A diagnosis of breast cancer can have a serious financial impact. For those in financial crisis, our program may be able to assist with medical gaps, general household bills, fuel and food. Our specialist breast care nurses can help by undertaking a financial assessment and referring to social workers, financial counsellors or relevantr financial assistance programs.
To be eligible for financial support, each client is assessed individually.
For more information call 9324 3703 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The financial impact of breast cancer
People often don’t know about the financial impact a diagnosis of breast cancer can have and financial stress can be felt by both public and private patients. The inability to work and provide for your family on top of a demanding regime of medical appointments and treatments can be overwhelming.
One of our patients has had a long term battle with breast cancer, first diagnosed 10 years ago and then a second breast cancer two years ago. Treatment complications and anemia have left her very fatigued both physically and mentally. She also recently lost a close family relative to breast cancer adding to her anxiety.
In counselling we have been working through her concerns and helping her find better ways to deal with her stress and fears for the future, but poor health and raising three children on her own has also resulted in significant financial pressure.
Wherever we can, we also provide financial assistance to our patients and work with other agencies with similar programs to lessen the burden. When one of our financial assistance partners WA Charity Direct heard Flo’s story they offered to pay her rent, some medical and utility bills and some basic living expenses to ease the financial pressure and allow her to concentrate on getting well. Thank you WA Charity Direct.
Here is Flo’s story in her own words…
Six months ago I made a call and never thought it would have such an impact on my life. My name is Flo and I am a single mother of three children. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and had a lumpectomy, all of my lymph nodes removed and had the full treatment of chemotherapy and radiation. During this time I was also in and out of family court with my ex-husband who I left after 13 years of domestic violence.
Life continued and I was very grateful that I had received the all clear once treatment was completed, but found myself living just on survival mode, financially bankrupt, always watching my back and praying that life would get better.
In 2009, I found another three lumps in the same breast and decided I would have a double mastectomy. Being the sole carer of my children, I went into this with a positive attitude … I had to.
Twenty one months later and eight surgical procedures, three blood transfusions and two iron infusions have left me numb. My attitude was to toughen my exterior to those that were closest to me; my children, family and friends. I kept this front going as I didn’t want them to worry about me and so I became completely overwhelmed and depression set in.
Upon a visit to my local GP, I was given the phone number of Breast Cancer Care WA. I made the call and within two weeks Cathie Smith came to my home for my first counselling session. With each session my life began to have purpose and belief again. The valuable information that was given to me and the tools for relaxation and meditation completely changed my life. The financial burdens that I also carried were shared during these counselling sessions and together with WA Charity Direct, Breast Cancer Care WA helped me here too.
Six months down the track and my life has taken a wonderful turn. I’m working part time again, my children are doing well but most of all I’m doing well. Thank you Cathie for caring and giving me the strength, tools and support to get through those tough times. Thank you for the financial assistance and support all the staff at Breast Cancer Care WA has shown, for the service you provide and for making a difference in my life!
Flo - February 2012