Here Again, Some Resources

I had my mastectomy eleven days after my last post and I was so busy wrapping up my business and getting ready to move out of my apartment on top of managing my treatment plan (I had finally met with my doctor at UCSF on October 3) that I have totally neglected this blog. I started a site for only close friends and family which has been my primary focus to keep my “people” updated on what is happening, I reached a point where I had to create a site because I was barely able to manage my life, and the Lotsa Helping Hands has been a necessary tool for times when I’ve been in serious need of help. I have two rounds of week-long in-patient chemo under my belt, and I am managing it well I believe. It’s hard to know when you’re talking about yourself, but one friend who drove up from southern CA to be with me when I got out on Monday was sitting in the kitchen the night before she left looking over at me saying she just couldn’t believe how strong I was, and she believes it really is because of my drive to be as healthy as possible through this. I thought it might be a good idea to start writing about my journey. I have not been journaling at all…

I had a roommate during this last round, well three actually, but the last one was in her first round of chemo and we had the same doctor. She had a tumor in her shoulder/ upper arm and actually had osteo sarcoma which was still localized. She was put into chemo much faster than me and had just been diagnosed in early December… she had no time to really realize what was happening or to process the situation. I feel like I want to pass forward some information on that I got from my incredible survivor friend from college, she has been in remission with an incurable brain tumor for 2.5 years now and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. She has been a true inspiration to me, her strength has been a standing post for me through this entire process. I will share some of her information with you as the days go on, but here is a list of resources she gave me on September 27th.. I was in the midst of closing my shop that week… so crazy to think about how much has gone down in such a short time. I’m not really editing her list, because I think it’s good to know there are things like meetings for newly diagnosed patients… if you look up the Resource Center at UCSF, call them, you can get more updated meetings and information. Here is the content of her email… I will add more of my own resources later in this blog.

Here are a couple things:

First, there is an event for newly diagnosed patients on thursday 5:30-7:30 at the UCSF cancer center that focuses on the emotional effects of cancer and coping strategies, with a panel of survivors. I will send that in a separate email. if michelle wants to go, maybe a friend can join her???? i used to go to alot of these types of events and i usually found them helpful and useful.
website to help coordinate friends sign-up for driving to treatment, food delivery, etc…
if michelle wants to freeze eggs or embryos (a possible side effect of chemo is deterioration in fertility), there is an organization that helps fund this for cancer patients
financial assistance with medication copays (if michelle is eligible)
Integrative Medicine: some free classes (yoga, etc…) and some paid classes; also accupuncture (Beverly Burns is the person to see)
Osher Center for Intergrative Medicine at UCSF
Free Yoga for Cancer patients
UCSF Cancer Resource Center
I LOVE their classes, literature, resources, info, etc… Also a good place to get info on financial support, benefits/insurance issues, etc… (i have a lot more on that if you need it) Also, pre-surgery support, etc…
cancer support group for young adults
i have found this group to be a great source of support and information — young adults includes people in their early 40s. i now there are a couple other sarcoma patients. i think the next meeting is oct 3rd (1st & 3rd mondays of the month in the evening).
there are MANY, MANY resources out there, including financial support for qualified patients. if any issues or questions arise, check with me to see if i have been down that path — doesn’t make sense to do the work twice, i’d be happy to connect you with the resources and support i found.
i am also realizing that michelle may want to look into applying for state diability or something. if she is no longer working, i think there is support out there. i am not sure how that works, but she should apply for whatever is available – some of the above resources (UCSF cancer resource center) or may have informationn about that, or they can connect you with people who can answer those questions.
Have a good night!

One thought on “Here Again, Some Resources

  1. I admire your strength. I live in the neighborhood near your shop and loved visiting it due to all the beautiful objects, furniture and art.
    Best wishes.

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