How about psychological support?
There may be several difficult periods of time during diagnosis, treatment and follow-up. If you or your loved ones are having a very hard time to cope, if you cannot control certain thoughts, or if fear overcomes you, you can appeal for specialised psychological help in most treatment centers. This does not mean you are crazy or weak.
A psychologist will listen to you and your loved ones, give you tips to help you handle your situation in order to keep life tolerable. Ask for help to face sarcoma and keep your mental health safe. You will need all your attention.
After completing your treatment, the number of contacts with the hospital will decrease dramatically, but still several challenges and difficult emotions may surface, such as fatigue, fear for relapse,…
Even then you can reach out for support
How to solve the other problems?
A sarcoma is accompanied by a lot of unforseen problems. For many things you can receive additional support (in Belgium). Below you can find information for a number of common problems. In the meantime, we are researching and listing even more resources.
Applications and compensations
De meeste ziekenfondsen bieden diensten aan om je te ondersteunen. Ook via Kom op Tegen Kanker en Stichting tegen Kanker is informatie te vinden over psychosociale en economische ondersteuning. Hier vind je een aantal items waar je als patiënt of naaste baat bij kan hebben.
Working and incapacity for work
You may experience a temporary incapacity for work because of your illness. If this is the case, you have a right to financial compensation. Even if your incapacity for work is permanent , your sickness fund will help you. It is important to also involve your employer to look for solutions such as adaptation of your work place to keep you employed.
Take care to submit your documents in time. Sometimes a late submission may lead to a partial loss of your compensation. In Belgium, you can only receive compensation for your incapacity for work during one year. If you are incapacitated for a longer period, you will receive a disability compensation (see further).
Click your sickness fund for more information about compensation of incapacity for work and how to apply:
Partial resumption of work : partial resumption of work will help you to get gradually involved in your normal or adapted work place. However, you will need the permission of the advisory doctor of your sickness fund. If you do not have the permission, you may lose your compensation.
Click your sickness fund for more information about partial resumption of work and how to apply:
If your disease causes a period of incapacity to work for a period of more than one year, you will be transferred towards a disability compensation. This also means that you can receive compensation by the RIZIV for for instance prostheses, implants and wheelchairs. On top of this you may also be eligible for a compensation to ensure a certain income. The prerequisites and compensations differ according to your sickness fund.
Click your sickness fund for more information:
In case of permanent disability (handicap) because of your disease, you can apply for compensation and social support to the Federal Public Service Social Security. In order to be eligible, you will need a recognition of your handicap and meet certain criteria. Click here for more information about the criteria and compensations for a handicap.
If you or your child cannot attend kindergarten, primary school or secondary school, there are possibilities to attend class in order not to miss too much.
During your stay in the hospital you may attend hospital class. Click here for more information.
If your ability to attend class is long-term, there are possibilities to attend classes online from your home or the hospital. In Flanders, Bednet serves to connect long-term and chronically ill patients between the ages of 6 and 18 and their class through internet. A computer in the patient’s class is connected to a computer at home or in the hospital. The patient can follow everything that happens in class through special software and webcams, and is able to ask questions and talk to his or her classmates. This way he/she stays up-to-date and keeps contact with his/her friends. Bednet is free for the school as well as for the sick pupil.
You can apply for this service yourself or through school. Keep in mind that the application may take a few weeks. As soon as you know when you will be absent, it is best to apply in order to quickly start attending class remotely. Do you want to apply for Bednet, click here .
Another possibility is Temporary Education at Home. This may be offered by the school if you live close by . Your teacher will come to your home for class during 4 hours per week. This service is also free of charge. Here you can find more information.
When you are in high school or university, and your period of absence is long, you can apply for a special status. This special status will allow you for instance to spread your exams over a prolonged period, make use of certain facilities, .. For more information you can contact your educational institution.
Status ‘severe illness’
Your legal health insurance will consider cancer a chronic illness. You will depend on other people, and you will be confronted with high medical bills. Your sickness fund will offer you a flat rate each year, depending on certain terms and your level of independence.
Click your sickness fund for more information:
You can find more information concerning RIZIV here.
Depending on your employer, you may be eligible for a guaranteed income after your illness days are used up . Ask your work personnel department for more information.
You can have problems paying for a mortgage or getting a mortgage insurance. If you cannot agree to the decision or the conditions of the insurance company, you can appeal. You can find more information at this website.
In order to receive physiotherapy you will need a prescription from your treating doctor. It is important to discuss whether physiotherapy is useful or needed for you. As the surgeries are complex and usually have major consequences, it is important to tread carefully. A thorough deliberation between your physiotherapist and your surgeon will be necessary. A fitting rehabilitation may allow your function to improve dramatically. Better force, stability and coordination will enhance your daily comfort.
After surgery, you may be eligible for higher reimbursement according to the ‘Fa’ criteria. This will give you a maximum of 60 physiotherapy sessions at a reasonable price, during a period of 1 year (365 days starting the first physiotherapy session). If you need more sessions, you can prolong your physiotherapy but you will have to pay more.