Thursday, September 14, 2006

What Might We Need?

Today, Dr. Cutter told V she had heard about Jim's ailment, and she expressed concern for us both. She asked whether we had nearby family to help, and we don't. She suggested calling the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition for help. V called this afternoon and spoke to a woman named Cathy.

Cathy listened to the whole story and expressed empathy. She asked what kind of help we might need, and I said I really didn't know what we needed or how they might help. Cathy gave the example of a single Mom of 2 kids who had a double mastectomy, and the Coalition was able gather volunteers to take the family meals for 2 weeks. (Dr. Cutter said the Coalition had unrestricted funds they could use to help.)

Cathy understands that we won't know our limitations until we see our ability levels when Jim comes home. We also presently don't know what kinds of home health care Medicare might provide, although we do know it will pay for three in-home physical and occupational therapy sessions a week (although we don't know for how long).

One thing V suggested we might need that Medicare won't pay for is someone to come in to watch Jim while V is out for DR appointments.

Cathy and V will touch base with each other early next week.

If you have any suggestions for the type of help that we might need and that it would be appropriate to ask for, please let us know.

1 comment:

cindy said...

Hi Venita - I am catching up on your posts since your surgury. I'm so sorry about Jim, but at least his confusion has a cause and can be alleviated.

Sounds like good news for you - the cancer hasn't matisticized, you can move forward with recovery. Not that its easy, but its in sight. I hope I get a raincheck to play for your chemo.

A friend of mine here has throat cancer. He and his wife are both musicians, and have a special needs son. On top of this, her mother died suddenly just as his treatment was about to begin, and besides that, she has such a bad back that she can't even lift pots and pans to cook, much less play her instrument right now. Anyway, one friend of theirs organized a network similar to what you described. They brought dinners several nights a week (I cooked for them twice). They gave rides. Helped with errands - laundry, shopping, stuff like that. Probably housework too. Maybe you need the lawn mowed or help keeping vet appts...There is a website called that sets up blog type pages for people with illnesses. It is courtesy of Johns Hopkins.

I'm sure its hard to think of stuff when you are so used to being self sufficient. I wish we lived closer!