Thursday, July 17, 2014


Seems I'm being asked more and more often about programs in our county which help those with cancer.  Are more being diagnosed or are more reaching out in need?

Since going through treatment a few years back I suppose people think I'm the one to ask.  But I'm no expert.  The #1 question I'm always asked?  Where can I find help with gas?

Fortunately my last four rounds of chemo were in Sweetwater.  So half did not have the expense of driving to Knoxville. However, that is no longer an option.  There is no chemo in Sweetwater anymore.  (I wrote a blog post a year or so ago about this called "Empty Chairs".  Click here to read: )

Following chemotherapy, radiation became the gas hog for me. Thirty six radiation treatments.  Everyday I had to drive to Knoxville.  Not only does radiation zap the strength and energy you managed to hang on to through chemo, it also takes a chunk from your gas budget.

Pilot has a program with which I received one gas voucher per week.  Can you say helpful?  It was wonderful!  My treatments were at Park West with Thompson Cancer Center.  I'm not sure which hospitals partner with Pilot but ask your doctor.  Most hospitals have social workers with which can assist with things such as this.

Locally, for those in Monroe County, Patty Williford runs a program which assists with gas.  I'm not sure of all the details other than it's a great program!  Patty has an application you must complete.  I also have copies of the application in my office if you'd like to pick one up while in town. 

Cancer is tough!!!  In so many, many ways.  Don't be afraid to reach out for help!  Or if you know someone going through treatments tell them about programs like Patty's and Pilot.  They may not think to ask.  Or may embarrassed to approach an organization for help.  

It's okay.  Everyone needs support when facing the life battle called cancer.....