Starting the Journey

metimes a journey starts with waiting, sometimes with emotions, usually always with questions. These resources can help you step forward in your journey with confidence and support.

The Fox Valley Cancer Treatment Centers Back to Top ^

St. Elizabeth Hospital Cancer Center
1506 S. Oneida Street - Main Floor
Appleton, WI 54915
(920) 738-2184

Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Care Center at Mercy Medical Center
Mercy Oakwood Medical Building
2700 W. Ninth Avenue, Suite 11
Oshkosh, WI 54904
(920) 223-2000

Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic at Aurora Medical Center in Oshkosh
855 N. Westhaven Dr.
Oshkosh, WI 54904
(920) 303-8700

Vince Lombardi Cancer Clinic at Aurora Medical Center in Fond du Lac
210 Wisconsin American Drive
Fond du Lac, WI 54935
(920) 907-7000

ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center
2500 E. Capitol Dr.
Appleton, WI 54911
(920) 364-3600/(844) 510-3600

Patients may be referred to care at other Wisconsin cancer centers: Back to Top ^

UW Carbone Cancer Center
600 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53792
(608) 262-5223

Froedtert Clinical Cancer Center
8800 W. Doyne Avenue
Froedtert Hospital Campus
Milwaukee, WI 53225
(414) 805-0505

For information on SE Wisconsin area cancer treatment centers and resources visit

Your Cancer Team Back to Top ^

There may be many players on your cancer team helping to bring you the best of care. Here are some descriptions to help you understand the role they may play in your journey:

Family Practitioner- For initial diagnosis and future follow-up as well as any medical issues that may arise separate from cancer treatments. It includes nurse practitioners and physicians in family practice, internal medicine or pediatrics.

Breast Center and/or other Radiology/Nuclear Medicine therapists and staff -Breast Center for initial mammogram that may detect the disease, radiology/nuclear medicine for clarifying imaging such as PET scans, MRIs or CT scan.

Medical Oncologist - Primary doctor throughout the cancer journey responsible for determining the type of treatment required, regimen and course of chemotherapy as well as any additional procedures, tests or medications needed. Responsible for referring patient to other multi-disciplinary team members as needed, following patients while under treatment and managing their care for an extended period of time afterwards.

Medical Oncology Nurse Practitioner - Works closely with and is an extension of the medical oncologist in managing patients treatment regimen, side effects, pain, etc. in order to maintain continuity of care. Will continue to be involved in a patient's care for an extended period of time following treatment.

Medical Oncology RN - Primarily responsible for caring for patients during administration of chemotherapy and addressing issues related to the infusion under the direction of the medical oncologist and Nurse Practitioner.

Radiation Oncologist - Primary doctor during radiation therapy. Typically referred by surgeon, specialist or medical oncologist. Follows the patient throughout the treatment course and from one to three years afterwards on a periodic basis.

Radiation Oncology Nurse Practitioner - Works closely with and is an extension of the radiation oncologist in managing patients treatment course, side effects, pain, etc. in order to maintain continuity of care. Will continue to be involved in a patient's care on a follow-up basis for approximately one to three years afterwards.

Radiation Therapist - Responsible for the delivery of radiation to the patient on a daily basis.

Surgeon - Responsible for the surgical removal of the tumor and its surrounding area (margin). Will refer to medical or radiation oncologists or both following the outcome of the surgery. May also follow the patient for up to 1+ years afterwards.

Urologist - Doctor specializing in genitourinary diseases and issues, i.e. prostate, urinary incontinence, testicular, etc. Will act as the referring doctor to Medical/Radiation Oncology for treatment.

OB/GYN - Doctor specializing in female reproductive issues. Will act as the referring doctor to Medical/Radiation Oncology for treatment.

Pulmonologist - Doctor specializing in lung and/or respiratory issues. Referring MD to Medical/Radiation oncology for treatment to these areas.

Gastroenterologist/GI Specialists - Doctor specializing in the medical management of diseases/issues involving the stomach/intestines, colon, liver, pancreas, lower and upper GI areas, etc. Will act as the referring doctor to Medical/Radiation oncology for treatment to these areas.

Neurologist and/or Neuro Surgeon - Doctor specializing in the medical management involving any neurological issue/disease of the central nervous system, the brain, etc. Based on signs and symptoms presented and results of subsequent testing, patient will undergo surgery and/or be referred to Medical/Radiation oncology for further consultation/treatment.

Dermatologist - Doctor specializing in the medical management for any issue relating to the skin.

Otolaryngologist/ENT - Doctor specializing in the medical management of diseases/issues involving the ears, nose or throat, inclusive of the mouth and tongue. Will act as the referring doctor to Medical/Radiation oncology for treatment to this area based on presenting signs and symptoms, results of testing and/or surgery.

Social Worker -Assists with financial needs, insurance issues (inclusive of disability), case management and alternative placement planning in addition to assisting with exploring options related to support services for the patient and/or family.

Cancer Navigator - Helps to assist the patient after the initial cancer diagnosis to acclimate, understand and transition through their treatment course as smoothly as possible.

Case Management - Assigned, if needed, at the time of an admission to the inpatient floor to assist with navigating the care, initiation of discharge planning and any short-term or long-term care afterwards inclusive of palliative care and hospice. You may be assigned two of these - one case manager through your insurer who will then work with the hospital case manager to check for coverage and help ensure you stay within your preferred provider group, if there is one.

Genetic Counselor - Specialized counselor who, if requested or referred, will evaluate the patient's family health history and identify those at increased risk of cancer for the purpose of promoting awareness, early detection and prevention.

Nutritionist/Dietician - Works with a patient to maintaining an appropriate diet and fluid intake as well the prevention of abnormal weight loss.

Lymphedema Therapist - Physical therapist who specializes in the evaluation and treatment of lymphedema related to breast cancer.

PT/OT - Specialized team of individuals the patient may request or be referred to during or following treatment to retain the patient's strength and activity tolerance with the mutual goal of improving patient's quality of life.

Integrative Medicine - Focuses on a holistic treatment plan, including evidence-based complementary therapies in addition to conventional care to help address symptoms related to cancer or side effects from treatment, especially pain, stress, fatigue, and nausea. This may include massage therapy, mind-body therapies like yoga and meditation, acupuncture, aromatherapy, and nutrition.

Palliative Care/Pain Management - Specialized team of individuals (MD's, NP's, RN' s, etc.) who help to alleviated symptoms and/or pain in anyone with a chronic illness.

Most important players on your team... family, friends and your support system!

Getting A Second Opinion Back to Top ^

Cancer treatment is very complex, and some people don't know where to start asking questions. They might wonder if another doctor could offer something different in the way of treatment. You may find that you want to talk with another doctor who can look at your test results, talk with you about your personal situation, and maybe give you a different take on it. Seeking a second opinion is usually a good idea, and sometimes even required by your insurance company. The American Cancer Society has the information you need to talk to your doctor about your desire for a second opinion. Note the printable article on Talking To Your Doctor link.

Open to Options™ supports you as you identify important questions about your cancer treatment options and concerns based upon your personal needs. Available at no cost, this service will help you generate a list of questions for your doctor, organize your questions to take with you to your appointment, and communicate clearly with your medical team. Contact Kirsten Norslien, Program Director at Gilda's Club Madison, for a phone consultation, 608-828-8873.

All Cancer Support Back to Top ^

Aurora Cancer Care Buddy Program offers newly diagnosed individuals the opportunity to talk with someone who has had cancer. For information call 1-800-252-2990.

Bosom Buddies General Cancer Support Group meets the 3rd Sunday of each month in a different restaurant from 6-8 p.m. Based out of Oshkosh. For more information call 920-231-6542.

CARES (Cancer Awareness Resources Education and Support) is a support group open to anyone whose life has been affected by cancer including families and friends. Meets the 4th Tuesday of the month at the Calumet Medical Center Clinic from 6-7 p.m. For more information call 920-849-7539 x 2406.

Gilda's Club Madison offers a wide variety of programs, classes and support opportunities available free to anyone impacted by cancer who is receiving treatment in Madison. They are located at 7907 UW Health Court, Middleton, WI 608-828-8880. Visit their website at

Side Effect Support LLC is dedicated to improving the oral health and overall well being of those fighting cancer servicing the unique dental needs that arise during chemotherapy or head & neck radiation. Resources include therapeutic products along with valuable information to help manage many of the oral side effects of cancer treatments. Visit or call 920-629-1263.

Vince Lombardi Cancer Hotline 800-252-2990

Brain Tumor Support Back to Top ^

Fox Valley Brain Tumor Coalition/Fox Valley Brain Tumor Support Group is for individuals and those affected by brain cancer. Offers support, hope, friendship, clinical information and treatment updates to patients with brain tumors, as well as their families and friends. Lectures frequently provided by area experts on brain tumor treatment. Meets the 3rd Thursday of the month from 6-8 p.m. at the NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin, in Appleton. Contact David Bond, Nurse Practitioner/Administrator, at 920- 882-0818 to confirm meeting location and to be added to the mailing list.

Fox Valley Brain Tumor Youth Support Group was established to give kids and teens a safe place to interact with peers and group leaders, share experiences, express feelings, and learn about the facts of brain tumors. Any youth between the age of 5 and 18 years old who has a brain tumor themselves or has been affected by a brain tumor through a family member's diagnosis whether living or deceased are welcome to join. Contact Amy at 920-882-0818 for more information.

Breast Cancer Support Back to Top ^

All About You offers a full line of specialty mastectomy products for patients facing breast cancer. We work one on one in a private consultation to address your personal needs in prosthesis and bra fitting, post-surgery camisoles, post-surgery bras (front and back closure), mastectomy bras, silicone breast forms, partial forms/equalizers for lumpectomy and reconstructive surgeries, mastectomy swimsuits, swim breast forms, mastectomy camisoles and nighties, sleep caps, and scarves. Appointments preferred but not necessary, call Jean at 920-730-0909

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis (ABCD) is one-to-one mentoring by trained volunteers who have already personally experienced breast cancer and are assigned based on cancer type/treatment. To learn more call 800-977-4121 or visit

Breast Cancer-Vive (pronounced 'can survive') is a 12-week program for a newly diagnosed patient that helps you learn

  • How to process what cancer can bring each step of the journey
  • Relaxation techniques to best respond to treatment
  • The value of support

Offered at Appleton Medical Center through ThedaCare Behavioral Health. For more information call 920-720-2300. Insurance will be billed for the sessions.

Certified Supportive Oncology and Mastectomy Massage Specialist, Cheri Leonard, LMT, BCTMB, is Board Certified Licensed Massage Therapist and is specially trained to give relaxation and/or pain relief massage to cancer patients from diagnosis through surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy treatments and into survivorship. She provides instruction on caring for surgical scars and helps reconstruction patients achieve their best results. Cheri is a breast cancer survivor and can be contacted at The Massage Spot, 920-882-2930 or

Necessities Bag Wisconsin offers women scheduled for a mastectomy practical guidance and free essential supplies. Also offers caregivers information to help their loved ones deal with pre-surgical turmoil and the challenges of homecoming. Visit or call Becky at 920-685-6781.

Reach to Recovery is a program provided by the American Cancer Society Patient Service Center that provides one-on-one support for a woman facing a diagnosis of breast cancer by a breast cancer survivor. All volunteers are trained and certified by Reach to Recovery standards. Visit or call 1-800-277-2345.

You Are Not Alone (YANA) offers support to individuals and those affected by breast cancer. Primarily for survivors but family members may be welcome. Offered in Appleton at ThedaCare Regional Cancer  Center. For more information call 920-380-1500.

Head and Neck Cancer Back to Top ^

Head and Neck Cancer Support Group meets the 4th Monday of the month at the ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton.  Contact Sarah or Tricia for details at 920-380-1500.

Laryngectomy Support Back to Top ^

Fox Valley New Voice Club at Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton is for individuals who have had a laryngectomy, their family and friends. Meets 3rd Tuesday in January, April, July and October. For more information on time and date or to be added to the mailing list, contact Tammy Deacy, Facilitator & Speech Pathologist at 920-738-2045.

Leukemia/Lymphoma Support Back to Top ^

Fox Valley Area All Blood Cancers Group at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton is for patients with any blood cancer and includes their family and caregivers. Meets on the 3rd Monday of each month for dinner. (Note this group does not meet in the months of December or July). Call 262-785-4228 for more information and to confirm time/location.

Multiple Myeloma Support Back to Top ^

Fox Valley Area Myeloma Discussion Support Group at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton is for myeloma cancer patients, their family and caregivers. Meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month in the early evening. For more information and to confirm time contact the Patient Services Manager at 262-785-4220.

Ostomy Support Back to Top ^

Ostomy Support Group offers support to individuals with ostomies and their family/friends. Meets on the 1st Wednesday of February, April, June, August, October and December at Mercy Medical Center (except for meetings in April they have a dinner; in June, they meet at the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life event; and in August, there is a picnic). A newsletter is mailed in January, March, May, July, September and November and individuals may request to be added to the mailing list. The newsletter will provide further details of meeting locations. For more information contact Heather Klauer, RN, BSN, CWOCN at 920-223-2268.

Ovarian Cancer Support Back to Top ^

Ovarian Cancer Support Group offers support to individuals and those affected by ovarian cancer. Primarily for survivors but family members may be welcome. Offered in Appleton at ThedaCare Regional Cancer  Center. For more information call 920-380-1500.

Prostate Cancer Support Back to Top ^

Us TOO Fox Cities is a prostate cancer support group for men surviving prostate cancer that meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Neenah Fire Station #31 (1080 Breezewood Lane) from 6:00-7:30 p.m.  Contact Lee Hillstrom at for details.

Thyroid Cancer Support Back to Top ^

ThyCa Fox Cities WI Thyroid Cancer Support Group offers support by phone and email to individuals and those affected by thyroid cancer. ThyCa allows survivors and their families and friends to share thyroid cancer information, insights, coping skills and support. For more information contact Susan Yokers at 920-740-9795 or Tina Higgins at 920-687-1555; email, or visit for further information.

Wigs, Hair and Beauty Back to Top ^

Good Wishes is a heartfelt gift from L. Erickson's The Finest Accessories, Inc. - a complementary silk headscarf, or "It's a Wrap," for women or children experiencing hair loss due to illness from designer Laurie Erickson. Send request to

Headcovers Unlimited was founded by a breast cancer survivor and her daughter over 20 years ago and is devoted to helping people with hair loss due to cancer or chemotherapy treatments look and feel beautiful throughout their hair loss. Products include soft hats and scarves, sleep caps, wigs, false eyelashes and eyebrows, as well as other hard to find hair loss products. Also includes a resource library of helpful cancer and hair loss tips and informational articles such as "How to Select Your Wig" and what to look for in a head covering. For more information see

High Hope Salon at ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center in Appleton is a salon that is open to all cancer patients in the Fox Valley area regardless of where they are receiving their treatment. The salon offers private cosmetology services. Please contact Lisa Kellnhauser at 920-364-3660 to schedule an appointment.

JOY Rising is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to providing relief to those undergoing chemotherapy (or other diseases/treatments resulting in hair loss) by providing a realistic hair system, cut and styled by professionally trained stylists for the duration of their treatment. Their belief is that everyone should be able to go about his or her everyday lives without feeling unnecessary anxiety. The JOY Rising Project provides realistic wigs at a reasonable cost, specifically for distribution to cancer patients. Visit or call 920-205-5632.

Lids of Love are head wraps by Beth and Bobbi. For more information visit

Radiance Healthy Skincare Studio, Pamela Groebner, Licensed Skincare Aesthetician and Certified in Oncology Skincare Treatments. Visit website at or contact Pam at 920-931-5420 or

TLC-Tender Loving Care is a not-for-profit website and catalog of the American Cancer Society. The mission is to help women cope during and after cancer treatment by providing wigs and other hair loss products (plus how-to information), as well as mastectomy products, all at affordable prices. Visit or call 1-800-850-9445 for a free catalog.

Voga Wigs in Appleton provide excellent choices in wigs and hair solutions for those who have been effected by cancer treatment. They believe in treating their client with compassion and provide solutions for all budgets. ( link please

The Wig Closet offers new wigs and information on ordering new wigs, scarves and head coverings.

  • Mercy Medical Center and St. Elizabeth Hospital - contact your Nurse Navigator within the Michael D. Wachtel Cancer Center or St. Elizabeth Cancer Center.
  • Appleton Medical Center/Martha Seikman Cancer Center - contact Lisa Kellnhauser at 920-731-4101x2909

Financial SupportBack to Top ^

Brandon Thielke Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization raising funds to give to North Eastern and Central Wisconsin families who struggle financially during their fight with cancer. BTF helps all cancer diagnoses. All in need are helped. For more information, visit

The Community Benefit Tree, Inc. is an organization that provides support to individuals going through financial distress due to a medical crisis. They help families organize fund raising events, provide financial counseling, fund creation etc.

The Spierings Cancer Foundation provides financial Support to local families affected by cancer, enhances medical care for patients in the Fox Cities and funds cancer research in Wisconsin. Find them at or call (920)788-7189.

Young AdultsBack to Top ^

Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) is a nationwide collaboration of college students, faculty, and staff dedicated to eliminating cancer by working to implement the programs and mission of the American Cancer Society. With hundreds of chapters nationwide, CAC is showing the world that young people care and want to make a difference. CAC involves the entire campus community through four Strategic Directions: Advocacy, Cancer Education, Relay For Life, and Survivorship. To connect with the local University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh branch send an email inquiry to

Stupid Cancer (I'm Too Young For This) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower those affected by young adult cancer (ages 15-39) by building community, improving quality of life, and providing meaningful survivorship. This the dominant healthcare brand for millions affected by young adult cancer. The organization/website offers 1-1 support, conference summits and podcasts to reach their young audience.

"My cancer team shared their notes on my diagnosis – they took me seriously and encouraged me." Linda Kester, Featured HOPE Survivor

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