My name is Robin Letarte and I am a Patient Financial Advocate at New England Cancer Specialists. I found out about the Feeling Beautiful Again program when applying for BCCA’s other program, Help Now Fund, on behalf of one of my patients.
We give out our FBA bags to patients before they start their chemo treatment when they meet with a nurse practitioner for a “chemo teach”. Chemo Teach is a comprehensive lesson to prepare patients on what to expect from chemotherapy. The bags actually go along with the Teach because a lot of the materials in the bag directly address some of the side effects they can expect. They also come with great informational packets that are filled with really useful tips. The Create Wellness booklet has been a great all encompassing information source.
Looking over the items in the bag, I think about our patients that come in for treatment… they lose a lot of their sense of femininity from losing their hair especially. They would say they used to be identified by their hair and when they lose that it affects them in a dramatic way. A lot of ladies come in with the lipstick on in an effort to hold on to that femininity.
I think for this population there are so many changes that happen to the physical side of thing. The bag lets them know we first and foremost understand what they’re going through and also it gives them not a solution but something to help them keep a sense of who they are. There are so many things in the bag that help women during this difficult time. We are so appreciative of the Feeling Beautiful Again program and so are our patients.