Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Free Stuff for Breast Cancer Patients

Yeah, cancer sucks.

But, there is always a silver lining - you can get free stuff!

Who doesn't like that?

There are many companies that generously offer free services to breast patients. The items offered range from headwear to makeup to classes to gas cards to informational booklets.

Being the super kind and wonderful breast cancer patient that I am, I have compiled a list for you so you can get your very own freebies.

In return, when you do your Amazon shopping, please come here and use my search box to find your items. I want free stuff too! ------->

The American Cancer Society has a lot of help for cancer patients, from classes to goodies. You can get gas mileage reimbursement if you have to travel a certain number of miles per year medical for appointments, and they will send you a $25.00 card to get started. You can get either a free wig or a $75.00 reimbursement on a wig, purchased from certain shops that they will recommend. They offer numerous support classes, such as nutrition for the cancer patient, and many others. They also offer rides for those who can't drive. They are a wonderful resource and kind on the phone too.

My favorite was the Look Good, Feel Better class. You sit with a group of ladies who all have cancer and are in various stages of chemo. A licensed esthetician teaches you to put on makeup to hide the changes chemo will cause, and you also walk out with an amazing goodie bag with tons of free (and name-brand) makeup. (One thing I hadn't thought of - your old makeup has bacteria on it - and when your white counts are low you can get an infection from it. So, this new makeup is not only fun but necessary for your health.) They also had some free hats at the class I took. Check out the website to locate one in your area - it's a national offering.

France Luxe will give breast cancer patients a gorgeous silk scarf of their choosing. Click on good wishes on the top right of the site to request one. The CEO herself will contact you back. They ship free inside the USA and internationally if you cover the costs. These scarves retail for $70.00 so it's a generous offering. If you aren't a cancer patient, buy something from them because they do good work.

Heavenly Hats will send you a package of hats. Keep in mind, these are donated - some will work for your style and some may not but heck, it's free. It was started by a kid and has grown to be a wonderful service for those who have lost their hair.

Fill a Heart offers a free, heart-shaped pillow which comes in very handy after a mastectomy.

If you have had a mastectomy and lymph surgery, you are forever at risk for lymphodema. You cannot have blood pressure taken or blood drawn from that arm. If you are going into the hospital and want to remind medical personal of the risks, you can get a free bracelet from ReidSleeve.com

The Livestrong Foundation offers free downloadable materials, as well as guidebook that will help you navigate your cancer experience. You pay for shipping on the book.

Cleaning for a Reason
will provide three free housecleaning services for people undergoing chemotherapy. You have to fax a note from your doctor. May be overbooked in some areas, (like mine) but is a very necessary service for those who can take advantage.

People undergoing active chemotherapy can receive little treats from the Chemo Angels. There is an application process, and you can sign up for a family member to surprise them.

Casting for Recovery is a fabulous organization which offers weekend retreats for breast cancer patients in all stages of survival and teaches them fly fishing. Its a great bonding weekend where you have a blast, learn a new skill, and are spoiled by the volunteers who put it together. They offer retreats around the country and some overseas.

There are numerous local outlets that offer items to smooth your cancer experience. My hospital has an outreach program with a nurse who called me monthly to make sure I was fine and if I need anything, and who delivered a bag of goodies to me in the hospital. Your doctor will put you in touch with this group if it exists in your area.

There is also more functional help for those who may end up in financial distress because of cancer treatment. The National Institute for Health or the Susan Komen Foundation is a great place to start finding these grants. They offer financial help to pay for medication, travel, medical costs, even rent.

I have also found that most wig shops will automatically offer a 10 to 20% discount for chemotherapy patients. If you are buying a wig while you still have hair, make sure you ask.

If you know of any national companies that offer a free item to a cancer patient, feel free to post it in the comments and I'll add it to my list.

24 comments:

  1. Here's a few more:

    Casting for Recovery is a fabulous organization which offers weekend retreats for breast cancer people and teaches them fly fishing. Its a great bonding weekend where you have a blast, learn a new skill, and are spoiled by the volunteers who put it together. They offer retreats around the country and some overseas. www.castingforrecovery.org.

    Stowe Weekend of Hope - is held the first weekend of May in Stowe, VT. It is a great weekend for people with any type of cancer and is free to first time attendees. You get put up in a local hotel and attend a three day weekend of events. As it started as a breast cancer event, Friday is dedicated to breast cancer sessions. www.stowehope.org

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  2. Great post, very useful information!!!
    Hang in there!

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  3. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Alena

    http://ovarianpain.net

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  4. Thanks so much for all of this great information, Ann. I've already ordered a head scarf from FranceLuxe. Laura was so responsive and kind! I'm going to link to this post from mine tonight.

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  5. Thanks for all the info. I wish I had known about some of these back in '92-'93 when I was undergoing my chemo. I'm going to keep coming back because my daughter (age 40) was just diagnosed with ovarian cancer and I'm sure some of these will be very helpful for her. Thanks and keep up the good work.

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  6. I am a 17 yr breast cancer survivor and 11yr survivor of Tamoxifen. Yeah, my cancer was in the lymph nodes and dr. wanted to prevent the return of cancer so he kept me on Tamoxifen 11 years.
    I learned to sleep on a beach towel. It absorbed the moisture so I no longer got chills after the hot flashes. That was half the battle and helped tremendously. I was called to jury duty while on Tamoxifen. I tried to convince the judge I couldn't serve. No deal, he made me stay. Well, they settled out of court, but if it happened again I would get a note from my dr. stating I was in cancer treatment and couldn't serve at that time. After Tamoxifen he tried me on another drug. Too many side effects and after so many years, I begged to not take it. We still visit every 6 months. Prayers for you. GGinMcKinney, TX

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  7. Thank you so much for the helpful information. I was recently diagnosed with DCIs. I had a lumpectomy and lymph node biopsy. The biopsy was neg, and they think they removed all the cancer cells, praise the Lord! I will start radiation in 2 weeks, and probably Tamoxifen in Jan if I don't talk myself out of it. I am asking my friends to pray against all the bad side effects. I already get a little hot in the summer in Alabama, and have a time cooling off sometimes.
    Cancer Care is also a good resource. They have one time a year grants for gas of $100, and another grant through the Avon Foundation for cancer related drugs of around $350 per year.
    I hope you have a great holiday season.
    Thank you. Davina :)

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  8. Thanks to this post I just applied for Casting for Recovery, I hope I am picked. There is one just less than an hour from my home! I also am getting a Gailafund hat and a Franceluxe hat! I am in the process of getting in touch with my local ACS to see what they can do to help. Thanks for this listing!

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  9. Bethesda Skincare's Melanie Project sends a bar of soap (good for chemo ravaged skin) to patients.

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  10. Thanks for the information. I just picked out a head wrap from France Luxe and plan on checking out the Casting for Recovery. Your positive attitude made me feel a lot better. I'm in my last two weeks of radiation. My journey begin in November when I was diagnosed with IDC estrogen+, progesterone+, and HER2+.

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  11. I love your blog, thanks so much for making me laugh and cry at times :) I am going through chemo myself until end of Nov. for IDC grade 3 BC.
    I found a lot of usefull programs in this post, thanks!!

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  12. here's another one that does cleaning:
    http://www.cleaningforcancer.org/

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  13. You should add First Descents http://firstdescents.org/

    They have kayaking, climbing, and surf trips for cancer survivor and fighters. I really enjoyed it when I went and was totally free. They even help with airfare if needed. They are flexible on the age requirements too.

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  14. First may I say congrats on your positive outlook and your desire to help others. My mother has breast cancer, diagnosed terminal with about one year to live; I'm her only caregiver and searching for any aid I can find. Home repairs, car repairs, free dental clinics, anything to improve her quality of life while still here. If you have any additional suggestions or links, please email me at J_E_TODD@Hotmail.com

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  15. You need to add Little Pink Houses of Hopeto this list. They offer free weeklong breast cancer retreats on the beach for patients and their families. Totally free and wonderfully amazing! I just returned from Hatteras Island!
    www.littlepinkhousesofhope.org

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    1. Glad to see the Little Pink Houses of Hope recommendation. My husband and I went on their first couple's retreat in October before I had reconstruction in November. Fabulous! Jeanine Patten-Coble and her volunteers are the best!

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  16. Thank you so much for all of the wonderful help and ideas!!! You have truly helped direct me to knew ideas and help at a time that I need it most and am in my first stages and not quite sure where to turn. Thank you so much!

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  17. I live in Florida and am currently in chemo for breast cancer. I contacted Compassion Partners here in Orlando to receive free tickets to Universal Studios Orlando. They just need some time to process your request but they provide tickets for 2 adult family members and 3 children to visit Sea World or Universal and also an assistance pass so you can bypass the long lines.

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  18. I need help!! I have been trying to call Compassion Partners, but the phone just rings for a long period of time and then disconnects. the other numbers that I have for them are no longer in service.
    Can someone please help, I am a Breast Cancer Patient.
    Thank you!

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  19. Great site. The link for American Cancer Society is incorrect. It should be www.cancer.org. Right now the link is going to the American Chemical Society.

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  20. I was able to order the bracelet, which is something I have been wanting, but really couldn't afford. Thank you.

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  21. check out layers of love. I found this on facebook. its a non profit organization that makes fleece blankets for anyone going through chemo. I ordered one for my mom and they sent me a heartfelt email and delivered her a beautiful blanket to her door within 2 weeks. :)

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  22. check out layers of love. they are a non profit organization that makes fleece blankets to comfort patients going through chemotherapy. I ordered one with a brief email and received a heartfelt email back. they delivered a beautiful blanket to my moms front door within 2 weeks. :)

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    Replies
    1. Layers of Love is excellent. It was actually started by the niece of a good friend of mine who lost her father to cancer when she was in her tween years. Her mom has a wonderful blog called, www.cancerhawk.com A fabulous resource for cancer patients. Go visit her, she is truly amazing.

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