Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Coping with Financial Challenges During Cancer

This article is courtesy of Cancer Care

A diagnosis of cancer can create added financial challenges and stress for the person diagnosed and his or her loved ones. CancerCare will help you find assistance and offers helpful resources, including:

The Financial Edition of A Helping Hand, the Resource Guide for People with Cancer, a directory of more than 400 national and community organizations that can assist with cancer-related expenses. Order your free copy today.
An online database of financial assistance providers through the Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition (CFAC), which helps patients and their loved ones connect with organizations that offer assistance. CancerCare is a proud member of CFAC. Search the CFAC database.
CancerCare's informative fact sheets, Financial Help for People with
Cancer and Sources of Financial Assistance , provide tips and guidance.
CancerCare's financial assistance program provides limited funds to eligible families for expenses related to treatment including transportation and child care. To find out more, call 1-800-813-HOPE (4673).

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Demystifying Breast Reconstruction

I found this breast reconstruction scrapbook on Shutterfly and felt compelled to share it on this blog because it shows how wonderful the results can be after all the surgery. As the author of this book noted: "had someone showed me these pictures before I started on my breast reconstruction journey, I wouldn't have been so frightened by the process."

Really! As you can see the end of this journal has a happy ending.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The New Normal

Here I am, sitting secure in the saddle of life as I knew it--pre-cancer. Once again, I'm dealing with how to keep my fine blonde hair fluffy in the humidity (didn't have that issue two summers ago!) and lamenting that boarding a sale a day during the work week sometimes feels like pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

The difference between now and two years ago, is that when I go through the mundanities of life, I will never let a day go by without taking a moment to revel in pleasure. I savor the taste of farmer's market corn and tomatos. I look forward to having the swimming pool all to myself on weekday evenings and float like an embryo in the temperate water until I feel all the stress and muscle aches of the day dissapate.

I watch what I want on TV and only go to bed when I'm tired. Conversely, I try to sleep until my body tell me it's well rested. Yes I am more content, but I am also more focused on what I want to accomplish in this lifetime.

I know when to go with the flow, but I also know when it's crucial to aggressive and go after what I want. I am trying to temper my reputed impulsiveness and embrace the trait my family says I've always lacked: common sense.

When I want to act on a impulse: I consciousless pull myself out of the moment. And tell myself, wait, take time to think this through. It's been tremedously liberating.

Not that I want to completely abandon my easy, breezy ways! I am planning to go to Brimfield, Massachusetts right after to Labor Day weekend, to experience the buying frenzy of perhaps the biggest, flea market/antique show in the country. Can't wait!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Golden Friendships

There are perks to this high-tech society we live in. A close friend I lost touch with some 15 years ago found me on Facebook today!!! Not that I wasn't looking for her. But it so happened she remarried and changed her name, so it was impossible to find her.

It's so fun to catch up with someone that was once such a big part of your life and revive an old but cherished friendship. Now more than ever, I value each and every friendship that I have.

Had it not been for my solid network of friends, I don't think I would have been so strong battling breast cancer. Friends can help you soldier through a breakup, a job loss, or an illness with so much more grace than if you did it alone.

That's because behind closed doors, you can get out all your rage, and ugly behavior within the safety net of buddies. Then, when the door opens, you can saunter back out in public with your held high. You can act like the classy gal you truly are. That's why I will always collect more friends and take care of my existing friendships. My buddies are treasures that no amount of money can buy.

As the Girls Scouts say,

Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other's gold.