance for basic needs, school supplies, limited free shopping in the thrift store, and winter holiday gift assistance.  Check web links for details. Call with additional questions or to request services at 704-847-8383 Mon-Fri 9am-4pm.  

NC Assistive Technology Program. This center helps people live more independently using special devices. They provide training, technical assistance, computer access devices, writing aids, hearing aids, magnifiers, and reutilization on post-laryngectomy communication devices, and more. Call 704-566-2899 ext 3 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.http://www.ncatp.org/ 


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“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.”
Mother Teresa

Educational Events of Note

Posted by Charles on March 12, 2017 with No Comments

open_educational_resourcesBuddy Kemp Cancer Support Center (Novant Health). Help for individuals and their families affected by cancer with free counseling, free classes, support groups, case management to help find financial and other assistance, lending boutique with wigs and headwear, and pastoral care. Call 704-384-5223 Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm.www.novanthealth.org/PresbyterianMedicalCenter/Services/Cancer/Supportandadvocacyservices.aspx

KinderMourn (workshops). Onsite and offsite workshops for parents who have suffered the loss of an infant or child as well as for professionals working with children or parents. (Other KinderMourn programs) Call their office at 704-376-2580 Mon-Thu 8-5; Fri 8-2; for emergencies call any time any day. http://www.kindermourn.org 

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – NC chapter (educational programs). Free community-based education programs for patients, their families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. The national LLS also provides telephone and internet education. Check the links or contact them by phone. Call with any questions at 919-367-4100 Mon-Fri 8am-4pm.http://www.lls.org/#/diseaseinformation/getinformationsupport/patienteducation/chaptereducation/ 

Levine Cancer Institute of Carolinas Healthcare System (education/exercise programs). Helpful classroom programs as well as programs focusing on activities. The latter cover wellness and exercise, integrative medicine, healing arts, and others, all sponsored by the Survivorship Program. These occur at a variety of CHS hospital locations. Call to register or ask questions at 980-442-2000 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.  

Look Good, Feel Better (American Cancer Society). Support, knowledge, and community to help people face challenges of cancer. ACS has programs for women(beauty and related technique classes) and men (web based practice guide for skin, hair, muscle, and other changes).  Use the ACS program finder for up to date locations; as of this update there were 9 locations in Mecklenburg County. Call the Charlotte ACS with further questions at 704-552-6147 ext 3 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.  


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“Be absolutely determined to enjoy what you do.”
Rachel Baker (age 18)

Counseling – Grief and Bereavement

Posted by Charles on February 12, 2017 with No Comments

Hospice and Palliative Care Charlotte (counseling). Short term individual counseling,support groups, community education, an annual summer weekend camp (Chameleons Journey), and workplace grief services.  They also provide expert end of life care including hospice services and palliative medicine in 3 Charlotte and 3 just-outside-of-Charlotte locations.   Call Gerri Cummings at 704-375-0100.

KinderMourn (counseling). Individual counseling and groups for parents suffering the death of a child before or during birth, parents who have lost a child of any age, children and teens who have lost a loved one, and children at school (outreach counseling and a summer bereavement camp). (Other KinderMourn programs.)   Call their office at 704-376-2580 Mon-Thu 8-5; Fri 8-2; for emergencies call any time any day.http://www.kindermourn.org

Novant Health Hospice and Palliative Care (counseling). This hospice sponsors bereavement support groups in Matthews, central Charlotte, and Huntersville, amemorial labyrinth, and spiritual care.  Some of these services occur at Novant Presbyterian Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center. Call to ask questions or to register at 704-384-6478 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.


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Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart.
Jose N Harris

Counseling – General Cancer Issues

Posted by Charles on January 12, 2017 with No Comments

Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center (Novant Health). Help for individuals and their families affected by cancer with free counseling, free classes, support groups, case management to help find financial and other assistance, lending boutique with wigs and headwear, and pastoral care. Call 704-384-5223 Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm.www.novanthealth.org/PresbyterianMedicalCenter/Services/Cancer/Supportandadvocacyservices.aspx 

Cancer Care – Counseling. Oncology social workers provide toll-free individual telephone support, medical information, and referrals for people with cancer and their families during times of crisis. They also sponsor a variety of support groups. Call 800-813-4673 Mon 9am-7pm; Tues-Fri 9am-5pm.http://www.cancercare.org/services

Y-Me National Breast Cancer Organization (Inactive). This Chicago-based organization provided 24/7 support, information, and empowerment; we regret that they had to close their doors back in July, 2012.  


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“We know too much and feel too little.”
Bertrand Russell

Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Posted by Charles on December 12, 2016 with No Comments

Three questions to help you decide about any treatment.

  • Do the potential benefits outweigh the downsides?
  • Does the intervention seem to be the easiest and safest way to accomplish what you want?
  • Does the product appear to be too good to be true (such as curing all types of cancer)? If so, well, you know how the old saying goes.

Three essential sources for authoritative and helpful data on CAM.

  • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Evidence based answers (that means based on medical research) to questions about CAM for all diseases; their topic list has more than 300 types of CAM and diseases including acupuncture, botanicals, mind-body techniques, nutrition, pharmacologicals, and much more. Part of the National Institutes of Health, they answer basic and advanced questions. 800-422-6237 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm.
  • Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine(OCCAM). Its the same as NCCAM above but only for cancer. 800-422-6237 Mon-Fri 8am-8pm.
  • QuackWatch is a safe website that helps detect false medical claims and quacks. Note: Articles on this site often refer to weaknesses in certain treatments; they usually refer not to the treatments themselves, but to how practitioners advertise them.

Below you will find face to face classses and/or groups addressing or using mind-body techniques.

Mind/Body Techniques to Enhance Healing (Novant Health). This group helps people incorporate healing techniques into their lives. Open to anyone who has any type of cancer, the group members learn about and how to use meditation, imagery, stress reduction, relaxation, etc.  They meet every Monday evening from 7pm-9pm. Call 704-332-8394 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm or 704-384-5223 Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm.http://www.novanthealth.org/PresbyterianMedicalCenter/Services/Cancer/Supportandadvocacyservices.aspx 

Tai Chi and Qigong. Instructors help cancer patients learn to relax, increase energy, and harmonize body, mind, and spirit.  Members progress at their own rates without competition.  Check the listings at the website for more information. Call the Cancer Resource Center at LCI for more details at 908-442-1006 Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm.http://www.carolinashealthcare.org/service.cfm?registration=true&id=10441&action=list&limit_category=cancer 


 

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“The important thing is to not stop questioning.”
Albert Einstein

Companions, Visitors and Home Health Services

Posted by Charles on November 12, 2016 with No Comments

loveLove, INC. A Christian organization that coordinates church volunteers to provide a variety of services including 1) home visits to help caregivers, 2) Care Teams to adopt eligible seniors and those with disabilities, 3) ramps for housebound, 4) telephone reassurance calls, 5) monthly light housekeeping, and 6) transportation for grocery or medical trips. All services are dependent on the availability of their wonderful volunteers. Call to volunteer or request services at 704-536-5588 Mon-Fri 9am-4pm.http://www.loveinc-charlotte.org/service-overview.htm

Support Services of DSS. A wide variety of services including 1) menu planning, 2) budgeting, 3) shopping, 4) meal preparation, 5) very light housekeeping), 6) short term (a few hours to a few days) respite care, 7) nursing home and adult care placement, 8) assistance with personal family problems, etc. (They are a part of Just1Call.) Call with to ask questions and request services at 704-432-1111 Mon-Fri 8am-5pm.http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/dss/adults/Pages/AdultSocialWorkServices.aspx 


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“If we can laugh together, we can work together.”
Robert Orben

Clinical Trials

Posted by Charles on October 12, 2016 with No Comments

NCI Cancer Information Service. This National Cancer Institutes phone and web service provides assistance in English and Spanish covering just about everything having to do with cancer.  A very small sample of topics includes diagnosis and treatment, clinical trials, pain control, nutrition, talking with family, and complementary and alternative medicine.   Call an information specialist with any questions at 800-422-6237 (1-800-4-CANCER) on Mon-Fri 8am-8pm EST. http://www.cancer.gov 


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“The difficult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer.”
George Santayana