I have tried to answer some questions from those who contact me. I often privately help but sometimes, names or emails are not left for me to do this. So I am posting these, please help out if you can, if you have any other information or input to add.
“Where do I go to for help? Who will listen to me? All the community and counselling services only offer a few free visits then you have to go to someone else. I need to talk all the time about my problems. I have a oesophageal cancer and I am worried about everything and how I am going to live, where am I going to live while I have treatment how will I pay the bills. I have so many worries but no one to tell them too. I would like to have a case worker, social worker somebody of my own culture who can help me.”
I think you need to talk to your GP about being on a care co-ordination package or a chronic disease, something that will give you some counselling as part of the package. Many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Medical services have mental health workers who it would be good to talk to, that person can then help you with any anxiety you might have over your diagnosis and help you towards services that will help. Life line and other community organisations are there to help. They and many smaller community based organisations can help with food, budgeting, and even counselling. Your hospital will have social workers who should be able to help you.
“My mother had breast cancer, my sister and I have survived it I have heard that there is a test my nieces can do to find out the chances of them having it. What is it and how to get it?”
Yes it is possible to get this kind of test. The testing involves first searching for a gene mutation. The genes most commonly tested are BRCA1 and BRCA2. A sample of blood is usually taken from a woman in the family who has developed breast cancer or ovarian cancer. The DNA is ‘searched’ for a gene fault. https://canceraustralia.gov.au/clinical-best-practice/gynaecological-cancers/familial-risk-assessment-fra-boc/genetic-testing. First step is to talk to the hospital or your local doctor.
“Hi I am looking for a playgroup around Sydney that I can take my son to play. He has Leukaemia, and I want him to have as normal a life as possible. I want him to know that other Koori kids are out there with special needs like him.”
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