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Navigating cancer care

navigatingcancercare

“You have cancer.” Those three simple words change your life forever. Here at St. Elizabeth Hospital, we hope to make your cancer journey as easy as possible. We do this by working as a multi-disciplinary team that includes your medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, thoracic surgeon, pulmonologist, social worker and patient navigator.

By working as a team we are able to provide the best possible care, with each individual playing a unique role. As a lung cancer nurse navigator, my role includes:

  • Attending doctor appointments with patients and families so that they can attentively listen to and take in all of the information being given. I will take notes and help patients to fully understand all of the medical jargon, test results and treatment options.
  • Checking in with patients at home to make sure all appointments are made and kept, schedules are followed, medications are being taken and questions and concerns are answered.
  • Offering emotional support and encouragement when needed.
  • Arranging help with transportation, insurance and financial issues

The overall role of the nurse navigator is to extend a helping hand to patients who may be feeling overwhelmed. The goal is to guide them through the system, be a resource to patients and let them know what to expect during their treatment. Though a cancer diagnosis changes your life, at St. Elizabeth Hospital it does not mean that you are alone in that change.

St. Elizabeth Hospital Volunteer Services actively seeking recruits

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Would you or someone you know—a neighbor, parent, or college student—make a great volunteer? St. Elizabeth Hospital Volunteer Services is looking for enthusiastic and energetic volunteers who want to stay active and have fun while helping others. If you’re interested in helping ensure patients receive the best care possible, you’re exactly the kind of volunteer that is needed.

Volunteer shifts are available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. At least one four-hour shift once a week is ideal. As a volunteer, you can:

  • Meet new people and create friendships
  • Share talents, skills and experiences
  • Assist our patients, visitors and associates
  • Explore health care careers
    • Gain information, education or training
    • Use Affinity library services
    • Attend Affinity Health System training and development courses
    • Participate in a variety of special programs offered by Affinity Health System.
    • Make a difference in our community

These and other benefits are waiting for volunteers at St. Elizabeth Hospital. If you would like to make a meaningful difference in our community, fill out the online application here. Students ages 15-18 who are looking to volunteer can find opportunities to do so with the St. Elizabeth Student Program.

Studies show that volunteers feel good physically and emotionally when they help others, and volunteer assignments are matched to individual talents and interests. It’s easy to get started. For more information or to apply, visit the St. Elizabeth Hospital Volunteer Services section online at affinityhealth.org/volunteer or call us at 920.738.2425

Where to find affordable wigs, turbans and headscarves for chemo patients

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You may have just been told the news that no one wants to hear—you have cancer. You may feel frightened and wonder what lies ahead for you. You will need the support of your family, friends and community as you make decisions about your care and treatment process. If it is recommended that you will need chemotherapy, chances are that you are going to experience hair loss. If you are going to lose your hair during treatment, there are plenty of resources available to you for head coverings.

Some health insurance companies cover the cost of a wig or other headwear for cancer treatment patients, but if yours does not there are other options. Calumet Medical Center provides free wigs, turbans and headscarves for our chemotherapy patients; you can stop by Calumet Medical Center from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to try them on. St. Elizabeth Hospital and Mercy Medical Center also have cancer navigators that are available to help in the search of wigs or anything else that you may need throughout your journey. These resources are just a phone call away, and the staff is both friendly and knowledgeable about the process.

There are several websites that offer help finding affordable head covers, such as The American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org, or Tender Loving Care at www.tlcdirect.org. If you choose a wig, many of the salons in the area will cut and style your wig at no cost.

If you enjoy the outdoors, wigs, hats, turbans or scarves are important for protecting your head from sun exposure, especially in these hot summer months. How you look is certainly not as important as how you feel, but everyone deserves to feel confident and dignified, no matter what their health status is.

Cancer is the toughest fight many of us will ever face, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Calumet Medical Center has a cancer support group called C.A.R.E.S—Cancer Awareness, Resources, Education and Support Group. We meet the fourth Tuesday of each month. Call (800) 450-4042 ext. 2406 for more information.

It’s Personal Campaign – Thank You For Helping Us Meet Our Goal

After three and a half years, we are proud and grateful to be able to say that with the help of all of you, we did it. The St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation met its goal of raising $6 million to put toward the St. Elizabeth Hospital revitalization project. We could not have made it this far without the help of all our generous donors, friends and neighbors. Together, we are setting forth on a path to continue offering high-quality, personalized care for our patients well into the next century. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.

Watch Becky’s orthopaedic story

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