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.
What to Expect During Your Visits
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 Information 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.
About Your Treatment
Systemic therapy includes:
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:
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.
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.
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 is 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 the 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.
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 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.
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.
View our Clinical Trials Information Sheet.
Please note: There is no delivery service.
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.
Please ensure that you arrive at least 10 minutes before the close of the Lab, in order for your labs to be drawn.
Maybe closed on holidays.
Please note: The Main Hospital Laboratory cannot take lab requests from healthcare providers outside of the Cancer Centre.
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
Concierge Service Hours
Monday - Friday
The New Normal
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.
See inside the Radiation Treatment Room at WRH. Learn what to expect during treatment and see how it all works!
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.
The benefits and challenges of quitting smoking while dealing with cancer and going through treatment.
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 peek 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 the 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 topic to discuss 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 may mean celebration, relief, fear, anxiety and everything in between.
From Partner to Caregiver
From loving spouse to the 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.
Practical and Emotional Support
Social Workers can help you with:
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.
To self-refer to the Indigenous Navigator, please either advise a member of your care team or call 1-844-904-2273 to request an appointment.
To self-refer to the Erie St. Clair LHIN Home and Community Care, please advise a member of your care team.
Talk to someone in your community who has walked in your shoes and can provide support and guidance. Peers are specially trained; however, this is not a substitute for professional counseling or mental health assistance. It is free and 100% confidential. If you would like to be connected to a peer, ask a member of your care team today.
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 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:
at the locations below.
The classes are held on the 1st Friday of every month from 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
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 the 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.
is another opportunity to provide feedback to the Cancer Program. PFAs are able to determine their level of involvement with initiatives based on their interests. There are various sub-committees for members to choose to join and meetings are on an ad hoc basis until completion of the initiative.
The Patient & Family Advisor (PFA)
For more information, see the document below or contact our Call Centre at 519-253-5253.
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).
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:
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.
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
Ovarian Cancer Canada
Windsor-Essex Prostate Cancer Support Group
P: Preston and Germaine: 519-839-5723
Don Batten: 519-776-8834
Wayne Zimney: 519-996-5795
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.
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 that sell breast prostheses. They also sell healing kits for after surgery.
For more information about ADP, contact:
Assistive Devices Program
In our region, Look Good Feel Better workshops happen regularly, year-round, in three places:
Social Services Benefits
Your Oncologist also has the opportunity to discuss treatment options at Multidisciplinary Cancer Conferences that are attended by cancer specialists. Some of these disciplines may include Oncology, Surgery, Pathology and Diagnostic Imaging and so on. Multiple experts provide a consensus opinion in the decision-making process for cancer treatment.
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.
What if I have a non-cancer related health concern?
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.
Windsor Regional Cancer Centre
Main Line: (519) 253-5253 (Mon – Fri excluding holidays)
1995 Lens Avenue
(Alsace Avenue Entrance)
Note: All non-urgent phone messages taken after hours are held for processing until the next business day.
METROPOLITAN CAMPUS: 1995 Lens Avenue, Windsor, ON N8W 1L9
1030 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor, ON N9A 1E1