Finding out that you or someone you care for has cancer often comes as a shock. It can be difficult for you and your family both physically and emotionally.
Some of the feelings you may experience will not always be good ones, but you do not have to face the reality of a cancer diagnosis alone. There are many services and places within the community to get help and to find some relief. The supportive care department at LRCP is a great place to start.
Support at LRCP
This is KIM, a social worker here at LRCP.
Hi, it's nice to meet you.
You know, I meet a lot of people just like you who want to connect with a social worker, dietitian, spiritual care specialist or psychologist for a variety of reasons.
As an extended part of your healthcare team, we help to answer questions about applying to the Patient Assistance Program, or connect you with other support groups in the community.
Lets have a seat so we can discuss this further. Let's have a seat here.
Emotional distress is commonly experienced by people living with cancer and it's not something to be embarrassed or ashamed about. Cancer can bring about many changes in your life and may leave you feeling discouraged, irritable, or anxious.
People often come see me when they are are concerned about adjusting to cancer and treatment, physical changes and body image issues, when they experience feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear, and when relationship issues occur.
Social workers understand the unique impact that cancer can have on a person and their family. We're also a great person to talk to if you are facing financial or employment issues, or if arrangements need to be made for care in the home or an alternate living situation.
To connect with a social worker, you don't need a referral, you can either drop by the supportive care office, or call. The number can be found in your care binder.
It's my pleasure. I'll be here if you need me. All the best. Nice to meet you.
Patient Assistance Program
Another thing to consider, is that Cancer treatment can bring many unexpected expenses, from medication costs to travel.
The LRCP Patient Assistance Program was established to provide emergency, short-term help when funding from other sources isn't available. Any adult registered at LRCP or its' affiliated South Western Ontario regional treatment facilities is eligible to apply.
Speak to your health-care team if you're interested in learning more about the Patient Assistance Fund.
An application form has been included in your binder, and extra copies can also be found outside the Supportive Care office on level 1, down the hallway from Tim Hortons.
Let's talk about diet.
Diets can support you in eating well, maintaining a healthy weight and managing side effects.
Good nutrition is important at every stage of your care and it plays an important role in maintaining and improving the strength of your immune system. By properly fueling your body, you'll have more energy and strength helping your body to heal and recover from treatment.
Fad diets and the use of vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements may not always be safe. Speak to your doctor, dietitian, or pharmacist if you are thinking of complimentary therapies.
Also, be sure to visit the Patient and Family Library. There's an entire section devoted to nutrition, and some free booklets from the Canadian Cancer Society with tips on eating well when you have cancer.
Ill take you to spiritual care now.
For some, questions of faith and spirituality may come to the surface. LRCP offers spiritual support to registered patients and their families that may help you find meaning, value, and strength during a very challenging time in your life. Spiritual expression can be supported in many different ways, you do not have to be religious to benefit from it.
Let me introduce you to Helen a specialist in spiritual care.
Hi I'm Helen. It's nice to meet you.
Facing cancer can really challenge your beliefs, and sprit. It can make you feel disconnected from your faith, your family, or your own personal identity.
Coping with cancer can create a spiritual crisis or a test of your faith, as people struggle to understand 'why is this happening to me'? or What is happening to me.
As a spiritual care specialist, I can help you explore these feelings to lower your stress levels and find inner balance while living with cancer. I can provide spiritual support one-to-one, or in a group setting just like this one.
The Soul Medicine support group runs for 6 weeks at a time with no more than 8 people per group. I run a group for men and a group for women.
If you would like to learn more about spiritual care or the Soul Medicine support group, give the Supportive Care office a call. You can learn more about spiritual care and how to strengthen your spirit and find the contact information in your binder, under "Spiritual Support".
I don't know if you've explored everything the library has to offer yet. But that's also a very helpful resource. Let's head back over that way. Follow me.
Here we are.
Hi again, and welcome to the Patient and Family library.
Here you'll find all sorts of wonderful resources. There's a variety of books that cover topics like nutrition, coping with a diagnosis, spiritual support material, and even books to help children understand what cancer is. We also have a few computers with internet access available while you're waiting.
The library is a great place to find free resources, including booklets from the Canadian Cancer Society. These free booklets can help you find information about your type of cancer, side effects, and much more.
You'll see lots of volunteers like myself in the library and around the centre. We can help point you in the right direction and connect you to programs offered by the Canadian Cancer Society.
The CCS connects people living with cancer to others who have shared similar experiences through one-to-one and group support services. They arrange transportation to and from treatment through their volunteer driver program and offer additional programs like the Smoker's Helpline and Living Well Beyond Cancer; a self-management program for cancer survivors and caregivers.
Now all of the volunteers have been touched by cancer in some way, so they're great to talk to if you have questions. If you'd like to learn more about the CCS, visit their website or contact them directly - their phone numbers are listed in your Care Binder.
If there comes a time where you're receiving chemotherapy treatments and you require long-term care at home, you can contact the Community Care Access Center or CCAC directly for help with care in the home, accessing the necessary equipment, occupational therapy needs, personal support, and many other supports that you may need to help you get well.
Take some time to look over the "Other Supports" section of your binder to see if there are groups or services that you could benefit from.
That's it for the library come follow me.
That's all I wanted to show you here at the clinic for supportive care, but I would like you to see a lodge close by where you could stay if you can't travel in for your treatments.
Come by any time, I'll be there to show you around.
I hope you found this virtual tour helpful, see you soon.