Patients, Families and Caregivers

Diagnostic Imaging Overview
Patients Families and Caregivers Resources and Information
Patients Families and Caregivers FAQ's
Patients Families and Caregivers Contact Us

 

OVERVIEW

My Cancer Journey has a wealth of information and resource for you and your family. It has been developed by patients, family members, and our care team to guide you through the cancer experience and give you information and community resources that will help you along the way.

RESOURCES AND INFORMATION

What to Expect During Your Visits

First Visit Orientation

After checking in at the Main Lobby – Registration Desk, your first visit to the Cancer Centre will include an orientation where you will meet with a Supportive Care staff member and a volunteer.

You will meet a volunteer who will show you the Cancer Centre and answer any questions you may have about the Centre.

You will then have a nursing assessment and a consultation with an Oncologist and/or a Nurse Practitioner, and together you can discuss the most effective care and treatment for you. At this time we strongly recommend having a family member or friend with you. They can help complete the “Patient Summary Form” and can write down the answers to your questions.

Your first consultation visit will take approximately 3 hours. Delays may happen, so it is recommended that you do not schedule other activities or appointments that day. 

Consultation

The Oncology Nurse gathers information and will take a detailed medical history. They may provide some general information as to what to expect during the plan of care, and outline additional supportive care services that may be helpful depending on your Oncologist’s treatment recommendations. Your Oncologist will be made aware of any concerns requiring further assessment.

Registration

You will need to check in at the Main Lobby at the Registration Desk in the Cancer Centre before each appointment with a physician.

Please have your health card for every visit. A second piece of photo identification that has your address on it is also required for your first visit only. This will help us serve you faster.

Please let the Registration Clerk know if you have any changes in your next of kin, family physician, home address, home or cell phone number.

Rescheduling a Regular Visit

If you cannot attend your scheduled visit, please let us know 48 hours prior to your scheduled visit or as soon as possible. Clinics are scheduled well in advance, so you may need to wait 6-8 weeks for another visit.

Items to Bring to Every Appointment and Treatment

  1. Your health card. On the first visit you will also be required to provide a second piece of photo identification with your address. 
  2. A family member or a friend who can wait with you, support you and take notes for you. 
  3. A note pad and pen to take notes or write things down. 
  4. A list of questions and concerns you may have or want to ask the Oncologist or Nurse. 
  5. Something to help you pass the time such as a book, magazine or electronic device. Devices that have sound should have a headset or ear buds. 
  6. Coins for parking ($3), if you are parking in the Cancer Centre lot. 
  7. Your parking identification card (yellow card) that was mailed to you in your welcome letter. 
  8. If you have oxygen or require medication during your appointment or treatment, please bring enough to cover the time you are here.

About Your Treatment

Systemic Therapy

Systemic therapy is a type of cancer treatment that travels through the blood to reach cells all over the body.

Systemic therapy includes:

  • Chemotherapy drugs (also called chemo) that kill, stop or slow the growth of cancer cells. 
  • Hormones that change hormone levels to stop or slow cancer growth.
  • Biological therapies that stop or slow cancer growth.
Systemic therapy may be your only cancer treatment, or you may receive it along with surgery and/or radiation therapy.

Systemic therapy can:
  • Slow or stop cancer growth. 
  • Reduce the risk of cancer coming back.
  • Kill cancer cells that stay after treatment, have come back or spread to other parts of your body.
  • Shrink a tumour before other treatments are given.
  • Ease symptoms, such as pain.
  • Help other treatments work.

Your care team will decide and explain which systemic therapy will work best for you and your type of cancer.

There are several ways systemic therapy is given: 

  • By mouth - in a pill, capsule, or liquid form. 
  • By needle - liquid drugs that will go right into your skin or muscle. 
  • By needle - into a vein. This is called an intravenous (IV) infusion. 

Systemic therapy may be given in cycles. A cycle means you will receive treatment for a period of time, such as a few weeks, and then take a break from treatment. Then you will begin again, followed by a break, and so on. Your care team will tell you how many cycles you need.

Not all of the systemic therapy will be used up in your body. Some of it will still be in your body fluids. To protect your family, you will need to follow your care team’s advice for a short period of time. Your Nurse may give you more details about this, depending on your type of treatment..

Chemotherapy

Once you and your Oncologist have decided on chemotherapy, your treatment will be booked. The Cancer Pharmacist and Nurse will talk to you about the drugs and their side effects and explain how to deal with them.

Each chemotherapy visit will begin with a blood test to see if your blood counts are at the correct levels to receive treatment. Blood should be drawn and processed by the hospital. This ensures faster results and the availability of results directly through the hospital computer system. 

The time a chemotherapy treatment takes depends on the drugs being used, and can be from one hour to six hours.

Your treatment visits will be booked ahead of time. Each time you are at the Cancer Centre, the Clerk will give you a time for your next visit.

It is important to us that we answer your questions and make you as comfortable as possible. We can also arrange for visiting Nurses or other help at home during or after your treatment. 

Treatment Day Instructions

Thank you for being an active participant in your care and respecting the needs of yourself and other patients.

  • Please have your lab work completed 24 - 72 hours before your next treatment. No lab work = No chemotherapy 
  • Please bring all of your current medication(s) with you on the day of your treatment (including pain medication, insulin etc.) that you may require during your appointment. 
    • Please reorder medications 3 days prior to treatment. 
    • Please notify your care team if there have been any changes to your medication or medical history. 
  • Please limit visitors to one person at a time. Additional visitors may sit in the waiting room. 
    • Visitors under 16 years of age are NOT permitted to enter the treatment area for safety reasons. 
  • Please set your cell phone to silent or vibrate. 
    • To maintain a calm and quiet environment, please refrain from accepting/making calls unless they are urgent. 
    • You may text message. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available. 
  • For your personal comfort you may: 
    • Bring a personal water bottle. 
    • Bring your own blanket or pillow. 
    • Bring a snack or boxed lunch. 
    • Please refrain from eating foods which may have a strong odour as they may contribute to nausea or other symptoms for patients. 
    • Visitors are NOT allowed to eat in the chemo suite for safety reasons. 
  • Windsor Regional Hospital is proud to promote a scent and fragrance free environment. 
    • Please refrain from wearing perfume/cologne on the day of your treatment. This applies to visitors as well.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy uses high energy x-rays to destroy cancer cells. 


Radiation treatments are often scheduled daily for 1-7 weeks. The type of cancer and the goal of the treatment will determine how many treatments are prescribed by the Radiation Oncologist.

Although cancer cells and normal cells react differently to radiation, it’s very hard to destroy cancer cells without damaging some normal cells too. The goal of radiation is to give enough radiation to destroy cancer cells in your body, but only enough radiation so that normal cells can recover. Side effects are related only to the area you are having treated.

Your radiation treatment team will give you instructions about any preparation you need for your daily treatments. The team consists of your Radiation Oncologist (doctor), Radiation Nurse, Clerks and Radiation Therapists. We also have Dietitians, Social Workers and Medical Physicists who are involved in your care.

Your radiation treatment team will ask you questions about how you are feeling, and can help you to cope with your side effects. Booklets to help manage side effects are available from any member of your treatment team.

Planning for Your Radiation Treatments

We use a specialized CT Scanner to plan your radiation treatments. It is called a CT Simulator. The CT Simulator looks very much the same as one you may have seen in the Diagnostic Imaging (X-Ray) department. During your planning session, the radiation therapists will determine the position you will be in for your daily treatments. We may use a specific dye (through an IV injection) or a barium drink to see certain areas more clearly on the scan. On the day of your planning session it is very important that you follow the preparation instructions that you have been given. The radiation therapy team will create a treatment plan that is specific to you.

Treatment Day Instructions

Go to the Radiation Reception Desk on the ground floor of the Cancer Centre. This is where the clerk will check you into the computer. This tells the treatment team that you have arrived. Remember to bring your appointment card.


You may need to change out of your clothes for your treatment—this information is on your radiation treatment appointment card. The clerk will show you where to change, where to store your clothes and which waiting room to use.

We have warm blankets and warm robes available for all of our patients. Ask any member of the treatment team and we can show you where to get one.

A radiation therapist will come to get you from the waiting room and will explain what will happen during your radiation treatment appointment.

Your radiation treatment visit is usually between 15-30 minutes. Most of this time is spent getting you positioned on the treatment table. The radiation beam is only “on” for a few minutes. The therapists will ask you to hold still and breathe normally. You do not feel anything during the radiation treatment. We may take x-rays and/or a CT scan before your treatment. These x-rays help to ensure you are in the exact position needed for your treatment. The x-rays do not give us information about how the treatment is working.

The radiation therapists will leave the room to give you your treatment—they can see you and hear you at all times.

You do not become radioactive from the radiation treatments.

If you have any questions about your treatment or how you are feeling, you can speak to any member of your treatment team.

Palliative Care

Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life of patients who are diagnosed with life-limiting illnesses. This medical approach looks at each individual as a whole – physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.

The goal of palliative medicine is to provide education and help you and your family make proactive and informed decisions about managing your illness and symptoms. These symptoms may include pain, shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, fatigue, loss of appetite, physical stress, or mental stress. These symptoms may come from the disease itself, or from the treatments used to treat the disease. Medication, radiation therapy, and other complementary therapies may be used to manage symptoms.

The WRCC Palliative Care Team is made up of specialized physicians and nurses who work very closely with your larger care team, including oncologists, social workers, dietitians, and the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) or other community service providers. Our palliative care team works to understand your concerns, needs, and wishes, and creates an environment in which you feel comfortable asking questions and actively participating in your own care. Once symptoms have been well managed, many people experience an improved quality of life and reduced anxiety.

Clinical Trials

A clinical trial is a type of research study that helps to find new ways to diagnose, treat, manage or prevent a disease.  Clinical trials test new drugs, new ways to do radiation or surgery, or any combination of these.  Clinical trials help us learn about how to make cancer treatment and cancer care better. Most of the treatments prescribed by physicians went through the clinical trial process at some point; this is how it was determined that they would benefit patients.

During your appointment, members of your care team will talk about the types of treatments that are used to treat your type of cancer. One of your options may be a clinical trial. You will never have to take part in a trial without your permission.

Clinical trials give patients access to new forms of treatment. They also help our staff keep up with advances in cancer care.

If you would like to take part in a clinical trial, ask your Oncologist if there is a trial that is right for you.

You can also learn more about clinical trials by visiting http://itstartswithme.ca/.

View our Clinical Trials Information Sheet.

Symptom Management Resources

If you have cancer you may get side effects from treatment or symptoms from the cancer. Cancer Care Ontario has created patient guides to help you and your loved ones manage your symptoms. The guides are filled with easy to understand, practical tips for what you should do and when to get help from your care team.

Pharmacy

There is a Pharmacy located in the Cancer Centre for cancer patients. All Cancer Centre patients are encouraged to use the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre Pharmacy for their treatment related medications, including anti-nausea medications and oral chemotherapy.

Benefits include:
  • Dedicated team of pharmacist and pharmacy technicians with expert knowledge of chemotherapy medications. 
  • Assistance in managing side effects from treatment. 
  • Excellent working relationship with the physicians at the Cancer Centre. 
  • Dedicated Drug Access Coordinators to assist patients with insurance and coverage for medications. 
Hours and Location:
  • Cancer Centre, Main Floor, to the right of the elevators. 
  • Monday-Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. 
Closed on holidays

Please note: There is no delivery service.

Oral Chemotherapy


All oral chemotherapy medications are prescribed electronically and submitted directly from the physician’s office to the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre Pharmacy. If you are being treated with an oral chemotherapy agent, the prescription goes through a detailed safety check by the pharmacist. This check is very thorough, including reason for taking the medication, drug-drug interaction checks, lab values, etc. This detailed check can also be time consuming. For this reason, and to ensure your utmost safety, oral chemotherapy prescriptions at the Windsor Regional Cancer Centre Pharmacy may take up to an hour to be thoroughly checked before being provided to you.

Drug Costs

Our Pharmacy Technicians have detailed information about drug plans. Please talk to them or other members of your care team if you have questions about drug costs and coverage. Our Drug Access Coordinator will work closely with you and help you find all the ways that are available to cover these costs.

Getting Refills

If you are getting your refill at your local pharmacy, you will need to contact it 3 business days before you will run out of the medication. Pain medication refills need to be placed by Thursday so we do not run out of them over the weekend.

Oncologists and Nurse Practitioners are only able to renew prescriptions they have written. All prescriptions for narcotic medications will be faxed directly to your pharmacy.

Lab

There is a lab located in the Main Hospital where you should have your blood drawn 24 - 72 hours before your chemotherapy treatment.

Please ensure that you arrive at least 10 minutes before the close of the Lab, in order for your labs to be drawn.

Location:

  • Main Hospital, 1st Floor, Meconi Laboratory 

Hours:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 7 am – 4 pm
  • Tuesday and Thursday: 7 am – 6 pm

May be closed on holidays.

Please note: The Main Hospital Laboratory cannot take lab requests from healthcare providers outside of the Cancer Centre.

In Patient 4W

Windsor Regional Hospital’s dedicated inpatient unit on 4 West serves those patients with cancer who need to be hospitalized. The inpatient unit helps different types of patients including those who are just diagnosed, those who are getting treatment, and those who need follow-up or end-of-life care.

Your team of caregivers includes: Nurses, Doctors, Nurse Practitioners, Unit Clerks, Pharmacists, Respiratory, Therapists, Registered Dieticians, Chaplains, Social Workers, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Volunteers.

For Your Comfort


Transition to Betterness (T2B) offers a Concierge Service for patients and their families with many different daily services that help make your stay with Windsor Regional Hospital more comfortable. Their generous free services include:
  • Windsor Regional Hospital parking passes, 
  • $2 Tim Horton’s Gift Cards, 
  • Windsor Regional Hospital Meal Cards, 
  • The Windsor Star newspaper, and 
  • iPads and laptops for you to use.

Concierge Service Hours


Monday - Friday
11:00 am – 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
Visit the Concierge Desk on 4 West or dial extension 4T2B (4822).

CANSWERS CENTRE LIVE!

Talking to Your Doctor
In our CCL final, we examine the patient/oncologist relationship. Dr. Ken Schneider and Dr. Sindu Kanjeekal have a combined total of 40 years experience treating patients.

The New Normal 
Talking about the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual impact of cancer with our guests Jeff Casey, owner of SnapD Windsor, and Steven Brennan, Senior Director at Hospice Windsor.

When a Loved One is Dying
Inside the Hospice of Windsor and Essex County with a difficult, but important conversation about what to expect when a loved one is nearing the end of life.

Radiation
See inside the Radiation Treatment Room at WRH. Learn what to expect during treatment and see how it all works!

Clinical Trials
Many misconceptions surrounding clinical trials and cancer. Do you feel like a guinea pig when even just discussing becoming a possible candidate?

Fitness After Cancer
Get your runners on, grab some light weights and get moving with CANSWERS CENTRE LIVE! In this webcast we talk about the toll cancer takes on your body and ways you can regain your strength after cancer. There is also a BONUS WORKOUT with special guests from the RENEW fitness program. They have some easy exercises to get EVERYONE moving after an illness or a period of inactivity.

Smoking Cessation
The benefits and challenges of quitting smoking while dealing with cancer and going through treatment.

Generic Testing
Is cancer in your genes? How does genetic testing work? Who qualifies? And what exactly can our genes tell us about our cancer risk?

Hair Loss - The Second Big Blow
At the Wings to Wellness & Mastectomy Boutique - the most common questions patients ask when they start losing their hair!

Plugged in & Social
Exploring the benefits of using social media to share, learn, connect and unwind during cancer treatment. Guest Christy Litster spoke about how a video series highlighting her journey made the experience easier for her, her family, friends and complete strangers.

From the Chemo Suite, with Michelle Prince!
Pulling back the curtains for a peak at life in the chemo suite. Michelle Prince has received her 56th round of treatment and invited everyone to join her for the ride. While receiving treatment she’ll share her story, offer tips she’s learned throughout her journey and answer questions.

Sexuality, Intimacy and Cancer
A sensitive and sometimes difficult to discuss topic with special guest Dr. Anne Katz, author of Breaking the Silence on Cancer and Sexuality and Sex when you are Sick.

Survivorship – The New Normal
We’re discussing life after cancer. For many that means celebration, relief, fear, anxiety and everything in between.

From Partner to Caregiver
From loving spouse to constant caregiver and about how cancer affects relationships.

Nutrition During Treatment
How to get the right nutrition to keep you strong during treatment. A discussion all about staying healthy, being active and eating well.

Cancer at Christmas
We’re talking about what it’s like going through the holidays with cancer and what you can do for the ones you love who are dealing with cancer treatments this holiday season.

I Have Cancer Now What?!
In the first segment of Canswers Centre Live, we discussed what it’s like to receive the news of having cancer. We spoke with Martha Marks cancer survivor and Colleen about what it’s like the first moment when a doctor tells you, you have cancer. There are so many mixed emotions when you or a loved one are being told they have cancer. So many questions that can come to mind and most of all the fears associated with the word CANCER.

Self-Referrals

Social Support

Our Psychosocial Health Services team gives free and private support to patients and their families for practical, emotional and nutritional concerns to help with adjusting to cancer.

Practical and Emotional Support

A cancer diagnosis is hard on both you and your family. Often, people have a lot of questions and feelings, like anger, fear and sadness. The cancer journey also affects everyday life - like work, money and the need for more healthcare support. The cancer program’s Social Workers can help you with this.

Social Workers can answer questions about:
  • Anger, fear and sadness; 
  • Coping; 
  • Money concerns; 
  • Sexual concerns related to cancer including body image, intimacy and relationships; 
  • The need to learn more about next steps; and 
  • The need to talk to someone outside the family.

Social Workers can help you with:

  • Advocacy support; 
  • Coping; 
  • Counselling and dealing with a crisis; 
  • Dealing with the healthcare system; 
  • Filling out paperwork and forms; 
  • Programs to help you with financial assistance; 
  • Quitting smoking; 
  • Showing you community resources and support groups; and 
  • Talking to children or teens about your cancer. 
Nutritional Support

Eating health and making sure you do not lose weight are very important. Eating well can help you feel better. Cancer and cancer treatment might make it harder to eat or make you feel less hungry. Our Registered Dietitians can help you with this.

Registered Dietitians can help you with:
  • Problems chewing or swallowing, 
  • Constipation, 
  • Diarrhea, 
  • Feeling less hungry, 
  • Nausea or throwing up, 
  • Gas or bloating, 
  • A sore or dry mouth, 
  • Taste changes, and 
  • Weight loss because of cancer or treatment .
Making an Appointment

To see a Social Worker or Registered Dietitian, please ask your care team to make an appointment. You can also call the Cancer Centre at 519-253-5253.

Any patient can get these services once they have been referred and registered at the Cancer Centre. Emotional support is also available for family members.

If you are an inpatient on 4 West, speak to your Nurse about these services.

Aboriginal Navigator

Cancer is a disease that people feel uncomfortable talking about. We are here to help. It is understood that, with a diagnosis, you will have many questions and may not know which way to turn. The Aboriginal Navigator can provide you with information you need to make informed decisions about the care you receive. The navigator can act as a liaison and advocate between the care team, the patient and your family. The Aboriginal Navigator is able to provide information on treatment and support that is available to you, which could include:
  • Alternative medicine, 
  • Canadian Cancer Society volunteer drivers, 
  • Canadian Cancer Society information brochures, 
  • Community Care Access Centre, 
  • Counselling for children and adults, 
  • Chemotherapy, 
  • Non-Insured Health Benefits, 
  • Palliative Care, 
  • Radiation, 
  • Traditional medicine/knowledge keepers, and 
  • Victoria Order of Nurses. 
To self-refer to the Aboriginal Navigator, please either advise a member of your care team, or call 1-844-904-2273 to request an appointment.

Home and Community Care – Erie St. Clair LHIN

The Erie St. Clair LHIN Home and Community Care is staffed by caring and knowledgeable professionals who will assess your needs, determine your requirements for care, answer your questions and develop a customized care plan that meets your individual needs. Then, if services are provided to you, they arrange for quality health-care professionals – nurses, physiotherapists, social workers, registered dietitians, occupational therapists, speech therapist and personal support workers – to provide a range of care and supportive services to help support you at home and help you enjoy the best possible quality of life.

To self-refer to the Erie St. Clair LHIN Home and Community Care, please advise a member of your care team of your interest.

Patient Programs

RENEW: Life After Cancer Program

RENEW is a survivorship program that is held twice a year. The program has been designed for participants who have completed their treatment. It consists of a five part educational series on general survivorship, nutrition and eating healthy, active living and exercise and a cancer genetics and family tree workshop. The program also offers a ten week exercise program in partnership with a local gym that customizes training to the individual needs of cancer patients.

Please check with your Nurse for dates, times and locations, or for more information or to sign up for a class, please call: 519-253-5253 from Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.


To view videos of past RENEW sessions, please select from the topics below and press "playback":

Patient and Family Advisory Council

Your input assists our Patient and Family Advisory Council in making lasting impact improvements for patients with cancer and their caregivers across the Erie St. Clair Region in the areas of prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, survivorship, palliative and end-of-life care.

Council membership includes patients, family members and caregivers from the Chatham-Kent, Sarnia/Lambton and Windsor/Essex area. Membership also includes cancer program leadership and staff.


The Patient & Family Advisory Council meets four times per year. To acknowledge the significant partnership between the cancer program and patients/family/caregivers, meetings and outcomes are guided by membership and are led by a Program Chair and Patient Chair.

For more information, please see the documents below, or contact our Call Centre at 519-253-5253.

Community Resources

The Hospice of Windsor Essex County Wellness Centre

The Wellness Centre at the Hospice offers a variety of programs and services designed to improve quality of life from the time of pre-diagnosis. From gentle exercise to art and music therapy or support groups, Hospice offers support, education and empowerment along your journey. Visite The Hospice Wellness Centre website for a full list of the programs and services offered.

To self-refer to The Hospice of Windsor Essex County Wellness Centre please contact Hospice directly at 519-974-7100 (9:00 AM - 5:00 PM).

Canadian Cancer Society Transportation Service

Sometimes getting to your treatments can be difficult. It may be because you have physical or financial challenges, or because the Cancer Centre is far from home.

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Wheels of Hope Transportation Service offers a driver to pick up patients and take them to their appointments. This is a shared ride program offering transportation and a friendly, supportive drive along the way.

The Wheels of Hope program offers two types of transportation programs:
  • $100 User Fee - Covers rides for cancer related medical appointments only. 
  • $200 User Fee - Covers rides for all cancer related appointments, including lab work, treatments, Social Work appointments, and Dietitian appointments. 

Children 18 years of age or under will not be charged. If you cannot pay the fee, the Canadian Cancer Society may be able to help through their Compassionate Program.

For more information or to register for this service, please call 1-800-263-6750.


To make sure there is a driver for you, please book a ride 3 business days before your appointment. For example, if your appointment is on a Friday, you need to book your ride no later than Tuesday.

Community Organizations

Bereavement

Losing someone can create many emotions that are sometimes difficult to understand. Grievers often feel alone and forgotten and have difficulty concentrating on everyday living. The bereavement staff at the Canadian Mental Health Association (CHMA) understands grief and is able to give support.

The Canadian Mental Health Association

Lambton Kent Branch
240 Grand Ave. West, Suite 100, Chatham
P: 519-436-6100
W: http://www.lambtonkent.cmha.ca

Windsor-Essex County Branch
1400 Windsor Ave., Windsor
P: (519) 255-7440
E: info-referral@cmha-wecb.on.ca
W: https://windsoressex.cmha.ca/

Brain Tumor Foundation Support Groups

If you or a loved one have been affected by a brain tumour, you’re invited to share your experiences and journey in this confidential, supportive environment.

These sessions are available both in person, and virtually.
P: 1-800-265-5106
W: www.BrainTumour.ca

Camp Erin Hamilton

A no-fee bereavement camp for children and youth who have experienced the death of someone close to them.

Canadian Cancer Society Services

Canadian Cancer Society Information Service
P: 1-888-939-3333

Cancer Connection
W: www.CancerConnection.ca

Caring Hands Children’s Program

Caring Hands Children’s Program is a preventative program that supports grieving children and teens from 3 – 17 years of age. Support is provided by the program through facilitated small group sessions, interactive educational presentations, parent group sessions and a summer day camp.

St Joseph’s Resource Centre
110 Water Street, Sarnia
P: 519-337-0537

The Hospice of Windsor and Essex County Wellness Centre

Living with a life-threatening illness is challenging. The Wellness Centre provides patients and their caregivers with activities that encourage, educate and provide a break from the many pressures that surround living with a serious health diagnosis.

Additionally, the Wellness Centre provides outreach programs and services that offer comfort and emotional support to those most in need in our community.

Hospice of Windsor & Essex County
6038 Empress Street, Windsor
P: 519-974-7100
Monday – Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Informational / Support
Fitness / Recreational  Children’s Groups 
  • Are you Sleeping? Can’t Sleep? Watching the Clock? Come discover natural secrets to having a better night’s sleep
  • Chronic Pain Workshop
  • Coping with Caregiving
  • Introduction to Relaxation Techniques
  • Just for the Health of It - Explore how better balance between mind, body and spirit can enhance our wellness.
  • Life Style Changes Program
  • Living Through Grief
  • Men’s Club - Men diagnosed with a life altering diagnosis are invited to come together for support and socialization.
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Sharing & Caring Drop-In Group
  • Mind Matters: An Introduction to Managing Your Moods
  • ROAD Ahead
  • Basic Functional Fitness
  • Craft Class: Beading
  • Creating Memory Albums and Card Making
  • Coffee House - Singers, poets, story tellers and musicians share their talent.
  • Energy Programs - Radiant Touch®, Authentic Reiki® and Therapeutic Touch
  • Face Yoga - Freshen your face the natural way
  • Game/Card Club
  • Guitar Classes
  • Healing with Art Express
  • Jammin’ For Wellness - Utilize playing live music to enhance wellness
  • Knitting with Libby
  • Lakeshore Cinema Movie Time
  • Life Stories Program - Capture important aspects of their life on digital audio recordings.
  • Spanish Lessons
  • Tai Chi/Qi Gong
  • Gentle Yoga
  • Children’s Art Class
  • Children’s Homework Club
  • Children’s Self Care Support Group
  • Children’s Sibling Support
  • Fun Time for Kids
  • Kid’s Kicking Cancer
  • Lego Club
  • Living With Grief for Kids and Teens

Kingsville Wellness Programs (Hospice Program)

Wellness Centre Programs at Kingsville Community Church
1860 Division Rd. N. Kingsville, ON N9Y2Z1

Kingsville satellite Wellness programs currently include:
Basic Functional Fitness,
Guitar Lessons, and
Coffee House.

Ovarian Cancer Canada

P: 1-877-416-7970
W: www.ovariancanada.org

Windsor-Essex Prostate Cancer Support Group

P: Preston and Germaine: 519-839-5723
Don Batten: 519-776-8834
Ian Bentley:59-735-7267
Wayne Zimney: 519-996-5795
E: wecpsg@gmail.com
W: www.wpcsg.com

Wigs, Hats, and Prosthesis

Losing hair is one of the most stressful side effects of cancer treatment.

There is no best way to deal with hair loss. The best way is the one that is most comfortable. It depends how comfortable you are with baldness and keeping your head warm in cooler weather.

Wigs

If you would like a wig, the best time to buy one is before you lose any hair, especially if you want a wig that looks like your style and colour. It helps the stylist create the best match. Some women use the change to try different styles and colours!

Many insurance companies pay for a wig when there is a written prescription from your Oncologist.

Hats, Scarves and Turbans

Some people find that the easiest and most comfortable choices are hats, scarves or turbans. You may have these already, or buy custom items made for people who are getting chemotherapy.

You can visit the Women’s Resource Centre in the Cancer Centre lobby. There you will find a brochure called "Community Resources for Wigs, Hats, Scarves and Turbans." It has a list of local people and companies who sell these items.

The Psychosocial Health Services department also has hats and scarves for patients.

The Look Good Feel Better Program helps with ways to tie scarves, and ways to make you look and feel better while losing hair during and after chemotherapy. It is a free program held once per month at the Cancer Centre. Ask a member of your care team for more information.

Breast Prosthesis

A breast prosthesis is a breast form that can be used after a mastectomy to replace the removed breast. You can use two if you had a double mastectomy. This can help to balance the body and to protect against back and neck pain and a sagging shoulder. It may also help bras and clothing to fit better. Breast prostheses come in many shapes, sizes, and materials.

You can visit the Women’s Resource Centre in the lobby of the Cancer Centre. There you will find a brochure "Community Resources for Breast Prosthesis". The brochure has a list of local people and companies who sell breast prostheses. They also sell healing kits for after surgery

Helping with the Cost – Government Program

The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care through the Assistive Devices Program (ADP) helps people who live in Ontario with the cost.
  • You often have to pay the full cost and will be given back your money by the ADP 
  • Private Insurance companies may cover the rest of costs not paid for by the ADP 

For more information about ADP, contact:

Assistive Devices Program

5700 Yonge Street, 7th Floor
Toronto, ON M2M 4K5
1-800-268-6021
www.health.gov.on.ca and do a search for "ADP"

Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Learn more about Breast Reconstruction Surgery.

Look Good Feel Better

The best medicine doesn't always come in a bottle - that's why Look Good Feel Better provides complimentary workshops.

What you'll experience at a two-hour workshop:
  • Information on how to alleviate appearance-related effects of cancer and its treatment, including cosmetic hygiene, sun care, skin care, cosmetics and nail care. 
  • Discussion and demonstrations on hair alternatives. 
  • It's more than makeup - it's a safe environment alongside other women dealing with similar issues and challenges. 
You'll also take home a complimentary kit with information and products.

In our region, Look Good Feel Better workshops happen regularly, year-round, in three places:
  • Windsor Regional Cancer Centre, 
  • VON Chatham - Kent, and
  • Canadian Cancer Society, Lambton Unit. 
Register for a workshop online at http://www.lgfb.ca/en/

Additional Cancer Related Information:

Canada Pension Plan

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) pays money every month to people who:
  • Are between the ages of 18 and 65 
  • Have paid into the CPP for a certain number of years 
  • Are disabled according to CPP rules (a disability can be physical or mental) 
For more information go to Employment and Social Development Canada or call 1-800-277-9914.

Drug and Nutrition Information

Many patients who are getting treatment have trouble understanding which drugs are paid for by the government, drug programs, or private insurance.

Staff in the Pharmacy at the Cancer Centre work to ensure that help with drug costs is considered for each patient. You should tell your Oncologist or Nurse if you have concerns about drug costs. You can also ask a Pharmacist and they too will make sure you get the help you need.

Some patients may be able to get nutrition products paid for by these programs. A Registered Dietitian can help with this. If you are working, check with your employer about benefits and drug cost information.

Canada Drug Assistance Program (CDAP)

When you apply for this program, you are paired up with a CDAP case worker who will help you learn about all the help you can get with costs in all kinds of programs. You and your case worker will keep in touch until all the possibilities are explored.

Speak with your care team for more information.

Ontario Disability Support Program/Ontario Works

Either the Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program can help you with costs.

The Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) offers:
  • Money to help you and your family with living costs; 
  • Benefits for you and your family, including prescription drugs, vision care and nutrition products for some patients; and 
  • Help finding and keeping a job, and moving up in your career. 
A Social Worker at the Cancer Centre can tell you more about the help you can get with these programs or you can contact the local Ontario Disability Support Program office.

To learn more:
Ontario Trillium Drug Program

The Trillium Drug Program is for people who live in Ontario and have a valid Ontario Health card and have high drug costs compared to how much money they make.

To learn more:
  • Call 1-800-575-5386 
  • Visit www.health.gov.on.ca and search for “Trillium Drug Program” 
Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program for Aboriginal People in Canada

The Non-Insured Health Benefits (NIHB) Program pays for drugs and nutrition products that are not paid for by other private or provincial/territorial health insurance plans for eligible First Nation and Inuit people.

To learn more:
  • Talk with a Social Worker at the Cancer Centre 
  • Or, call the Ontario Regional Office at 1-866-225-0709

Social Services Benefits


Social Services Financial Assistance may help with costs when all other possibilities have been explored. Government programs include Ontario Works (formerly General Welfare Assistance) and Ontario Disability Support Program (formerly Family Benefits Allowance).

To learn more, contact The Windsor & Essex County Social Services Financial Assistance:
  • Windsor office: 519-255-5200 
  • City of Windsor - Social Services 
  • Leamington office: 519-946-9988 
Patient Assistance Fund

The Patient Assistance Fund is also available to help you. You can ask any member of your care team to help you. They will refer you to one of our Social Workers, or ask to speak with a Social Worker by calling 519-253-5253.

The Patient Assistance Fund can help with emergency needs such as food, shelter, transportation and more.

This is a program that is generously provided by the Windsor Cancer Centre Foundation.

Credit Counselling Service

Many credit counselling services can help patients and families plan for handling debt. Their services can give you private counselling, teach and coach you about money, and help you with your debt.

To learn more, look in the yellow pages of the telephone book or do a search on the web for credit counselling services.

Travel and Accommodation Expenses for Income Tax

Cancer patients and their families can get tax deductions for some of the treatment costs. These include things like the cost of parking, travel, finding a place to stay, meals and drugs. The costs can be for the patient and those who go to appointments with them. The amount of help you can get will change over time.

Contact Canada Revenue Agency or visit their website at www.cra-arc.gc.ca.
Search for “medical expenses” to find more information. 

Insurance Forms

While you are being treated for cancer, there may be forms such as insurance, disability or sick forms that need to be filled out and signed by a doctor if you would like to apply for health benefits.

If you need your doctor to fill out your form for you, you will need to bring the form to the Health Records unit at the Cancer Centre.

FAQ's

Test Results

Please note that you will not receive a call from your care team with normal test results. The care team will only contact you directly if a test ordered by an Oncologist comes back abnormal. If you need a cancer related prescription renewal, please let your pharmacy know at least 3 business days before your prescription runs out. If required, the pharmacy will contact the ordering Oncologist.

To protect your confidentiality, we need your permission if we are to speak to a family member. If you wish to appoint one family member as your spokesperson, please tell us who that person will be. Please talk to a member of your health care team about your wishes regarding confidentiality.

For health concerns unrelated to your cancer diagnosis, please contact your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, please let your care team know so that they can help you locate one.

What is my chance of cure and how effective will treatment be?

This can be a complex question to answer and is guided by medical data and statistical information that your Oncologist uses to provide general guidance. It is important to understand that a discussion on prognosis can be addressed in many different ways or at different points in time during the course of treatment or follow-up check-ups. Although accurate information must always be provided by the Oncologist, the details and timing of this discussion can vary based on the patient’s request or need for this information at a point in time.

Why am I waiting so long for an appointment/test?

Despite our Ontario Cancer System being of the highest quality, there will be waiting time within our system. Some waits are reasonable. Our system is attentive to continuous improvement in this area. This may include access to required tests, pathology reports, treatment start times and the constant effort to respect the clinic waits to see the Oncologist. Considering the complexity of best patient care, we are constantly balancing a quality visit where patient’s needs are met while attempting to minimize wait to see the Oncologist.

How is my treatment decided?

Your Oncologist, by the very nature of their training and expertise, follows evidence-based treatments and guidelines for their recommendations. Cancer Care Ontario also outlines Evidence-Based Guidelines, which can be found here.

Your Oncologist also has the opportunity to discuss treatment approaches at Multidisciplinary Cancer Conferences that are attended by cancer specialists with focuses in various areas including Oncology, Surgery, Pathology and Diagnostic Imaging. This provides, where required, input into complex cases. Multiple experts provide a consensus opinion that can ensure the best evidence is used in the decision-making for cancer treatment.

What do I do if I have a cancer related health concern?

If you have a cancer related health concern (or if you have a health concern related to your cancer diagnosis), and it cannot wait until your next visit, please call the Cancer Centre at 519-253-5253. Telephones are answered Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm by Call Centre Clerks. The Call Centre will give your message to your care team. Calls are answered in order of importance. You will be called back within 1-3 business days.

Due to the increasing number of patients needing care, our Oncology team has a dedicated focus on patients receiving active treatment, such as chemotherapy or radiation, within a 3 month window. Outside this time-frame, please contact your primary care provider for any questions, concerns or test results.

Test Results

How will I hear about my test results?
  • Please note that you will not receive a call from your care team with normal test results. The care team will only contact you directly if a test ordered by an Oncologist comes back abnormal.
Can a family member get information on my behalf?
  • To protect your confidentiality, we need your permission if we are to speak to a family member. If you wish to appoint one family member as your spokesperson, please tell us who that person will be. Please talk to a member of your health care team about your wishes regarding confidentiality.

CONTACT US

Windsor Regional Cancer Centre
Main Line: (519) 253-5253 (Mon – Fri excluding holidays)
Fax: (519) 255-8670 

Address:
1995 Lens Avenue
(Alsace Avenue Entrance)
Windsor, Ontario
Canada
N8W 1L9

Windsor Regional Cancer Centre Hours (Monday – Friday):

Consultations: 8:00am - 4:30pm
Chemotherapy Treatments: 7:00am - 4:30pm
Radiation Treatments: 7:00am – 7:00pm ** confirm hours

Note: All non-urgent phone messages taken after hours are held for processing until the next business day.


Call Centre

The Cancer Centre has a Call Centre to help you or your family members. The telephones are answered Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. The telephone number is 519-253-5253.

You can ask:
  • Questions about your treatment 
  • Questions about your appointments 
  • For help with your symptoms 
  • Questions about your medication 
  • For directions or parking information
  • Other questions or concerns you may have.
The Call Centre staff may be able to answer your question right away; however, if they are not able to, they will take your information and have someone call you back within 1-3 business days.

In order to give all of our patients the best care possible, we need to carefully organize the clinic schedules. As such, the Cancer Centre is unable to see you if you do not make an appointment. Thank you for understanding.