A diagnosis of cancer is a life changing event. Clients I've worked with often feel overwhelmed with myriad problems that inundate them literally overnight. Aside from emotional implications for the diagnosed patient, there are family reactions to consider as well.
I've helped clients to navigate a range of issues from choice of oncologist to whom they may decide to tell about their diagnosis. Depending on the diagnosis, a cancer patient can expect to be many months away from work and in treatment. In more extreme cases a patient could be faced with end of life issues.
Having worked for many years with cancer patients in both the Cancer Support Community and Gilda's Club, I have a working knowledge of many types of cancer and their etiology.
Some of the support groups I facilitated included multiple myeloma, prostate, head & neck, and lung cancer. In addition, I've facilitated bereavement, men's, caregiver, and family support groups.
The stress of a cancer diagnosis creates a particular set of issues to manage on a day to day basis. No one, whether they be a patient, caregiver, or family member, is immune to stress. Prolonged stress can lead to fatigue, reduced immune function, and anxiety. It is important to identify negative reactions to stress that may include cognitive distortion, irrational beliefs, and negative self-talk. Strengthening coping skills through mindful effort, as well as embracing exercise, nutrition, and a sense of humor, are essential for coping with cancer.
Cancer Support Resources
Get Fit. Swing a bat, pump some iron, or dive in—whether you're looking to play baseball, build up some muscle, or swim in our Jr. Olympic-sized swimming pool, we've got everything you're looking for. Enjoy all the benefits of our Fitness Center such as our Group Fitness Studio, with its fantastic group exercises classes, and our Indoor Cycling room, with state-of-the art cycles. Sports at the JCC are many and varied with children and adults participating in leagues as well as lessons. Danny Berry's JCC Baseball, basketball, martial arts, soccer, Swim Gym, and Jane Forman Tennis give Members and Non-Members plenty of options to get up and get active.
Sylvester Cancer Center
Led by Dr. Stacy Cutrono, Exercise Oncology at Sylvester provides patients an opportunity to develop practical ways of adopting a healthier, active lifestyle both during and after treatment. All exercise recommendations are individualized and tailored to patient's diagnosis, course of treatment, overall lifestyle and wellness goals.
American Cancer Society
In the past, people being treated for a chronic illness (an illness a person may live with for a long time, like cancer or diabetes) were often told by their doctor to rest and reduce their physical activity. This is good advice if movement causes pain, rapid heart rate, or shortness of breath. But newer research has shown that exercise is not only safe and possible during cancer treatment, but it can improve how well you function physically and your quality of life.
Exercising is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and to lower your risk for many types of cancer, as well as other diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Physical activity in any form can prevent cancer by helping you maintain a healthy weight and burn belly fat. Plus, it keeps hormones at a healthy level, reduces stress, gets your blood flowing to help your immune system prevent infections and keeps the digestive system healthy, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).
American Cancer Society
Fatigue is one of the most common and distressing side effects of cancer and its treatment. Fatigue from cancer treatment is often more intense than the feelings of being tired we all have from time to time. Learn about cancer-related fatigue and how to manage it here.
The exact causes of cancer fatigue and how best to treat it aren't always clear. Find out what doctors know about cancer fatigue and what you can do about it.
National Cancer Institute
Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and biologic therapy can cause fatigue in cancer patients. Fatigue is also a common symptom of some cancers. Patients describe fatigue as feeling tired, weak, worn-out, heavy, slow, or that they have no energy or get-up-and-go. Fatigue in cancer patients may be called cancer fatigue, cancer-related fatigue, and cancer treatment-related fatigue.
Fatigue is the most common symptom experienced by cancer patients. Fatigue is treatable; however, most patients do not report symptoms to their doctor in the belief that it may not be "important." Cancer-related fatigue can have a serious impact on quality of life, as well as physical symptoms.
CancerCare provides information, resources and support for people coping with fatigue from cancer and its treatment.
Cancer-related fatigue is a persistent feeling of physical, emotional, or mental tiredness or exhaustion related to cancer and/or its treatment. This type of fatigue is different than other types of fatigue, such as when a healthy person does not get enough rest, because it interferes with a person's usual functioning, does not reflect their level of activity, and does not improve with rest. Most people receiving cancer treatment experience fatigue, and some cancer survivors have fatigue that lasts for months and sometimes years after finishing treatment.
Baptist Sleep Center
Baptist Health has four freestanding sleep center facilities, in addition to sleep diagnostic centers on their hospital campuses at Baptist Hospital , South Miami Hospital , Homestead Hospital and Mariners Hospital . Their staff is Board certified sleep specialists holding advanced training and certification in sleep medicine, and is dedicated to providing quality care through in-depth evaluations and consultations.
Sleep Medicine Specialists
Sleep Medicine Specialists of South Florida is a comprehensive sleep center specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in adults and children. Their fully bilingual doctor and staff is here to help you improve your sleep. We have the ability to efficiently and accurately diagnose your sleep problems, and we tailor highly specialized treatment to fit your exact needs.
Mercy Hospital 's Sleep Laboratory
Provides comprehensive diagnostic evaluations to patients with symptoms such as Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Nocturnal Myoclonus, Restless Legs Syndrome and Insomnia.
National Cancer Institute
Having cancer doesn't mean that you'll have pain. But if you do, you can manage most of your pain with medicine and other treatments. This section will show you how to work with your doctors, nurses, and others to find the best way to control your pain. It will discuss causes of pain, medicines, how to talk to your doctor, and other topics that may help you.
Cancer pain occurs in many ways. Your pain may be dull, achy or sharp. It could be constant, intermittent, mild, moderate or severe. Timothy Moynihan, M.D., a cancer specialist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester , Minn. , offers some insight into cancer pain, reasons why people might not get the pain treatment they need and what they can do about it.
Talks about pain management, causes of pain, treating cancer pain, how pain medicine is taken, non-drug pain treatments, and when medicine is not enough.
American Cancer Society
Pain is most often caused by the cancer itself. But pain can also be caused by cancer-related treatment or tests. You may also have pain that has nothing to do with the cancer or its treatment. Like anyone, you can get headaches, muscle strains, and other aches and pains.
Pain is a common symptom in people with cancer. However, it may help to know that up to 95% of cancer pain can be treated successfully. Untreated pain can make other aspects of cancer seem worse, such as fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, nausea, constipation, sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, and mental confusion.
Beauty and Image
Look Good Feel Better
Look Good Feel Better is available free of charge in every state, the District of Columbia , and Puerto Rico . Look Good Feel Better holds group workshops that teach beauty techniques to female cancer patients to help them combat the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment. Group programs are step-by-step makeover learning sessions led by cosmetology professionals using products donated by the cosmetic industry. Each two-hour, hands-on workshop includes a 12-step skin care and makeup lesson, nail care techniques and professional advice on how to deal with hair loss using wigs, scarves, hats, hairpieces, and other accessories. Patients at various stages of treatment receive personal attention and take home instruction booklets and complimentary cosmetic kits in shades that match their skin tones.
Steve's Hair & Wigs
At Steve's Hair and Wigs we understand the emotional effects of hair loss, and are dedicated to making you feel good about yourself, and your purchase. To look your best, we feel that a wig should match your skin tone, and be cut and shaped to fit just you. We believe that wigs should be purchased in person, not from a catalogue, as the proper fit of the wig is important. Our wigs are lightweight, unnoticeable, and comfortable. Above all else, our wigs will make you feel good.
Locks of Love
Locks of Love is a public non-profit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged children under age 21 suffering from long-term medical hair loss from any diagnosis. We meet a unique need for children by using donated hair to create the highest quality hair prosthetics. Our mission is to return a sense of self, confidence and normalcy to children suffering from hair loss by utilizing donated ponytails to provide the highest quality hair prosthetics to financially disadvantaged children. The children receive hair prostheses free of charge or on a sliding scale, based on financial need.
American Cancer Society Wigs
If you do lose your hair, your scalp may be tender and you may want to cover your head. Wear a hat or scarf to protect your head when you are in the sun. If you prefer to wear a hairpiece or wig, be sure the lining does not irritate your scalp. Your local American Cancer Society office may be able to help you get wigs or hats. You may also want to check to see if head coverings are tax deductible or if they are covered by your health insurance.
Caring and Comfort Wigmaker
Toll Free: 1-888-404-5051
There is great comfort in wearing your own hair or hair that has been donated by people who care. Caring and Comfort Wigmaker make wigs with your own hair or donated hair.
Dade County Assistance Programs
Low and moderate income families can get assistance from the Miami-Dade Community Action and Human Services Department. The link takes you to a list of programs offered, as well as information on other charities and non-profits. The community action agency is a non-profit organization that is determined to help families and individuals by
delivering services that assist low and moderate income individuals and families with short term needs and paying bills, and also helps them gain self-sufficiency and economic independence over the long term by using a comprehensive list of programs that address a number of these individuals' needs.
Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund
The Brenda Mehling Cancer Fund (BMCF) supports patients ages 18-40 as they undergo cancer treatment. It provides services to meet daily needs that are not covered by insurance. Typical grants cover $500 worth of medical co-payments, rent and mortgage, transportation, car insurance, repairs, and groceries.
The Chain Fund
We Financially Assist Cancer Patients that are undergoing strenuous cancer treatments, which temporarily prevents them from working. The Chain fund assist Cancer Patients in areas such as mortgage, rent, utilities, prescriptions co-pays, insurance co-pays, & special food needs.
Comprehensive list, approved by editorial board, of national service organizations, local service organizations, travel and housing assistance organizations, medication and treatment cost assistance, general financial information, and more information.
Patient Access Network
The Patient Access Network Foundation offers help and hope to people with chronic or life-threatening illnesses for whom cost limits access to breakthrough medical treatments.
Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition
During times of financial instability and economic distress, the financial burden of medical costs can weigh heavily on cancer patients. In response to these financial challenges, the Cancer Financial Assistance Coalition recently launched www.cancerfac.org to provide guidance on financial assistance and local resources for patients, caregivers, and health care professionals. On the site, patients can search by ZIP code, cancer type, and the type of care they're looking for – housing, health insurance, drug assistance, transportation, and scholarships – and instantly receive customized information. Formed in 2007, the CFAC is made up of 12 national organizations, including the American Cancer Society and Cancer Care.
CancerCare® provides limited financial assistance to people affected by cancer. As a nonprofit organization, funding depends on the sources of support we receive at any given time. If we do not currently have funding to assist you, our professional oncology social workers will always work to refer you to other financial assistance resources. Please check our website periodically for funding updates.
CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation
The CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation is a not-for-profit organization established in 2007 to address the needs of individuals who cannot afford their insurance co-payments to cover the cost of medications for treating cancer. The Foundation is proud to be affiliated with CancerCare, a national not-for-profit organization that has provided free
professional support services including counseling, education, financial assistance and practical help to people with cancer and their loved ones since 1944. Please visit the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation website for available assistance.
The HealthWell Foundation
1(800) 675- 8416
When health insurance is not enough, HealthWell fills the gap. They assist patients living with chronic and life-altering illnesses in paying their share of prescription drug copayments, deductibles, and health insurance premiums.
Guides you through insurance and financial assistance options.
SWIM Cancer Foundation
Financial assistance is provided to single mothers to assist with monthly household expenses while undergoing treatment. The assistance provided is geared towards alleviating stress that may interfere with treatment and recovery.
Cancer Fairy Godmother
Free help finding work-at-home jobs for cancer survivors.
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
Patient Financial Aid Program provides a limited amount of financial assistance to help patients who have significant financial need and are under a doctor's care for a confirmed blood cancer diagnosis. Co-Pay Assistance Program offers financial support toward the cost of insurance co-payments and/or insurance premium costs for prescription drugs. Patients must qualify both medically and financially for this program.
Sisters Network, Inc.
The Breast Cancer Assistance Program (BCAP) provides services to women facing financial challenges. The BCAP program provides financial assistance for but not limited to: medical related lodging, co-pay, office visits and prosthesis. This program also provides FREE mammograms for those who qualify.
At Good Days, we believe patients should focus on the more important things in life. That's why we work directly with pharmacies and doctors to pay for patients' out-of-pocket expenses, so they can receive their treatments quickly and easily. Turn to Good Days for the industry-leading solutions that help patients feel like themselves again.
Copay Assistance Programs: Provide eligible underinsured individuals with financial assistance to cover all or part of the individuals' out-of-pocket cost for the supported medications. These programs give individuals the ability to afford their medications. Copay Assistance Eligibility Criteria
Financial Assistance Programs: Provide financial assistance for medication copays, health insurance premiums, and basic healthcare needs to children and adults. Financial Assistance Eligibility Criteria
Health Insurance Premium Assistance Programs: Assist those who have health insurance but need help paying for their out-of-pocket premiums for private, independent, COBRA or government health insurance coverage plans. Health Insurance Premium Assistance Eligibility Criteria.
Florida Cancer Specialist Foundation (financial assistance)
A cancer diagnosis can change everything. For some, it may mean the added stress of financial hardship. We deeply care about our patients and their struggles. Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation was created to help patients who need financial assistance while undergoing treatment. Thru its AVAIL Fund, the Foundation allows those fighting their battle with cancer to concentrate on recovery rather than their overdue rent, mortgage, electric, or water bill.
National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) Project (help with utility bills)
By emailing us at email@example.com, you will access the LIHEAP Clearinghouse's National Energy Assistance Referral (NEAR) project. NEAR is a free service for persons who want information on where to apply for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which may pay a portion of the energy bills of eligible low-income persons. Please include your city, county and state in your email message.
21st Century Care
Offers Transportation to and from treatment or follow-up doctor visits related to cancer-care, Childcare during treatment, Education and support meetings ,Cosmetic aide and hygiene products, Respite care services, Temporary housing due to geographical distance from the treatment center, Food during treatment, Medical supplies and equipment, Cancer screenings and any other supplies or services related to cancer treatment.
Christians Overcoming Cancer
Christians Overcoming Cancer is a faith-based, 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization is passionate about helping cancer patients SUCCEED on their ROAD TO RECOVERY through Awareness, Emotional Support and Financial Relief Services.
Gilda's Club South Florida
No one has to face cancer alone. Gilda's Club South Florida offers free programs for men, women, teens, and children as well as their families and friends who have been touched by cancer. Our innovative program is an essential complement to medical care, providing support groups, healthy lifestyle workshops, educational programs, and social activities, all free of charge.
To empower families with young children, in which a parent has been diagnosed with cancer, through resources and information, to better address medical, psychological and administrative challenges.
Care and Counseling Services
800-YES-HOPE; 800-937-4673; 786-596-CARE (2273)
Care and Counseling Services, under the guidance of Baptist Health South Florida's Pastoral Care Services, provides confidential and compassionate counseling support to members of our community who are seeking help during crises or opportunities for growth and enrichment in their lives.
The Courtelis Center for Psychosocial Oncology
The Courtelis Center for Psychosocial Oncology at Sylvester provides a team of mental health professionals including psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers and a chaplain to help patients and their families cope with cancer. This program addresses the impact of the mind-body relationship on health, disease, prevention and recovery.
Miami Cancer Institute: Cancer Patient Support Center
Programs@BaptistHealth.net or call 786-596-3812
The mission of the Cancer Patient Support Center at Miami Cancer Institute is to enhance the quality of life and health outcomes of patients with cancer and their caregivers by addressing their physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs through high-quality clinical care, education and research across the continuum of care.
University of Miami Institute for Individual and Family Counseling (IIFC)
The Institute for Individual and Family Counseling (IIFC) is a part of the School of Education and Human Development at the University of Miami provide affordable therapeutic services to the Greater Miami community.
Barry University Family CARE Center
The Family CARE Center (Counseling, Assessment, Research, and Education) offers a full range of educational diagnostics, interventions, and mental health support services that address a diverse spectrum of individual needs, while promoting individual and family wellness from a holistic perspective.
Carlos Albizu University Goodman Psychological Services Center
Goodman Psychological Services Center is a private, nonprofit community mental health agency that is affiliated with the Psychology Department of Carlos Albizu University (CAU). Students of the University who are working toward the Doctor of Psychology degree provide our services under the supervision of licensed psychologists.
Since 1979, Citrus Health Network, Inc. has been here for our community, with an outstanding roster of licensed mental health care professionals who are totally committed to guiding the mentally ill and their families.
Jessie Trice Community Health Center
305-637-6400 Ext. 15191
JTCHC's outpatient mental health program provides evidence based, state of the art treatment for anxiety and depressive disorders.
UM Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science
General Appointment line: 305-243-4000
Office of the Chairman: 305-243-6400
UHealth clinicians at the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences are available to provide you and your family with highly skilled, caring, and confidential evaluation and treatment as outpatient care. Individual, family, and group treatments are available in any of our outpatient programs.
The Beautiful Gate
A Gateway for Women of Color: Breast Cancer Support Group
Breast Cancer Support Group funded by Susan G. Komen for the cure since 2006. Facilitated by a licensed Oncology Social Worker. This group meets every:
1st Thursday of the month, 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Community Health of South Florida, Inc. (CHI)
CHI delivers safe, accessible, compassionate and culturally competent quality health care to people of South Florida . CHI offers a variety of services including psychiatrist, mental health services, targeted case management, and medical services.
American Psychosocial Oncology Society
APOS offers a Toll-Free HELPLINE ~ a national resource provided to help people with cancer and their caregivers find counseling services in their own communities.
Cancer Support Community
Cancer support helpline and online chat available for brief counseling and emotional support.
Call 800-813-HOPE (4673)
Staff of professional oncology social workers provide support, information and resources to help you better cope with cancer.
National LGBT Cancer Network
The National LGBT Cancer Network is offering FREE online support forums to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender cancer survivors (internet access required to participate). Offering separate forums for interested participants: a forum for lesbian- and bisexual- identified women, a forum for gay- and bisexual- identified men, and a forum for transgender-identified people with cancer.
Welcome to FCA CareJourney, a secure online solution for quality information, support, and resources for family caregivers of adults with chronic physical or cognitive conditions such as Alzheimer's, stroke, Parkinson's, and other illnesses. By joining CareJourney you will be asked a brief set of questions that lead to a personal dashboard loaded with information that matches your unique caregiving needs, such as:
- FCA fact and tip sheets, videos, online classes, and support
- Caregiving resources nationally and by state
- Access to skilled FCA Resource Navigator
- Dashboard to track your information and find support
- HelpGuide's self-help tools empower readers to effectively deal with mental, emotional and social health challenges.
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Psychotherapists - Spanish and Creole
Peggy Rios, Ph.D. (Spanish/English)
5915 Ponce de Leon Blvd, Suite 19
Coral Gables , FL 33146
Pascale Denis, LMHC (English/Creole/French)
1390 South Dixie Highway, Suite 1306
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Erik Torres, Psy.D. (Spanish/English)
7755 SW 87 Ave., Suite 104
Miami, Florida 33173
(786) 563-4307 (305) 510-4877
Stephanie Wasserman Askari, Ph.D. (Spanish/English)
5915 Ponce De Leon Boulevard, Suite 19
Coral Gables , Florida 33146