I woke up to this email from Cleaning for a Reason. (Yes I did go back to bed after George and Mackenzie left and woke up at almost 10:30am!)
Later, my friend Kelly and I went to the American Cancer Society where I went to pick out a free wig. I chose this one.
But I HAD to try on this one. Not quite for me but I couldn't pass up trying on a Shirley Temple wig!!
When you are diagnosed, it is such devastating news. But you really have to work cancer in your favor. There is TONS of stuff out there waiting for cancer patients to just ask for. I'm looking forward to going to a class through Look Good Feel Better. They teach you how to apply make up (and hide any chemo effects) and even give you a goodie bag full of make up when you leave. In this area there are classes at every hospital every month. Chemo Angels, from my understanding, is a program that matches you with people who have previously gone through chemo that will mail you cards and presents while you undergo treatment. Then of course, there are trips. Casting for Recovery teaches women to fly fish on a weekend trip in different parts around the country.
Heavenly Hats is an organization that will mail you some free hats for any medical reason. The hats are donated so you can't pick out a certain style but you are mailed a couple of different ones. The ones you don't like you can mail back. And it looks like at Hats Off To Chemo you can request a certain type of hat (I just did!). Crickett's Answer to Cancer can provide wigs or hats, mastectomy bras, lymphedema sleeves or pampering services. Go to the Request Services page and fill out the application. I'm going to apply for another wig!
The Lydia Project provides a free tote, or a prayer, support, or emergency relief services. Cancer Care created a list of organizations that also offer financial assistance to anyone going through cancer. The organization for your specific cancer (if there is one) will offer tons of resources for emotional and financial assistance as needed. The American Cancer Society also offers rides to treatment for patients that cannot get there on their own and many other free services (including gas cards). Call your local office (703-998-5550 for the Vienna, VA office) and ASK how THEY can help YOU! That's what they are here for. If you need preventative screening a lot of organizations will pay for those as well. Check breast cancer charities to see if they will cover the cost of your mammogram or biopsy if you need one.
Lastly, I feel very strongly that I am the luckiest cancer patient in the world! I have the best support group around me, I've been brought meals, sent cards and presents and have been shuttled around to errands by great friends and family. At the end of all my treatments I am so ready to begin the "paying it forward" part of this journey. I have an amazing idea for a Non-Profit type of charity (its different than what you're used to!) and plan to volunteer with the organizations that have helped me through cancer. Without those volunteers and donations none of these free goodies would be possible! And when my hair finally comes back, I will be donating my wig(s) back to these organizations so that someone else can enjoy them. But before all of that, I am going to donate my hair to either Locks of Love which can make up to 3 wigs for kids under 21 battling cancer (you need at least 10 inches and can be dyed) or Pantene Beautiful Lengths (which needs 8 inches and cannot be dyed at all).
Please leave a comment if you know of any other FREE services for cancer patients with any type of cancer!