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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.

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Newly Diagnosed With Cancer


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Once a treatment decision is made, it is time to start thinking about the practical aspects of the treatment so that you do not have to catch up on things you could have taken care of when you were feeling better while at the same time dealing with the treatment.. For instance:
  • If you are going to have surgery:
    • Start by finding a board certified surgeon who is experienced in the surgery you need.
    • Learn how to choose a hospital, how to maximize your stay in a hospital and how to minimize risk of infection. One of the things that you will learn from out documents noted in "To Learn More" is that you should try to have a family member or friend be with you as much as possible to act as a patient advocate.  
    • Find out what you should and should not be doing prior to surgery.
  • If you are going to have chemotherapy or radiation:
    • Reduce anxiety by learning about your cancer and the treatment.
    • Express your feelings. Don't keep them bottled up.
    • Try to keep your vision on the half full side of the glass. Fear and anxiety can make it difficult. Keep in mind that at least one person survives every illness. There is no reason that person won't be you.
    • If you are going to undergo chemotherapy and are at risk for losing your hair, decide if you will want to wear a wig. If so, now is the time to get one to match your hair. Free and low cost wigs are available.
    • Think about how you are going to get to and from appointments. If needed, American Cancer Society can help arrange transportation. Call 800.ACS.2345
    • Learn about changes to start making in your diet to build your system with nutrients that the treatment may diminish. Perhaps you should also be taking a multi-vitamin and/or supplements.
    • Stock up on your comfort foods, including some in your freezer that you can defrost as needed. When you freeze foods for this period, make the portions smaller than usual for those occasions when you don't feel like eating a lot.
  • Think about who will take care of your children while you are in treatment and during any recovery period(s).
  • What changes will be needed at work to accommodate the treatment schedule. (If changes are needed, you can negotiate for them. Changes in this situation are known as an "accommodation.") 
  • How will bills be paid if you aren't feeling well enough to attend to them? This is not the time for your health insurance to be cancelled for lack of payment, or for your mortgage to go into default or to be behind in your rent if you can avoid it.  (Family members or friends can pay bills for you. If none are available, you can hire a professional.)

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