Pushing Pink Elephants
 

Support and Guidance

 

Support Offered Locally

 

There are some truly great support programs offered locally. We have listed a few below, let us know if you have experiences the benefits first hand. We would love to share your positive feedback.

 

 

 

 

 

Discoverinng a pathway to healing

 
After facing, fighting, and overcoming stage IV cancer, Ivelisse and Jimmy Page established Believe Big in 2011 to help families navigate the cancer journey. They found that even though Jimmy spent 20 years in the health prevention and wellness industry, it was still extremely difficult to find reliable resources that addressed healing for the whole person - physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
 
Believe Big is standing in that gap to provide patients with the tools and resources needed to be their own advocate for their health. We provide up to date information in one place so patients and family members can download important questions to ask oncologists, suggested steps on what to do when diagnosed, how to find a complementary doctor that is trained to boost immune function, fight the mental battle using God's word to eliminate fear, and more. By God's grace, these tools helped Ivelisse win her battle with cancer. Believe Big!  
 

 

Finding the Answers

 

The program incorporates the latest computer risk assessment tools. The assessment includes a detailed personal and family medical history, which the patient enters into a handheld computer system developed by researchers at Harvard University.

 

"The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program has continued to grow over the past year," notes Dr. Maizel. "I have seen many  women who come to us because their mother had breast cancer and they are worried about what the future might hold for them. The majority of our patients have been determined not to be at an increased risk for breast cancer, while only five to 10 percent have had an identifiable genetic risk."

 

On the Fast Track to Diagnosis and Putting the Patient's Mind at Ease

 

For patients who do have suspicious findings on their mammogram or physical exam, the program offers a rapid diagnosis fast track. Dr. Maizel points to a recent patient with an abnormal mammogram whom he saw at 11:00 a.m. and who had her biopsy performed at 1:00 p.m. that same day.

"The goal of all the services we deliver through the program is to provide our patients with an accurate picture of their risk," he adds. "We put their fears in perspective and empower patients with objective information and a plan to manage their risk."

 

Using the latest in computer assisted risk evaluation, this program combines a woman's personal and family risk factors to obtain an objective analysis of her chance for developing breast cancer.  For those women who are at higher than normal risk, strategies for long term risk reduction or genetic testing can be instituted through the breast center.  Contact Dr. Scott Maizel at the GBMC Comprehensive Breast Care Center at  443-849-2600.

 

Support, Services & Counseling

 

 

The Harry J. Duffey Family Patient and Family Services Program at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins provides professional counseling to our patients, families and care-givers with psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs. 

Living With Cancer Resource Program
Offers patients, families and caregivers a variety of support groups, educational workshops and programs designed to teach patients and their families how to cope with the effects of cancer.  For more information, call (410) 502-2789.  Click here for the Living With Cancer Calendar of  Events.

Department of Oncology Social Work provides for the psychological, social, emotional, and practical needs of cancer patients and their families.  They are masters-level social workers with expertise in the specialized field of oncology.  The social workers can teach you how to manage the stress and changes that may come with cancer.  The office, located on the first floor of the Weinberg Building, Suite 1210, offers you other services as well, such as information about housing, transportation, counseling, education and support groups.  For more information, call (410) 955-8934.

 

The Cancer Counseling Center provides counseling services that assist cancer patients and family members struggling with the stress of a cancer diagnosis and treatments. Experienced and caring staff provides emotional support while helping patients and family members problem solve issues of concern, whether the issue is a new diagnosis, relapse or end of life care. Skills are taught to help with the fears and high anxiety of this difficult time. Counseling is also available for those struggling with the emotional pain of loss and grief. Psychiatric services are available by referral.

 

Those requesting counseling can be seen individually, as a couple, or with their entire family. Our Cancer Counseling Center has convenient locations in the Weinberg Building on the Hopkins East Baltimore campus and at Green Spring Station in Baltimore County. Counseling is provided by appointment. For more information about the Cancer Counseling Center, call Carole Seddon, LCSW-C, BCD, at (410) 955-1010.

 

Spiritual Support is another service offered at the Kimmel Cancer Center.  Whether you are newly diagnosed or in remission, we understand that you may struggle to understand why this has happened to you, feelings of guilt, anger, grief, or isolation from your faith community.  Beyond the support of our chaplaincy, which provides pastoral and spiritual care in a non-denominational setting, a private meditation room in the lobby of the Weinberg Building is open to patients and families 24-hours a day.  For inspiration, call to hear the recorded Prayer-for-the-Day line at (410) 955-8984, or to make an appointment with a chaplain, call the Department of Pastoral Services at (410) 955-5842.

 

The Resource and Transportation Coordinator attends to patients transportation needs including shuttles to and within the East Baltimore Campus.  For information, call (410) 955-6549.

 

Image Recovery

Operated by Image Recovery Centers, this program, located in the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building in the first floor outpatient waiting area, offers services ranging from custom-made wigs, hats, scarves, pre- and postsurgical prosthesis and reconstruction products for breast cancer patients, skin and hand care products, and compression sleeves and stockings.  Walk-ins are welcome.  Phone: 410-502-5623  More information

 

 

All support groups in the Cancer LifeNet Program are led by experienced healthcare professionals who strive to create a nurturing and safe environment. Whether newly diagnosed, in treatment, remission, or having a recurrence, individuals are invited to share common experiences and receive education, information, and support.

Support Groups include (See Calendar)

  • Breast Cancer
  • General Cancer (All Types)
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Blood Cancer (Leukemia, Lymphoma and Myeloma)
  • Just 4 Me - Stage IV
  • CLIMB™ - Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery

CLIMB™ is a free support program for children who have a family member with cancer. Developed by the Children’s Treehouse Foundation, this 6-week program utilizes conversation, art and dramatic play to educate children and help them cope with a cancer diagnoses in their family.

Look Good, Feel Better

A workshop dedicated to helping women diagnosed with cancer, combat the appearance-related side effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. This program is offered in collaboration with the American Cancer Society. Additional support group series, educational programs and holistic healing opportunities are also offered throughout the year.

 

Tai Chi and Yoga classes offered weekly.

 

Living Beyond Cancer

The astounding advances in cancer treatment and early detection have resulted in an increase in the number of cancer survivors from three million to almost 10 million individuals. Patients are learning to live with remission, coping with the fear of relapse and reintegrating into family and work. However, this period of change may cause anxiety and adjustments in family roles and responsibilities.

In addition, cancer survivors are often reluctant to talk about their concerns in order to avoid the appearance of being ungrateful for the life that has been returned to them. It is this very reluctance to talk with family members and healthcare providers that places a cancer survivor at risk for developing late effects of cancer treatment, depression and difficulty returning to "normal" life.

 

Now What?

 

There are a lot of questions and concerns survivors have after being pronounced cancer-free since cancer alters many areas of their lives. Common issues include:

  • Fear and anxiety over cancer reoccurrence
  • Exercise and weight management
  • Overall health
  • Employment
  • Memory and concentration changes
  • Spirituality

Keep an open dialogue with those who helped you during your treatment. Your medical team, including your oncologist and primary care doctor, can provide you with a cancer survivorship plan that details the screenings, post-tests, and follow-up appointments you should attend over the next 15, 20 or 25 years. They can also give you information on the long term side effects of treatment and discuss your chance for cancer recurrence.

 

The Upper Chesapeake Cancer LifeNet Nurse Navigators can link you to support services for your physical, emotional, and financial needs even if you were not a patient at Upper Chesapeake Health. For more information on the services available to cancer survivors, please contact the Cancer LifeNet helpline at 1-866-393-4355.

 

What Should I Do To Maintain My Health and Well-Being?

 

In the past, people with cancer were told to go home and rest. We now know that regular, moderate exercise can actually improve quality of life by preventing muscle wasting and promoting independence. Research has shown that most cancer patients can safely participate in an exercise program even when receiving cancer treatment. The benefits of such a program have been shown to decrease nausea, reduce fatigue and improve balance.

 

Financial Counseling

 

Upper Chesapeake's financial counseling services assist their oncology patients and families with understanding out-of-pocket medical expenses and helps direct them to options and programs that might be of assistance in managing these costs.

Services may include:

  • Estimates for future treatments, co-pays, and deductibles based on diagnosis and chosen treatment modalities
  • Assistance with questions about billing policies, billing statements, and personal balance owed
  • Help with understanding insurance benefits and obligations
  • Assistance with completing important paperwork for patient assistance programs
  • Coordination with the billing office in resolving claims issues
  • Support for patients who are underinsured or have no insurance to find assistive resources

Call the Financial Counseling Services office at 443-643-3059 or email Katie Hamilton at khamilton@uchs.org for more information.

 

 

American Cancer Society

 

Road to recovery

 

Program that assists ambulatory cancer patients with ground transportation to and from cancer treatment. Transportation assistance through Road to Recovery program with volunteer drivers. Program will assist with transportation to and from surgery, chemotherapy, bone marrow transplant, or radiation only. Patient must be traveling within a reasonable distance and be ambulatory. Four business day notice REQUIRED. Availability of program not guaranteed for each locale.

 

What Is Hope Lodge?

 

Facing cancer is hard. Having to travel out of town for treatment can make it even harder. Yet the American Cancer Society has a place where cancer patients and their caregivers can find help and hope when home is far away - an American Cancer Society Hope Lodge.

 

Each Hope Lodge offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay when their best hope for effective treatment may be in another city. Not having to worry about where to stay or how to pay for lodging allows guests to focus on getting well. Hope Lodge provides a nurturing, home-like environment where guests can retreat to private rooms or connect with others. Every Hope Lodge also offers a variety of resources and information about cancer and how best to fight the disease.

 

Currently, there are 31 Hope Lodge locations throughout the United States. Accommodations and eligibility requirements may vary by location. To find out more about a Hope Lodge, please select a location below. If there is not a Hope Lodge in your area, please call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 for more information. You may also visit Joe's House for additional lodging resources, or enter the zip code of your treatment center on cancer.org's Find Local Resources page.

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Our focus:

Baltimore, MD and the Surrounding Communities  

Pushing Pink Elephants is a

501(c)3 tax exempt organization


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