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 Cities.

Dr. Robert Kohl, Radiation Oncologist, HOPE Medical Advisory Board

 

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