Going through cancer is always hard. If all your friends and family members are located in another country, it can be even harder. So learned Juliet, a single mom who had moved to New York City from her native land of Ghana, after she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Cancer turned my whole life upside down,” recalls Juliet. “I was constantly crying and constantly weak. I didn’t know what to do.” Fortunately, a fellow patient told her she didn’t have to go through cancer alone and referred her to CancerCare.
Here, says Juliet, she found the “shoulder to cry on” and needed and “words of wisdom” to help her cope. During her weekly sessions with her oncology social worker, Juliet has tackled the practical challenges of cancer one at a time.
“There are so many things I have learned,” she says. Things such as preparing a list of questions ahead of time, in order to communicate better with her health care team; and tips for coping with fatigue so it interferes less with her quality of life.
In addition to emotional support, CancerCare provided Juliet with a small grant. She also met with one of our financial case managers who helped her understand and apply for benefits like SSI and Medicaid, which have eased some of her worries.
Juliet now recommends CancerCare to other patients. “I tell them it’s a great program. If I hadn’t had my social workers, I don’t know what I would have done.”