Building on the success of the post-surgical pillow resources, BCAK will be piloting two new programs in 2024! Thanks to the generous support of the Saunders-Matthey Cancer Prevention Fund, BCAK will now be able to reach out and provide support to anyone undergoing chemotherapy or radiation connected with breast cancer treatment.
As many of you are aware, the impact and side effects of chemotherapy can be severe (for example, hair and nail loss, exhaustion, being physically ill and nauseous, sleep issues, health vulnerability, anemia, sore mouth, stress, memory and concentration issues, etc.). Radiation treatment can be completed by itself, or in combination with surgery and chemotherapy, and also has severe side effects (for example, fatigue, skin issues, changes to the size, shape and feeling of the breast, lymphedema, pain, and for some, heart damage where tumour had been located close to heart). Currently, BCAK only provides the post-surgical pillows to those undergoing surgery and would like to pilot a program to reach those undergoing chemo and/or radiation, with or without surgery.
The pilot programs would extend our support and outreach by creating treatment care packs (for example, chemo pack and radiation pack) for those undergoing treatment at the Kingston Health Sciences Centre (KHSC) Cancer Care located at Kingston General Hospital, provide supportive items to the patient (depending on which care pack, the individual could receive a hair wrap for chemo; cream for radiation; journals and lip balm etc.), in addition to information about BCAK and what to expect while in treatment.
This approach and outreach with post-surgical candidates has been proven so successful with the pillow program that we are excited to explore the new program to those in active treatment. Early connections could help those in treatment to access some of the supportive services earlier – for example, access to the financial assistance program where appropriate, individual and group peer support etc.
To support the pilot program, we will leverage our existing partnerships with Kingston General Hospital, healthcare professionals and organizations that may be able to donate products and items to offset some of the costs.
….AND we need to hear from YOU! Many of our BCAK family have undergone or are undergoing treatment and have incredible insight into what might help others. Please click the survey link to share some ideas on what could be included in the care packs. Your ideas and perspectives are invaluable, and the information shared will inform our planning into what can be included in the care packs!
The survey will only take two minutes to complete:
Thank you in advance for sharing your ideas and perspective – never doubt the impact you can have!!!