You can have cancer and hope | Ascension

You can have cancer and hope

Compassionate doctors and care teams at Ascension Wisconsin support you at every step — addressing the whole you, including your emotional health.

Cancer care is personal, so is the way we treat it. Compassionate doctors and care teams at Ascension Wisconsin support you at every step — addressing the whole you, including your emotional health and wellbeing. By listening to understand you and your health needs and goals, we deliver personalized cancer care. Receiving a cancer diagnosis can leave you with a lot of concerns and questions. We’re ready to answer your questions — big and small. Your care team will be beside you from diagnosis and treatment through rehabilitation and survivorship.

Shortly after diagnosis, your cancer care navigator will connect you to all the care you need. Whether it’s calling you to see how you and your loved ones are doing, helping you understand your diagnosis or connecting you with the right specialists and resources, we are here with you every step of the way. Your care navigator will be beside you from diagnosis and treatment through rehabilitation and survivorship.

Alison L., a cancer survivor and mom of two, recalls the time between her diagnosis and the start of her treatment as the hardest days of her life. She credits her cancer care navigator, Margaret (Peggy) Long, RN, with making the transition period easier. 

“She had everything mobilized in ten days, my entire diagnosis plan, all my doctors aligned, appointments on the calendar…IN TEN DAYS,” Alison said. 

Along with your care team, your oncology social worker (OSW) can provide support to you and your loved ones as you cope with your illness. Your OSW may connect you with information on community resources, such as support groups, transportation, home care, financial assistance, and advance directives. They will help you communicate with your care team to be certain your needs and concerns are met every step of the way. Understanding the impact of cancer at all stages of life, your OSW will work to address the practical, emotional, physical, and family concerns you may have.

Undergoing cancer treatment can be challenging on its own, but during all of this, Sharon V., an Ascension Wisconsin pancreatic cancer survivor, lost her husband of 52 years. While she recalled her loss, she emphasized the kindness and support she felt from the entire care team at Ascension Wisconsin. With tears in her eyes, she remembered team members making sure she was always supported and cared for during this especially difficult time, even offering hugs when needed.

Not only was Sharon heartbroken, but her two daughters were as well. Sharon mentioned, “The care was great. Everyone was very attentive. They made my daughters feel very comfortable as well… helping all of us during the grieving process.”

Registered dietitians are also available to provide a personalized evaluation and assessment of your current nutritional status. They will provide recommendations and education to address

your specific nutritional concerns or problems during treatment and follow your progress. They provide support and resources to help you make healthier food choices and help you maintain, gain or lose weight based on your specific needs.

Ascension Wisconsin offers a variety of clinical trials to answer specific research questions. If you want to learn more about other possible cancer care options, talk to your doctor or care team. You may want to ask if cancer clinical trials are the right option for you. If you do decide to voluntarily participate in a clinical trial, a clinical research coordinator will work with you to manage your care, provide support, and keep you informed. 

Our financial advocates truly care about your financial health and can connect you with resources and programs that may be able to help you and your family with options for financial assistance. Our financial advocates are available to help you understand the terms of your insurance plan(s) and your out-of-pocket costs from deductibles, coinsurances, plan maximums and non-covered services. As a liaison between you and financial assistance programs, charities and our business office, your financial advocates will utilize creative strategies to establish payment plans that will not create financial hardship for you and your loved ones.

Spiritual care is an important part of your healing and wellbeing. Chaplains are members of the cancer care team who provide supportive listening, prayer, and resources for spiritual wellness. Our chaplains value each person's unique spirituality and therefore serve all people — those who follow a particular faith tradition and those who do not.

Alison found peace while using a holistic care model, focusing on her mind, body and spirit. She recalls leaning on her care navigator and her therapist, to get through some of the most challenging days. Her care team at Ascension Wisconsin played a large role in helping her stay mentally strong.

“You can physically handle it, but mental strength is so important,” said Alison. The care she received allowed her to successfully manage her loved ones reactions while processing the news on her own, as well. 

A genetic counselor evaluates your risk of a hereditary cancer syndrome based on personal and family history and determines if genetic testing is appropriate for you and your family. During a session, the counselor will review your family and medical history and discuss all options available to you. They will complete the testing and review the results and implications with you so that you can make informed decisions about your care.

After her breast cancer was discovered early through high-risk screening, Beth, an Ascension Wisconsin patient and cancer survivor, sought genetic testing. It was her positive genetic test that led her family to test as well — resulting in four members of her family discovering that they also carry the same breast cancer gene. Genetic testing allowed Beth’s family the opportunity for a proactive approach and the ability to continue living life on their terms.

If you are diagnosed with cancer, our specially trained physical, occupational, and speech therapists can help you improve your health and quality of life by creating a personalized care plan..  Pain, “chemo fog,” swelling, and fatigue are all common concerns following cancer diagnosis and treatment. Our goal is to restore balance to your daily activities and offset the side effects from the cancer treatments, so you feel more like yourself. 

Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, but at Ascension Wisconsin you’ll find a supportive care team with you at every step. Learn more at