A cancer diagnosis involves much more than chemotherapy, radiation and a lot of prayer. It can mean changes in body image, awkward questions from co-workers and worries about co-pays. Most of all, it can mean sleepless nights thinking about family members and the stress they too are experiencing.
Alegent Creighton Health Cancer Support Services helps patients and family address the psychosocial aspects they experience along the cancer journey. There are five of us who average 28 years of experience each: four are oncology-certified social workers with advanced degrees and one is a certified psychiatric/mental health nurse who has certification in the study of end-of-life care.
We are able to advise patients and family about workplace issues, such as “what do I tell my employer?” We help them cope with body image changes and the impact they have on sexuality and intimacy. We work with them on family role reversals, such as when a wife has to take over the finances after years of the husband handling them. We help with financial concerns and assess eligibility for community, county, state, federal and national resources that the patient may not know about. We provide information and education about cancer for parents of children and teens that are age-appropriate.
In addition to Cancer Support Services, Alegent Creighton Health has an interdisciplinary team of professionals that addresses special needs of this patient population. The team includes oncology and inpatient social workers, nurse navigators, physical, occupational and speech therapists, lymphedema therapists, inpatient nursing, breast health clinic nursing, radiation oncology coordinator and/or nursing, mental health specialist, home care/hospice services, oncology dieticians, oncology clinical nurse specialists and pastoral care.
We work together to empower patients and their families. when they need it most. When it comes to addressing the needs of the patient and family members, we are there to help when needed most.
Alegent Creighton Health Cancer Center has 20 cancer support groups and programs, the most available in the metro. Our services are provided free to Alegent Creighton Health patients and families. For more information, contact 1-800-ALEGENT.
By Holly Adams, Cancer Support Services specialist