Tag Archive for: Survivorship

Cancer Survivorship | The Positive Impact of Peer Support

Cancer Survivorship | The Positive Impact of Peer Support from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Dr. Kathleen Ashton and Erica Watson, a cancer survivor and patient advocate, discuss the importance of giving and receiving peer support for people with cancer and its positive impact.

Dr. Kathleen Ashton is a board-certified clinical health psychologist in the Breast Center, Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Learn more about Dr. Ashton.
 
Erica Watson is a breast cancer survivor and patient advocate.
 

Related Resources:

What Does Cancer Survivorship Mean?What Does Cancer Survivorship Mean? Cancer Survivorship | Ongoing Healthcare and Follow-Up

Cancer Survivorship | Ongoing Healthcare and Follow-Up

Becoming Empowered: Navigating Obstacles to Empowerment That Can Lead to Better HealthNavigating Obstacles to Empowerment That Can Lead to Better Health 

Transcript:

Katherine Banwell:

Dr. Ashton, what can you tell us about the importance of peer-to-peer support in cancer care and survivorship?  

Dr. Ashton:

I think peer-to-peer support is so important for survivors.  

It really gives survivors the chance to talk with other people who really understand what it’s like going through this process. So, as a professional I can tell patients the science and give them tools and what works, and their oncologists can tell them what’s important for them to do, but the lived experience is so important. So, in our group program they get some of that peer-to-peer support. And when Erica says, “Hey, it really helped me to bring someone with me to my scan,” a patient really hears that in a different way than when your professional tells them.  

So, it’s just that much more meaningful. There’s another program at the Cleveland Clinic called   4th Angel, and it’s a national program that any patient can take advantage of, and it matches you with a peer mentor.  

And they often check in by phone with each other, someone who’s been through a very similar experience, and patients often find that incredibly helpful. And many patients that move into survivorship, then they become a mentor and they’re able to help another patient.  

And that really feels good to be able to give back in that way.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah, that’s wonderful. Erica, you have a family history of breast cancer, so you’ve been really vigilant in your care over the years. What advice do you have for other patients and family members facing a cancer diagnosis? Where do you find your strength?  

Erica Watson:

Well, I got it from a handful of sources. I learned a lot on my faith. I talked to my family members who were diagnosed with breast cancer and that are currently living. I was not afraid to ask questions. I cried a lot. I just really leaned heavily on my medical team.  

I feel like it is so important as Dr. Ashton was saying to be able to reach out or connect with someone that has actually lived the experience, because I was one of those women. I heard it from the medical team, but they were leaning on science, and I needed someone that actually went through what I was going through.

That allowed me to understand and to trust what they were telling me. Not that I didn’t trust my medical team, but the family members or anyone else that I leaned on to support actually lived the life that I was getting ready to live, experienced what I was getting ready to experience. So, that really helped me a lot.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah. As you navigated care, were there any obstacles or hurdles that you faced?  

Erica Watson:

Well, the main one that sticks out to me today was as an African American woman, I didn’t feel as if I had a lot of resources that were catered to me and my needs. And so, that kind of stifled my search for research or for resources, because I didn’t have an experience with women that looked like me, that talked like me, that lived like me, that would have experienced the hair loss like I experienced, my skin changes with the sun.  

So, those were the obstacles that I faced, and it was tough. Of course, I had my family to lean on, I have my aunt my sister, but there are so many women out there that don’t have family members that have gone through breast cancer, and I feel so like it’s necessary for us to be able to see and to experience the diversity in that area. 

We make up a huge demographic, but we are just not represented the way that I feel like we should.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah, I absolutely agree. And I know that the medical community is trying to reverse this issue; they’re trying to make it easier and more supportive for people of all colors and races. Why do you think it’s important for survivors to actually be an advocate and help other people as they navigate cancer?  

Erica Watson:

I believe the most important reason is just so that they know that they’re not alone. We can, as a breast cancer survivor, I know it was – my first response was to just go into a shell and hide.  

I didn’t want to share it with anyone. Of course, my family did not, they would not have understood, and this was before reaching out to my sister and my aunt. But yeah, just so that we’re not alone, to know that there are other women out there that are experiencing and feeling the exact same thing that we are experiencing and feeling; the questions, the concern, the guilt, the fear, we just need to be able to know and connect in that way. So, I just – yeah, I’m so passionate about that, and that’s it.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah. It’s so helpful to know you’re not alone in how you’re feeling, in some of the symptoms you’re having, to know that other people have experienced the same thing is vital. 

Cancer Survivorship | Ongoing Healthcare and Follow-Up

Cancer Survivorship | Ongoing Healthcare and Follow-Up from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Dr. Kathleen Ashton explains what a cancer survivorship care plan is, what to expect following after active treatment, available survivorship tools and resources, and she reviews follow-up care for cancer survivors. 

Dr. Kathleen Ashton is a board-certified clinical health psychologist in the Breast Center, Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Learn more about Dr. Ashton.
 
Erica Watson is a breast cancer survivor and patient advocate.
 

Related Resources:

What Does Cancer Survivorship Mean?What Does Cancer Survivorship Mean? Cancer Survivorship | The Positive Impact of Peer SupportCancer Survivorship | The Positive Impact of Peer Support Becoming Empowered: Navigating Obstacles to Empowerment That Can Lead to Better HealthNavigating Obstacles to Empowerment That Can Lead to Better Health 

Transcript:

Katherine Banwell:

Dr. Ashton, we often hear about the importance of creating a survivorship care plan. What is that exactly, and where do you and a patient start when you’re creating such a plan?  

Dr. Ashton:

That survivorship care plan is such an important part of the process. I think for many patients it really helps relieve a lot of anxiety. When you’re finished with your active treatment there’s really a thought of what next, right?  

You’ve just gone through surgery or chemotherapy, radiation; you’ve been actively treating the cancer, and then you’re kind of left like, what is this new normal? So, one of the things we do at the Cleveland Clinic is patients have a survivorship visit. So, it’s either with their oncologist or with a nurse practitioner, and they spend an hour with the patient and go through what are all the treatments you’ve done? What’s your plan for the next five years? How often do you come in to see your doctor? What kinds of tests are you going to get, what kind of scans? What you need to be looking for? What would be a sign of something to be concerned about? And then a big part of that plan is also the lifestyle changes that occur in survivorship. So, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, stress management, getting enough sleep. And that’s where as a psychologist a lot of times I come in.  

We have a group called Breast Cancer STAR (Survivorship Tools and Resources), so it’s a five-week program for our survivors to work on changes with lifestyle, stress management, all of those changes in their life moving forward.  

And that’s a virtual group program where survivors can talk to each other about that survivorship plan as well as learn some skills to take with them.  

Katherine Banwell:

It’s great to have that support. We know that this varies by cancer, but what is the typical follow-up that occurs when monitoring for recurrence?  

Dr. Ashton:

So, I usually would probably leave that question to the oncologist, and so many different kinds of breast cancer are going to have different kinds of monitoring. But very often that first-year patients will check in with their oncologist every three months. They’ll have a breast exam at many of those visits. If they still have breast tissue, then they would have mammograms or possibly MRIs. So, there’s some scans that go along with that. And many patients are also on ongoing medications or treatments that go for sometimes several years after their initial breast cancer diagnosis.  

So, they would be checking in with their oncologist on those medications at each visit as well.  

Katherine Banwell:

Erica, the follow-up care that goes along with being a survivor can be anxiety inducing or cause some call it scan-anxiety. What advice do you have for coping with these types of emotions as a survivor?  

Erica Watson:

As a survivor I will have my first scan next month, but I would just encourage survivors to just be okay with the process, ask questions, as many questions as they possibly can, take someone with them, which was suggested to me.  

I don’t have anxiety necessarily about the scans. My breast cancer was detected by pain or through pain, so I experienced anxiety with that, any kind of breast pain that I experienced from surgery or radiation therapy. And I also would just advise the patient or survivor to just experience the process, allow themselves to be afraid, talk through the reality of what’s really going on, talk through the fact that they had all the treatments, they did everything that was in their control as far as going to the appointments, getting all the care, to stop the reoccurrence.   

Katherine Banwell:

Dr. Ashton, primary and preventative care continues to be essential regardless of someone’s diagnosis. What tips do you have for keeping up with overall health and well-being?  

Dr. Ashton:

Yeah, I think as women we often put ourselves last in the priority list. And for breast cancer survivors, well-being is incredibly important. And I tell patients it’s not an optional thing or something that you’re being selfish by doing, it’s actually part of your prescription as a survivor. So, the time that you take for stress management, whether it’s meditation or being outdoors or whatever brings you joy is really part of your prescription for wellness in survivorship. Exercise is incredibly important. They recommend for survivors 150 minutes of exercise a week and two days of weight training, keeping your weight normal.   

So, all of the healthy eating, healthy habits are actually what’s going to help prevent recurrence. And they’re things that or in patients’ control, so that feels good too to be able to take that time and recognize that it’s an essential part of their health, not an optional part.  

What Does Cancer Survivorship Mean?

What Does Cancer Survivorship Mean? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Dr. Kathleen Ashton and Erica Watson, a cancer survivor, explore the difference between being a survivor and survivorship. They discuss what cancer survivorship entails and Erica’s experience of finding a new normal in her journey as a survivor.

Dr. Kathleen Ashton is a board-certified clinical health psychologist in the Breast Center, Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Learn more about Dr. Ashton.
 
Erica Watson is a breast cancer survivor and patient advocate.
 

Related Resources:

Cancer Survivorship | Ongoing Healthcare and Follow-Up

Cancer Survivorship | Ongoing Healthcare and Follow-Up

Cancer Survivorship | The Positive Impact of Peer SupportCancer Survivorship | The Positive Impact of Peer Support Becoming Empowered: For Cancer Care Partners_ How to Access the Support You Need

For Cancer Care Partners: How to Access the Support You Need


Transcript:

Katherine Banwell:

Dr. Ashton, I’d like to start with a definition. If you would tell us what the difference is and the importance of survivor versus survivorship?  

Dr. Ashton:

Sure. So, people define being a breast cancer survivor at different points along the way, and even different oncologists really think about it, dating it from different times. So, some people date it from when they were diagnosed. Other people will date survivorship from after they had their surgery or after they completed chemotherapy.  

So, everyone looks at it a little bit differently. But survivorship is really more of that process throughout someone’s life after breast cancer; taking care of surveillance, working with their doctors, ongoing lifestyle changes that they may be undergoing after breast cancer.

Katherine Banwell:

And, Erica, what does survivorship mean to you?  

Erica Watson:

I am just living with a purpose now, I guess. I have not defined where my survivorship term starts or end or starts actually. So, I’m intentional about laughing more and doing things that bring me joy and sharing my story.  

I try not to pay attention to the small things in life that used to get me all stressed out. I talk to my medical team, I ask questions, I dance in the mirror when I hear good music. I mean, I’m just trying to get the most out of life that I can at this point. And I wake up every day with gratitude, and I just go.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah. Do you feel like you’ve had to adjust to a new normal?   

Erica Watson:

Oh my gosh, yes. I tend to, I guess I’ll say question things a little bit more than I did in the past, and specifically as far as my medical team; I’ll ask if I can do a thing or another with traveling, whether or not I can exercise or sit in the sun.  

I have to pay more attention to my body. I have to pay more attention to the things that I eat, those kinds of things. Which I really didn’t pay too much attention to in the beginning, but breast cancer is a part of my life and will be a part of my life. It does not define my life, but it is a part of it, and I have to pay attention to that.  

Cancer Survivorship | An Expert and a Survivor Share Inspiration and Advice

Cancer Survivorship | An Expert and a Survivor Share Inspiration and Advice from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How is survivorship defined, and what can one expect after cancer treatment is complete? Dr. Kathleen Ashton, a clinical health psychologist, shares key advice about what to expect in follow-up care and the importance of planning for the future. Dr. Ashton is joined by Erica Watson, a breast cancer survivor, who provides her personal perspective on navigating life with cancer, discusses the impact of peer support, and shares why she’s passionate about patient advocacy.
 
Dr. Kathleen Ashton is a board-certified clinical health psychologist in the Breast Center, Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute at Cleveland Clinic. Learn more about Dr. Ashton.
 
Erica Watson is a breast cancer survivor and patient advocate.
 

Related Resources:

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Staging | What Patients Should Know

Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Staging | What Patients Should Know

Advanced Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer | Establishing a Treatment Plan

Advanced Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer | Establishing a Treatment Plan

An Expert’s Perspective on Advanced Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Research

An Expert’s Perspective on Advanced Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Research


Transcript:

Katherine Banwell:

Welcome and thank you for joining us. With us today is Dr. Kathleen Ashton. Dr. Ashton, welcome. Would you please introduce yourself?  

Dr. Ashton:

I’m Kathleen Ashton. I’m a board-certified clinical health psychologist, and I specialize in working with patients with breast cancer and those with hereditary risk for breast cancer.   

Katherine Banwell:

Erica, would you introduce yourself?  

Erica Watson:

Sure. I am Erica Watson, wife, mother, grandmother, neighbor, friend, employee, sister, aunt, all those in addition to a, I’m going to say six-month breast cancer survivor.  

Katherine Banwell:

Congratulations. 

Erica Watson:

So, thank you.  

Katherine Banwell:

Well, welcome to both of you. We really appreciate you taking the time to join us. Erica, I’d like to start with you. When were you diagnosed with breast cancer?  

Erica Watson:

So, I got the official I have cancer, or you have cancer call on the 28th of February 2023. So, a little over a year ago.  

Katherine Banwell:

And how did you work with your team to decide on a treatment plan once you were diagnosed?  

Erica Watson:

Initially I went into my first appointment just automatically knowing that I was going to have a double mastectomy, because I just could not imagine having to go through any part of this process ever again. But then I settled, I listened to my medical team, we settled on doing chemotherapy first and then I made the decision on what type of surgery to have about a month-and-a-half to two months later.  

They allowed me to make the decision. And so, I didn’t feel any pressure or anything like that from them. So, it was really me listening to my medical team.  

Katherine Banwell:

Okay. And how are you feeling today?  

Erica Watson:

I’m good. I had my three-month appointment with my oncologist yesterday. I got a gold star on my blood work, it’s looking great. I’m good, I’m good.  

Katherine Banwell:

That’s such great news.  

Erica Watson:

Thank you. 

Katherine Banwell:

Dr. Ashton, I’d like to start with a definition. If you would tell us what the difference is and the importance of survivor versus survivorship?  

Erica Watson:

Sure. So, people define being a breast cancer survivor at different points along the way, and even different oncologists really think about it, dating it from different times. So, some people date it from when they were diagnosed. Other people will date survivorship from after they had their surgery or after they completed chemotherapy.  

So, everyone looks at it a little bit differently. But survivorship is really more of that process throughout someone’s life after breast cancer; taking care of surveillance, working with their doctors, ongoing lifestyle changes that they may be undergoing after breast cancer.  

Katherine Banwell:

And, Erica, what does survivorship mean to you?  

Erica Watson:

I am just living with a purpose now, I guess. I have not defined where my survivorship term starts or ends or starts actually. So, I’m intentional about laughing more and doing things that bring me joy and sharing my story.  

I try not to pay attention to the small things in life that used to get me all stressed out. I talk to my medical team, I ask questions, I dance in the mirror when I hear good music. I mean, I’m just trying to get the most out of life that I can at this point. And I wake up every day with gratitude, and I just go.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah. Do you feel like you’ve had to adjust to a new normal?  

Erica Watson:

Oh my gosh, yes. I tend to, I guess I’ll say question things a little bit more than I did in the past, and specifically as far as my medical team; I’ll ask if I can do a thing or another with traveling, whether or not I can exercise or sit in the sun.  

I have to pay more attention to my body. I have to pay more attention to the things that I eat, those kinds of things. Which I really didn’t pay too much attention to in the beginning, but breast cancer is a part of my life and will be a part of my life. It does not define my life, but it is a part of it, and I have to pay attention to that.  

Katherine Banwell:

Dr. Ashton, the next question goes to you. We often hear about the importance of creating a survivorship care plan. What is that exactly, and where do you and a patient start when you’re creating such a plan?  

Dr. Ashton:

That survivorship care plan is such an important part of the process. I think for many patients it really helps relieve a lot of anxiety. When you’re finished with your active treatment, there’s really a thought of what next, right?  

You’ve just gone through surgery or chemotherapy, radiation; you’ve been actively treating the cancer, and then you’re kind of left like, what is this new normal? So, one of the things we do at the Cleveland Clinic is patients have a survivorship visit.

So, it’s either with their oncologist or with a nurse practitioner, and they spend an hour with the patient and go through what are all the treatments you’ve done? What’s your plan for the next five years? How often do you come in to see your doctor? What kinds of tests are you going to get, what kind of scans? What you need to be looking for? What would be a sign of something to be concerned about? And then a big part of that plan is also the lifestyle changes that occur in survivorship. So, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, stress management, getting enough sleep. And that’s where as a psychologist a lot of times I come in.  

We have a group called Breast Cancer STAR (Survivorship Tools and Resources), so it’s a five-week program for our survivors to work on changes with lifestyle, stress management, all of those changes in their life moving forward.  

And that’s a virtual group program where survivors can talk to each other about that survivorship plan as well as learn some skills to take with them.  

Katherine Banwell:

It’s great to have that support. We know that this varies by cancer, but what is the typical follow-up that occurs when monitoring for recurrence?  

Dr. Ashton:

So, I usually would probably leave that question to the oncologist, and so many different kinds of breast cancer are going to have different kinds of monitoring. But very often that first year patients will check in with their oncologist every three months. They’ll have a breast exam at many of those visits. If they still have breast tissue, then they would have mammograms or possibly MRI’s. So, there’s some scans that go along with that. And many patients are also on ongoing medications or treatments that go for sometimes several years after their initial breast cancer diagnosis.  

So, they would be checking in with their oncologist on those medications at each visit as well.  

Katherine Banwell:

Erica, the follow-up care that goes along with being a survivor can be anxiety-inducing, or cause some call it scan-anxiety. What advice do you have for coping with these types of emotions as a survivor?  

Erica Watson:

As a survivor I will have my first scan next month, but I would just encourage survivors to just be okay with the process, ask questions, as many questions as they possibly can, take someone with them, which was suggested to me.  

I don’t have anxiety necessarily about the scans. My breast cancer was detected by pain or through pain, so I experienced anxiety with that, any kind of breast pain that I experienced from surgery or radiation therapy. And I also would just advise the patient or survivor to just experience the process, allow themselves to be afraid, talk through the reality of what’s really going on, talk through the fact that they had all the treatments, they did everything that was in their control as far as going to the appointments, getting all the care, to stop the reoccurrence.  

Katherine Banwell:

Right. Dr. Ashton, what can you tell us about the importance of peer-to-peer support in cancer care and survivorship?  

Dr. Ashton:

I think peer-to-peer support is so important for survivors.  

It really gives survivors the chance to talk with other people who really understand what it’s like going through this process. So, as a professional, I can tell patients the science and give them tools and what works, and their oncologists can tell them what’s important for them to do, but the lived experience is so important. So, in our group program they get some of that peer-to-peer support. And when Erica says, “Hey, it really helped me to bring someone with me to my scan,” a patient really hears that in a different way than when your professional tells them.  

So, it’s just that much more meaningful. There’s another program at the Cleveland Clinic called Fourth Angel, and it’s a national program that any patient can take advantage of, and it matches you with a peer mentor.  

And they often check in by phone with each other, someone who’s been through a very similar experience, and patients often find that incredibly helpful. And many patients that move into survivorship, then they become a mentor, and they’re able to help another patient.  

And that really feels good to be able to give back in that way.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah, that’s wonderful. Erica, you have a family history of breast cancer, so you’ve been really vigilant in your care over the years. What advice do you have for other patients and family members facing a cancer diagnosis? Where do you find your strength?  

Erica Watson:

Well, I got it from a handful of sources. I learned a lot on my faith. I talked to my family members who were diagnosed with breast cancer and that are currently living. I was not afraid to ask questions. I cried a lot. I just really leaned heavily on my medical team.  

I feel like it is so important as Dr. Ashton was saying to be able to reach out or connect with someone that has actually lived the experience, because I was one of those women. I heard it from the medical team, but they were leaning on science, and I needed someone that actually went through what I was going through. That allowed me to understand and to trust what they were telling me. Not that I didn’t trust my medical team, but the family members or anyone else that I leaned on to support actually lived the life that I was getting ready to live, experienced what I was getting ready to experience. So, that really helped me a lot.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah. As you navigated care, were there any obstacles or hurdles that you faced?  

Erica Watson:

Well, the main one that sticks out to me today was as an African American woman, I didn’t feel as if I had a lot of resources that were catered to me and my needs. And so, that kind of stifled my search for research or for resources, because I didn’t have an experience with women that looked like me, that talked like me, that lived like me, that would have experienced the hair loss like I experienced, my skin changes with the sun.  

So, those were the obstacles that I faced, and it was tough. Of course, I had my family to lean on, I have my aunt, my sister, but there are so many women out there that don’t have family members that have gone through breast cancer, and I feel so like it’s necessary for us to be able to see and to experience the diversity in that area. 

We make up a huge demographic, but we are just not represented the way that I feel like we should.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah, I absolutely agree. And I know that the medical community is trying to reverse this issue; they’re trying to make it easier and more supportive for people of all colors and races. Why do you think it’s important for survivors to actually be an advocate and help other people as they navigate cancer?  

Erica Watson:

I believe the most important reason is just so that they know that they’re not alone. We can, as a breast cancer survivor, I know it was – my first response was to just go into a shell and hide.  

I didn’t want to share it with anyone. Of course, my family did not, they would not have understood, and this was before reaching out to my sister and my aunt. But yeah, just so that we’re not alone, to know that there are other women out there that are experiencing and feeling the exact same thing that we are experiencing and feeling; the questions, the concern, the guilt, the fear, we just need to be able to know and connect in that way. So, I just – yeah, I’m so passionate about that, and that’s it.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah. It’s so helpful to know you’re not alone in how you’re feeling, in some of the symptoms you’re having, to know that other people have experienced the same thing is vital.  

Dr. Ashton, primary and preventative care continues to be essential regardless of someone’s diagnosis. What tips do you have for keeping up with overall health and well-being?  

Dr. Ashton:

Yeah, I think as women we often put ourselves last in the priority list. And for breast cancer survivors, well-being is incredibly important. And I tell patients it’s not an optional thing or something that you’re being selfish by doing, it’s actually part of your prescription as a survivor. So, the time that you take for stress management, whether it’s meditation or being outdoors or whatever brings you joy, is really part of your prescription for wellness in survivorship. Exercise is incredibly important. They recommend for survivors 150 minutes of exercise a week and two days of weight training, keeping your weight normal.  

So, all of the healthy eating, healthy habits are actually what’s going to help prevent recurrence. And they’re things that are in patients’ control, so that feels good too to be able to take that time and recognize that it’s an essential part of their health, not an optional part.  

Katherine Banwell:

Erica, what advice would you give to someone who is newly diagnosed with cancer?  

Erica Watson:

I would tell them to process, take some time, slow down, trust family members and friends, listen to their medical team, know and realize that they are not alone, seek resources, and just to know that it’s not their fault, because I dealt with a little, a smidgen of that in the very beginning of my diagnosis. And to understand that there is, that today’s breast cancer is not yesterday’s breast cancer; it looks different, it feels different, and that they can do it.  

That is something that is vital. I believe that we – I know when I was first diagnosed, I remember looking in the pamphlets and hearing stories, and I just knew that there was no way that I was going to make it. I couldn’t do the sickness, I didn’t want to deal with the hair loss, all the things; I didn’t want to do with the pain, all the things that came along with a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment from chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, but it’s not like that today. And so, I just would encourage the survivor or the patient to just be aware, do research, but don’t Google as much research, because it’s not a lot of good information on Google; it will definitely scare you.  

Katherine Banwell:

No, that can be dangerous.  

Erica Watson:

Yes, it will, it will scare you. But most of all, lean on family members and friends, ask for help, which is something that I did not do initially, because I am a woman and I can do it all on my own, and that didn’t work out well for me in the beginning. But just seek guidance, just reach out to someone that they know, advocate, any kind of mental health resources that are offered through the hospital or even in the community through nonprofit organizations, to do all those things. And Dr. Ashton has really encouraged me and pushed me to think of myself, to put myself first and understand that breast cancer or cancer in itself is a disease.  

It’s sickness, it needs to be treated properly, and that’s what I would give them.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah. I want to thank both of you so much for joining us. And do you have anything else to add?  

Erica Watson:

Well, I’m very excited to hear Erica’s point of view as she goes through this process, and excited for her to share her experience as an African American woman. I think absolutely as healthcare providers in the system we need to do better, and I know her reaching out in this way is going to make a difference for someone listening to her story who is thinking about getting a mammogram or is starting to go through treatment. So, I just appreciate her today.  

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah. Erica, do you have anything to add?  

Erica Watson:

I just want to thank Dr. Ashton. I want to thank you. I just want to thank – I’m grateful and honored for the opportunity to be able to share my story. I am a true believer, and if it helps one person then that’s mission accomplished.  

And I believe in locking arms and let’s just, accomplishing the goal and fighting this fight together.  

Katherine Banwell:

That’s a great way to end the interview. Thank you both again so much, it’s been a pleasure.  

Erica Watson:

Thank you.  

Dr. Ashton:

Thank you.

Dr. Krina Patel: Why Is It Important for You to Empower Patients?

Dr. Krina Patel: Why Is It Important for You to Empower Patients? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Why is it important to empower patients in their care? Expert Dr. Krina Patel from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center discusses her approaches and how she engages with her patients through treatment, care, and survivorship.

See More from Empowering Providers to Empower Patients (EPEP)

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Dr. Samuel Cykert: Why Is It Important for You to Empower Patients?

Dr. Samuel Cykert: Why Is It Important for You to Empower Patients?

Dr. Eugene Manley: Why Is It Important for You to Empower Patients?

Dr. Eugene Manley: Why Is It Important for You to Empower Patients? 

Transcript:

Dr. Krina Patel:

So I think in myeloma, where our patients for the most part are not cured, they’re incurable and for the most part are on therapy lifelong. I think it’s really important that they have a community to go to, including their caregivers. There’s a lot of caregiver burnout that happens, patients, when they’re doing well or well, but when they relapse, it can be pretty dramatic and kind of take away everything again. And every time a patient’s relapsing, sometimes it feels hopeless.

And I think with all the therapies we have out there, this embarrassment of riches as we myeloma doctors like to say, we have to be able to get them through to have access to these drugs at the right time, make sure we decrease toxicity. But it’s a lot of information.

And I think for our patients, no matter how much time we spend with them, it’s just, it’s overwhelming. And I think it is for a lot of my colleagues who don’t just do myeloma all the time. I mean, it’s overwhelming for me half the time when I’m trying to see my patients and figuring out which is the next therapy. And so I really, at the first visit, talk to my patients about patient advocacy groups that are out there. And I even give them websites to go to.

At MD Anderson we’re trying to make videos for our patients so that while they’re waiting in the waiting rooms, they’ll have access to those, specifically, for CAR-T therapy and bispecifics. I think those are such great novel therapies, but they’re also high maintenance as I like to call them that there’s a lot of supportive care that’s needed for infection prophylaxis to make sure they don’t get secondary cancers, right?

All these complications that can happen, neurotoxicity, etcetera. And thankfully, for the most part, our patients do really well and they can get through it. But for those patients who end up with that, it’s really important they have this information, so they know when to contact us. And I think for my colleagues as well, we’re trying really hard to make sure we have better communication, for my patients that are in the community coming in for CAR T or for bispecific therapy, then going back to their doctors, their community doctors for the rest of their care.

So we have letters, that we come up with that we give to the patient as well as send to their doctor. We have phone numbers they can call that even if they’re back home, and they need to get ahold of someone that, they have a lifeline to say, I don’t know what to do. This is happening. And I think, it’s really important again for the patients and their caregivers to really understand, this is a lifelong journey, right?

This is not something that you’re just going to get a few cycles of treatment and then you go to survivorship clinic. And then hopefully we never have to treat again. And that this myeloma as of right now is still a continuous therapy and it could be, long periods of time between therapies. Or you might go on maintenance, for a long period of time before you need your next line of therapy, but this is a lifelong therapy that we’re going to have to do with, with everybody involved.

And I think, again, I can’t see every patient out there and most myeloma specialists can’t, but we’re happy to be a part of the team. And so really, when we can have access to things that the community might not, or be able to help in terms of, what combination is the best for this patient, and what dose reductions should we do for this specific patient?

Those are the things we would love to help our community doctors with to make sure outcomes for all our patients, those who are near us, but those who are also physically not close to us that we can still be able to help to make sure that they have the best efficacy, but also the best quality of life with this disease.

How Can Prostate Cancer Screening Access Be Increased?

How Can Prostate Cancer Screening Access Be Increased? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How can access to prostate cancer screening be improved? Expert Dr. Ronald Chen from KU Medical Center discusses the importance of prostate cancer screening, methods that experts are using to increase awareness, and patient advice for optimizing health outcomes.

[ACTI]IVATION TIP

“…if you’re diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, always consider if a second opinion is right for you, a second opinion with a specialist who may have access to the latest treatments, technologies and clinical trials, and having that information before you to make a treatment decision can provide you with information, so you can make the best decision and have the best outcome for your cancer.”

Download Prostate Cancer Screening Tips Guide

See More from [ACT]IVATED Prostate Cancer

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Advanced Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials | Access and NRG-GU008 Trial

Advanced Prostate Cancer Clinical Trials | Access and NRG-GU008 Trial

Transcript:

Lisa Hatfield:

Are there any innovative approaches or technologies that you and your team are exploring to improve prostate cancer detection, treatment, or support services, especially for communities with limited access to healthcare resources?

Dr. Ronald Chen:

I think that access to screening is so important because screening, to be able to catch a cancer as early as possible allows the highest chance for cure and the best outcome for the patient. So what my team has been doing to try to increase access to screening is two-fold.

One is, we need to increase the awareness that screening is important. And unfortunately, in prostate cancer, there’s actually some controversy about whether prostate cancer screening is good or bad for the patient. There’s been some, I think, unfortunate national guidelines that recommend against screening and a lot of debate about whether screening is good or bad. I think it’s been unfortunate. It actually has led to some physicians and patients to really be doubtful about prostate cancer screening. I think we need to do a lot of education to actually reverse that misperception. And so one aspect is to educate, to make sure people do understand that prostate cancer screening, early detection is important.

So part of what my team is doing, not only really screening, but also all of prostate cancer and actually other cancers as well, is that my cancer center is doing a regular podcast. And so, what my cancer center director, Dr. Roy Jensen, on a weekly basis will interview a cancer expert and have a conversation about some cancer topic. It could be screening, it could be how to live a healthy lifestyle as a cancer patient, it could be about survivorship, it could be about a new technology to diagnose or treat cancer, a topic, a different topic every time recorded as a podcast with experts at my center and other places, and that podcast is freely available to anybody who wants to learn about different topics.

And I think that’s really great because I think knowledge gives patients power to make the right decisions. And so, our podcast, and actually we have some videos as well freely available through Facebook and other media channels, is one way to help us tackle this issue, and increase knowledge.

I think the other aspect of increasing screening is to have more opportunities for screening. And so, what my cancer center has been doing is we actually host three cancer screening events around our state, around Kansas, around Western Missouri, which is close to where we are, and we would just host screening events. It’s prostate cancer, it’s skin cancer, it’s lung cancer, it’s a colorectal cancer. The more we’re able to offer these free community events where people can come and just get cancer screened, the more access we provide and the more early detection we have for patients. I think those are pretty innovative strategies, free education, podcasts, and videos that anybody can access, hosting community events for screening. Sometimes we have it at local churches, sometimes we just have local hospitals to bring this to where people are. I think it’s pretty innovative, I think we make an impact there.

I think another really important thing is telehealth. I think patients from almost anywhere in the country, even if they live in rural areas, can have access to cancer experts and can have access to clinical trials because of telehealth. Telehealth, which is basically a consultation with a cancer specialist, either through phone or through video like Zoom, has really increased the access patients have anywhere to expert opinion, so they can make the right decision for their treatment and potentially have access to clinical trials. I think that’s really made a huge difference for patients as well.

And so, my activation tip for this question is, if you’re diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, always consider if a second opinion is right for you, a second opinion with a specialist who may have access to the latest treatments, technologies, and clinical trials, and having that information before you to make a treatment decision can provide you with information, so you can make the best decision and have the best outcome for your cancer.

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Empowering CLL Patients for Treatment and Survivorship

Empowering CLL Patients for Treatment and Survivorship from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How can chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) experts help empower patients? Expert Dr. Danielle Brander explains ways that she helps her patients prepare for treatment and survivorship.

Dr. Danielle Brander is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematologic Malignancies & Cellular Therapy at Duke University Medical Center. Learn more about Dr. Danielle Brander.

Download Resource Guide   |  Descargar Guía en Español

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Transcript:

Lisa Hatfield:

“As a CLL expert, how do you help empower your patients so they can get the most out of their CLL treatment and survivorship? How do you work with them as a team to make sure, I guess they’re having the best outcome they can?”

Dr. Danielle Brander:

Absolutely. So it starts at the start. I guess so for conversations, meaning for those that don’t need treatment right away building the relationship, understanding how I can help patients and their caregivers help, for example, they like to learn how much they want to know, what resources can I connect them with. And then I think it’s important for them to have other team members that they can go to and talk to and hear it from, because sometimes the same information we can just share in different ways or approach differently. The nurse on our team or our pharmacist or I work with a wonderful group of nurse practitioners and physician assistants as well. And so from the beginning, I want patients to feel free to ask the questions that come to mind.

It’s amazing, of course, during the course of the visit when you’re going over your labs and that, that sometimes it’s easy to forget the questions you came in with. So, of course, anytime you can write them down before coming in, write them down and then maybe prioritize because all of us…I think it’s hard to remember everything. So prioritizing the questions we want to make sure we get to and go over as well as know that these same questions are going to mean different things to you the longer you’re living with your CLL. And so it’s okay to ask the same questions. Again, there’s never a question that any of us mind going over several times. And then just know how the team can help you. You know, are you coming? How much information do you want?

How much input do you want us to put? And what is your importance and priority? At the end of the day, I want all patients to know no one knows what it is, like living with it. No one knows what’s most important as much as you and your family or your caregiver team does. And I learn just as much from patients and the way they share their experiences. There’s a lot we can look at a group of patients with CLL and say how different each patient’s experiences, who needs treatment or not, who has side effects or not. But no one’s going to know as much as as you do living with it. And it’s our hope to help you wherever you are in your journey or whatever ways that we can help you.

Lisa Hatfield:

Well, and I appreciate your comment that we can ask the same questions over and over if we need to. I know my oncologist when I first met with him, I felt guilty taking in more than two questions, but right before he moved, I took in a long, I rolled up a piece of paper, a long scroll, and I said, I have some questions for you, but I knew they were all repeat questions. But it does give us a little bit of peace of mind just hearing it again from somebody, especially in those initial phases of treatment, just hearing it, even if you have to hear it again and again. So thank you for mentioning that. It makes us feel a little more confident in taking those concerns to our providers, even if they’re repeated concerns. 

Lisa Hatfield:

Dr. Brander, it’s these conversations that help patients truly empower themselves along their treatment journey. And on behalf of patients like myself and those watching, thank you very much for joining us.

Dr. Danielle Brander:

Thank you for having me.


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Coping With AML | Financial and Mental Health Resources

Coping With AML | Financial and Mental Health Resources from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

What emotional and financial support is available for patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML)? Dr. Alice Mims shares advice about how to access mental health support and financial assistance for AML care.

Dr. Alice Mims is a hematologist specializing in acute and chronic myeloid conditions. Dr. Mims serves as the Acute Leukemia Clinical Research Director at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – James. Learn more about Dr. Mims.

See More from Thrive AML

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Thriving With AML | Advice for Setting Goals and Making Treatment Decisions

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Care | Who Are the Essential Team Members


Transcript:

Katherine Banwell:

Let’s talk a little bit about mental health resources. Managing the worry associated with a diagnosis or concerns about relapse, or even various side effects can lead to emotional symptoms like anxiety and fear.  

Why is it important for people with AML to share how they’re feeling with their healthcare team? 

Dr. Alice Mims:

So, I think it’s very important because, one, all of those feelings are normal feelings. I think they’re sometimes that from going through such a rapid diagnosis and then having to start treatment pretty quickly and going through all the ups and downs with these types of diagnosis can really lead to for some patients PTSD-type symptoms. And then there are also things that can evolve over time where their anxiety or even survivorship guilt as you go if you move forward and are doing well, where you may have some friends or people you met along the way who may not have had as good outcomes. And so, there are resources available based off of where you are.  

But for survivorship, oncology-specific counseling to deal with some of these feelings that are understandable and normal for what patients have been through. 

Katherine Banwell:

Can a social worker help? And are there other people on the healthcare team who can support a patient’s emotional needs? 

Dr. Alice Mims:

Oh, absolutely. So, I think it’s really place-dependent on where you are but yes, absolutely. Social workers are a great resource for patients. There may be other collaborative teams based off of where you’re receiving your treatment that may be available that are maybe patient support groups where you can go and be with other patients or Facebook, social media support groups. And I think all those can be very helpful. And I know at least at our center, we also have patient mentors who have been through and gotten through to the other side of transplant or whatnot who are great resources, because they’ve lived and experienced it. 

And I think that’s just as a physician, I can talk about things that I don’t have that personal experience having lived through it. And I think that’s very important… 

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah. It’s a… 

Dr. Alice Mims:

…to be able to have somebody to talk to. Yeah. 

Katherine Banwell:

Yeah. What about the financial aspect of treatments? There are many people who would find it difficult to find and maybe they don’t have insurance, or their insurance doesn’t cover a lot. How do you help patients who are dealing with financial restrictions?  

Dr. Alice Mims:

Sure. So, I think that we’re fortunate here because we have a lot of support staff to help patients with our financial counseling team. We also have people within the medication assistance programs who can help find foundation grants to help with medication support, travel support. 

I think for patients who may not have those things available at their individual center, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a great place to reach out for. And there are other foundations as well who at least may have navigators to help patients figure out other resources or funding available.  

Finding Your New Normal: 7 Steps To Navigating Life After Cancer

 A cancer diagnosis can turn your life upside down, challenging you physically, emotionally, and mentally. It takes a lot of strength, resilience, and support to get through cancer treatment. However, reaching the end of your treatment doesn’t mean that you’ve reached the end of your journey. Instead, it marks the beginning of a whole new chapter.

After cancer, finding your “new normal” is often an important part of your recovery process, giving you the chance to rebuild your life, reclaim your identity and embrace a brighter future.

A new normal is the adjustment and change that occur after an event or circumstance that has a significant impact on a person’s life, such as a cancer diagnosis. It refers to various aspects of a person’s life that may have been impacted by the disease and its treatment.

There may be physical adjustments required, such as coping with side effects from treatment or adapting to a new lifestyle to maintain health and well-being. You may also have to adjust emotionally as you learn to cope with anxiety and fear of recurrence. Additionally, the new normal may involve reevaluating priorities, setting new goals, and incorporating self-care and support into your daily life.

In this article, we will explore seven essential steps to help you navigate the new reality after cancer. These steps are designed to support your emotional well-being, physical health, self-care, and personal growth.

1. Rebuild Your Physical Strength

One of the most significant aspects of reclaiming life after cancer is physical recovery. Engaging in regular exercise can help you restore stamina, improve your overall well-being, and reduce the risk of cancer recurrence. Whether it’s gentle walks, yoga, swimming, or strength training, find activities that suit your abilities and interests. Start slowly and listen to your body, gradually increasing your activity levels as you gain strength and endurance. Physical rehabilitation programs or working with a certified fitness professional can also provide guidance and support tailored to your specific needs. Focusing on rebuilding your physical strength will help you regain control over your body and enhance your quality of life moving forward.

2. Acknowledge Your Feelings

Equally important as rebuilding your physical strength is addressing the emotional and psychological aftermath of cancer. While treatment targets cancer specifically in the body, the experience doesn’t leave the mind, spirit, or emotions untouched.  The toll it takes has been likened to a natural disaster or trauma. In fact, recent studies have put forward the theory that surviving cancer fits the framework of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

It’s common to go through a rollercoaster range of emotions when active cancer treatment ends, including fear, relief, gratitude, anxiety, and uncertainty about the future. The fear of recurrence can be overwhelming, and adjusting to the changes in your body and appearance can be a challenging process.

It’s important to acknowledge your feelings and give yourself permission to process them. Understand that what you are feeling is a natural response to the trauma you’ve faced. Allow yourself the time and space to grieve any losses, whether they be physical, emotional, or psychological.

Be compassionate to yourself and patient with the pace of recovery. Support from friends, family, and professional counselors can be immensely helpful. It can help you cope with your emotions and express your emotions in a safe environment. Joining support groups with other cancer survivors can also be helpful, as it allows you to connect with individuals who understand your experiences firsthand. These networks can offer emotional support, inspiration, and a sense of belonging that fosters resilience and personal growth.

3. Embrace Self-Care

Make self-care a top priority by engaging in activities that promote relaxation, reduce stress, and support your overall wellness. Carve out time for relaxation and engage in activities that bring you joy and promote a sense of well-being. This may include pursuing hobbies, spending time in nature, connecting with loved ones, or engaging in creative outlets. Activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or journaling can help cultivate a sense of calm, inner peace, and self-reflection. These practices provide valuable moments for healing and self-discovery.

4. Take care of your diet

Your diet plays a crucial role in supporting your overall health. Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet can support your recovery. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in these foods promote healing and boost your immune system. Get a range of nutrients by including a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Whole grains, such as whole wheat, oats, quinoa, and brown rice, are good sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They can help maintain energy levels, support digestion, and provide sustained nourishment.

Proteins such as poultry, fish, legumes, and tofu are essential for tissue repair and regeneration. It is important to include adequate protein in your diet in order to help heal wounds, recover muscles, and maintain strength. Healthy fats, like those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil, are important for brain health and nutrient absorption. Including these fats in moderation can contribute to a well-rounded and balanced diet.

Consulting with healthcare professionals or nutritionists who specialize in cancer survivorship can provide valuable guidance on tailoring your diet to meet your specific needs. They can take into account any dietary restrictions or sensitivities you may have and create a personalized nutrition plan that supports your recovery and long-term health goals.

5. Redefine Identity and Self-Image

Cancer can profoundly affect your identity and self-image. You may find yourself grappling with changes in your physical appearance, altered body functions, or a sense of loss. Finding ways to redefine your identity in a way that feels authentic and empowering is important as you navigate these changes.

You are not solely defined by your cancer experience. Explore the aspects of yourself beyond your diagnosis. Recognize and develop your unique strengths, talents, and interests. Engaging in activities that foster self-expression is an effective way to reconnect with yourself and discover what you’re passionate about. Writing, painting, photography, and participating in support programs can help you tap into your creativity and rediscover yourself beyond cancer.

6. Reassess Priorities and Life Goals

Beyond physical and emotional recovery, you may also find yourself questioning your priorities and reassessing your life goals.  Cancer often acts as a wake-up call, prompting us to live more intentionally and authentically. Take the time to reflect on your personal aspirations, dreams, and ambitions. Consider what truly matters to you and how you want to shape your future. This may involve exploring a new career path, nurturing relationships and connections with loved ones, or engaging in activities that bring you joy. Embrace this opportunity for personal growth and create a future filled with purpose and fulfillment.

7. Celebrating Your Milestones

As you navigate your journey toward the new normal, it’s important to honor every milestone, no matter how small it may seem. Every step forward is a victory worth celebrating. Take the time to acknowledge and celebrate the end of treatments, anniversaries of being cancer-free, or personal achievements that you accomplish along the way. Each of these milestones serves as a reminder of your strength, resilience, and progress. Make sure to surround yourself with loved ones who can share in your celebrations and provide support.

Conclusion

The process of finding your new normal after cancer requires patience, self-compassion, and time. Healing is a journey that will have its ups and downs.  Throughout your journey, remember to be kind to yourself and prioritize self-care in all its forms. Nurture your emotional well-being, tend to your physical health, and honor your individuality. Trust in your ability to adapt and grow.

May your journey be filled with healing, self-discovery, and a renewed sense of hope and purpose.

Dr. Krisstina Gowin: Why Is It Important for You to Empower MPN Patients?

Dr. Krisstina Gowin: Why Is It Important for You to Empower MPN Patients? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

Empowerment for myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) patients is a vital part of their care, but how can providers help with this? Dr. Krisstina Gowin from the University of Arizona shares key ways that she helps empower her patients and explains some reasons why patient empowerment is important in their care.

See More from Empowering Providers to Empower Patients (EPEP)

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Dr. Ana Maria Lopez Why Is It Important for You to Empower Patients

Transcript:

Dr. Krisstina Gowin: 

I think the first key to empowerment is education. And so anytime I meet a patient, I spend a significant amount of time really making sure they understand their disease and what are the treatment goals, and how do we best achieve those together? And I think for MPNs in particular, that I want them to understand that, yes, we want hematologic response, we want to control your blood counts and your numbers, we want to reduce those thrombotic complications, we want to control your symptom burden, so so important, your quality of life and symptom burden is part of the disease management.

And so I want them to understand what is symptom burden, and how is it measured, and how do we best achieve chronologic measurements? Do they do that at home? Is it best in clinic, are they going to be journaling? So symptom burden and measuring, and then the other is wellness and the management of cardiovascular risk factors, and so education around all of those for my MPN patients.

And then why is it important while it’s important because we want our patients to feel empowered, we want to feel like they are driving the bus and contributing to their own survivorship and wellness, and so how do they best do that is through education and then again, getting the tools they need to really navigate their journey in the most precision and personal, personalized way as possible, and so that’s really my strategy is education and empowerment.

Will Telemedicine Improve My Quality of Life with CLL?

Will Telemedicine Improve My Quality of Life with CLL? from Patient Empowerment Network on Vimeo.

How do chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients and care partners feel about the impact of telemedicine on quality of life? Watch as a CLL patient and care partner, Bob and Susan, discuss how easier access to blood test results affects patient emotions before and during remote office visits.

See More From the CLL TelemEDucation Empowerment Resource Center

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Will Telemedicine Be a Long-Term Survivorship Tool for CLL Patients?

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What CLL Symptoms Can Be Monitored via Telemedicine?


Transcript:

Susan Bottega: 

The role of telemed in terms of survivorship I think is a very, very interesting subject. CLL patients are living a very long life these days with the onset of the novel agents that are coming out. Quality of life becomes a very, very important subject for CLL patients. So much of their quality of life is diminished by the visits that they have to make into doctors’ offices.

The anguish that they spend the day before, the sleepless night that accompanies the doctor’s visit. I think that this is extremely important. You’re looking very possibly of at least two days taken out of your life, and if you’re making these visits on a monthly basis or bi-monthly basis or even tri-monthly basis, that’s a long period of time to take out of the span of your lifetime. And as we’re living longer, this becomes more and more important.

You want to have that quality of life, you want to be able to go on vacations. Your vacations can’t be postponed because you have a doctor’s appointment looming in the future. You can take your computer right along on vacation with you and share your vacation with your doctor.

Bob Bottega:

I like that.

Susan Bottega:

I think the anguish that you feel about blood tests is diminished by it. You don’t have to wait to get the results of your blood tests, your blood tests pop right up on your patient portal. You don’t have to sit there and wait in a doctor’s office until you see those results.

Once you see your doctor, you’ve already got your results and you’re calm about it, you’re relaxed because you know what the results are and you can discuss them without having to deal with the anxiety that comes with hearing, “Okay, my white blood cell count has gone up considerably, so how do I calm myself down to discuss this intelligently at this point in time when I’m emotionally so upset over it?” I think these are very, very important things about the quality of your life. How about you, Bob?

Bob Bottega:

I think you said it all.

Susan Bottega:

Don’t I always? (laughter)

Survivorship

This resource was originally published by Cancer.net here.

Today, there are more than 15.5 million Americans alive with a history of cancer. Cancer.Net’s survivorship section provides helpful information for cancer survivors and their friends and family.

Healthy Living

Tips for leading a healthy lifestyle during and after treatment