I had heard about Can Assist through other people around my home town of Tumut, and previously seen and bought raffle tickets from street stalls to aid local fundraisers.
I didn’t imagine that I would ever need their help but when I was diagnosed with breast cancer after only recently being separated from my husband, I found myself in a very stressful situation with very limited funds. I required any assistance I could possibly get and the local Tumut Can Assist branch helped me with fuel vouchers, utility bill assistance and medication payments after surgery.
While I was staying in Wagga Wagga for treatment, the local branch there also assisted with frozen meals for my son and myself.
I know of no other organisations who assist with everyday costs when diagnosed with cancer.
My diagnosis meant that I had a mastectomy, along with radiation therapy. From the day I received the results I was shocked. It felt surreal, like I was watching myself from above and everything was not really happening to me. After surgery I cried for the first two weeks, when I was finally brave enough to look down and accept the loss of my breast, I did so and decided that I could face anything now that the worst was over.
With the mastectomy and radiation, my treatment program was around eight weeks. Radiation therapy was around five weeks, yet with Christmas & New Year holidays, it turned out to be six weeks.
I am the first in my family to have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I had always thought that it more of a hereditary situation, which is probably why I was so shocked, there had been no breast cancer in my family.
All assistance was very helpful, the fuel vouchers and medication payment saved me money that I could put towards medical expenses. Having the frozen meals being paid meant that after surgery when I was tired and sore meant that I did not have to cook and clean. The accommodation payment was so beneficial, as it meant that I could stay in Wagga Wagga during the treatment. Radiation therapy left me very tired and drained, had I had to drive each day I would have been a danger on the road not only to myself but other as well.
I am still to this day receiving help with fuel from Can Assist, as I have commenced hormone treatment, which will continue for the next seven to ten years, and I have regular visits with an Oncologist.
When Can Assist offered to help me financially I was relieved, travelling, along with medical expenses cost a small fortune. If I had not received help from Can Assist then my only alternative
Would have been to borrow the money or not have treatment. As it was, I did have to borrow money to cover medical expenses as Medicare did not cover some procedures.
My lasting impression of assistance given by Can Assist was that there are still kind, generous and caring people in the world. That includes people who gave or donated money or items to the organisation. My faith in society has been renewed.
The assistance given by Can Assist enabled me to ensure that my son and I had a somewhat normal Christmas and prior to that his Birthday in October. Had I not received assistance I would not have been able to give my son anything. The ladies from my local branch are very caring, understanding, and professional. They are a gift from God!
Thanking you so much, from a very appreciative cancer survivor.