Cracks and Shifts
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
What inspires us to be a part of a cancer survivor group? After
an individual has been diagnosed with cancer it is an immediate,
life-changing event. I have been part of this process for
years and the crack, or shift that happens to a patient after this
diagnosis is almost palpable. As a physician, having limited
time with the patient, I have wondered about how this impacts the
patient and the people around them.
Small little tidbits of listening and watching patients outside
of my formal interactions have helped me gather some insight into
this. Watching a two-week prostate cancer survivor, waiting
patiently, to go out to breakfast with a new buddy who is
finishing his last week of radiation for his prostate cancer. -
they are still meeting for breakfast two years later. Watching
three women talk about their families in the waiting room
while we work on the radiation therapy machine. One woman, on
the day of her last treatment, shared a cake and brought in
her two young boys to meet the other patients and introduce them to
her friends and staff.
Watching how some individuals are able to share this crack
or shift into a healthier place has been inspiring. I am
now convinced that the time patients share their lives during
this "accidental" period (waiting for their
radiation treatments) means more to their psychological
healing that anything a physician can offer. What if we
actually had a time, place, organization, web site, or intention to
make this happen after a patient had cancer therapy?
I believe HOPE Cancer Connection of the Fox Valley is the
organization to connect the individuals I have been watching.
HOPE's newly launched website is a place to find the support,
resources and connections that are available to a family going
through cancer. I have been a part of HOPE since the
beginning and it is my pleasure to introduce you to the connections
you need wherever you are in your cancer journey.
As a member of the Medical Advisory Board, I can assure you that
we will help you find the safe links to the information and support
you need. We'll pass on the articles and information that health
providers alone have access to. We will approve every piece of
information on the website. And we will listen to the feedback you
give us - additional needs that you see in the Fox Valley that we
can help with, questions you have in your journey, and specific
types of information we should be including on the website, things
we don't have time to talk about at your office visit.
Now we know what a group of people, who have experienced this
shift or crack in their life after cancer treatment, can do to make
a cancer survivor's life just a little bit better in the Fox
Dr. Robert Kohl, Radiation Oncologist, HOPE Medical