On Feb. 16, 2009, a non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) victim, Karen Parles died of complications from her illness. In her 11 year struggle, Karen courageously searched out means and ways through the establishment of her website for the benefit and information of lung cancer victims and their families. She joined forces with other advocacy and support groups. Before she passed away, her efforts bore fruit and now lung cancer patients, survivors and caregivers have gained a new sense of respect from the worldwide community with all kinds of assistance being provided.
In 1978, Richard A. Bloch decided to fight back after being told that he had only 3 months to live with his stage 4 lung cancer. He fought aggressively and after two years of various treatments, he was declared cancer free. Richard devoted the rest of his life to provide hope for cancer victims to fight back and beat this deadly disease. He and wife Anne wrote two books, Guide to Cancer Supporters and Cancer… There’s Hope and Fighting Cancer.
The R.A. Bloch National Cancer Foundation was set up in 1980 to help patients seek prompt, proper and thorough treatment. Their 24/7 hotline provides peer-to-peer counseling by phone that matches patients with a network of nearly 500 cancer survivors with a survivor with the same type of illness. Their head office volunteers answer calls and emails worldwide and provide information, inspiration, encouragement and support to patients who are eager to hear that there is hope of survival. They also give the Bloch books for free except for shipping fees for bulk cases.
Treatment of cancer is expensive. Another support group is CancerCare. For more than 60 years, this organization has provided financial assistance to help victims defray expenses for homecare, childcare and pain medications with their CancerCare Financial Assistance. Their social workers have the knowhow to provide the appropriate assistance. They also have a Co-Payment Assistance Foundation who gives financial help to NSCLC patients who have difficulties in their insurance payments for medications.
CancerCare is also a part of the association of online lung cancer support groups. They serve patients and their families throughout the United States. Their well-trained oncology social workers provide support by phone calls and emails through internet 24/7. They have online support groups for teens from 13-19 years old who have parents with cancer. It is called CancerCare for Kids.
Another online group is the Cancer Survivors Network, a part of the American Cancer Society which facilitates discussion groups and chat rooms for survivors and their loved ones. A free online community for survivors is Gilda’sClub Worldwide. They also have clubhouses nationwide for a person-to-person support. For matching services for one-on-one cancer interaction, the Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) offers the Phone Buddy Program where NSCLC survivors and caregivers are matched with other NSCLC survivors and caregivers. Another matching scheme offered by Cancer Hope Network is the matching of patients with trained volunteers who have undergone the same cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation.
Other online groups are the CaringBridge which provides a website where cancer survivors and their loved ones can keep in touch with families and friends, post updates and send notes of support and encouragement to other cancer members. There is also the Lung Cancer Forum which is a source for asking questions and knowing how other cancer survivors are coping with their long illness. More lung cancer support come from the LungCancerOnline Support Group of the Association of Cancer Online Resources Inc., the Lung-Bac, Lung-Nsclc and Lung-Sclc, the Wellness Community and the Cancer Compass.
Lung Cancer support groups can offer unquantifiable benefits when you or a loved one are coping with this dreadful illness. They advise family and friends on how to relate to a family member afflicted with lung cancer when it comes to the use of body language, emotions, words and behavior. Because these volunteers have experienced cancer themselves place them in a position of credibility to inspire and give hope to the families of cancer patients to continue fighting back. The psychosocial needs of patients and their inner circle are very important to help them live out their best. Professional counseling help patients make logical choices while adapting to the effective ways of dealing with lung cancer.