When you have a friend or loved one facing a cancer diagnosis you often try to help with things like watch the kids, cook them dinner those types of things that you see may be needed. What most people don’t often think about is the financial aspect of cancer treatments.

Even with the best health insurance cancer treatments are very costly. You have test, doctors’ visits, co-payments and the list can go on and on. Let me use my treatment plan for an example; I had good health insurance but to see my primary doctor my co-payment was $25.00 and a specialist was $35.00, we had to pay a certain percent of labs, test and then there are the prescriptions. With my treatment plan I would have labs on Monday ($35.00) see my oncologist on a Tuesday ($35.00) , have chemotherapy on Thursday ($35.00) , a shot to help boost my white count $(35.00), the next week I had another lab draw ($35.00). So $175.00 every two weeks and I had eight rounds of chemotherapy for a total of $1400.00. Never mind the loss salary from when you are unable to work. When I had my first round of chemo the medication was red and it turned me hot pink so we thought I was developing MRSA again (I got it the first time with my lumpectomy) so I was hospitalized for 4 days at $100.00 per day co-pay. It turned out I did not have it again that time but I did get it 5 more times in the last 5 years.

I had a month off between radiation and chemotherapy but that still meant weekly labs and doctors’ visits so another $70.00 per week. When I started radiation I had to do 33 days so at $35.00 per day it was $1155.00. Now these totals do not include prescriptions I had to take which those alone are hundreds of dollars.

Cancer is very expensive as you can see but there are organizations that help provide grants to help pay for the cancer treatments. I personally received two grants one was from Komen and the other from Cancer Care. The grants are nice because you can use them for any cancer related expenses you have, if you have to pay for a taxi to treatment, a babysitter or just to help with the co-pays. There are so many different organizations out there to help that I cannot begin to list them all. Most go by what type of cancer you have the Cancer Care is for any cancer diagnosis. I have a list of different organizations that I have compiled over the years so if you or someone you know needs grant info just email me with the cancer type and I will send back some information where you can get financial help.

Friends and families often would like to help out financially but with the economy the way it is that is just not always possible. Another way that is becoming more and more popular to help people with the expenses of cancer is through fundraising. Just the other day there was a fundraiser in Dallas for a four year old boy with stage four cancer and it is amazing how much they were able to raise for him with a softball game.

There are so many different ideas for fundraisers that I cannot possibly list them all but here are some that I have seen. You can start a webpage and accept donations, a car wash, a yard sale, sports tournaments, place jars at local businesses, a spaghetti dinner and currently there is a fundraiser in California called “Take a Punch for Jodi”. No matter how you choose to help utilize the power of the internet and word of mouth to spread the word. You can start a separate page on Facebook to spread the word; ask your friends to post links to it.

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