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Just4Cancer

so, survivorship. 

        Specifically, Cancer survivorship. What does that mean to persons having undergone treatment, and other than preventative medication or monitoring?  Does it refer to a place, like a transition period, after treatment but before life returns to normal?

Based upon my research, the evidence supported data clearly provides how the continuum of care after treatment is critical to continued survivorship  in many forms and for a multitude of reasons. 

        After my treatment recently ended (surgery, chemo and radiation) for Stage III Breast Cancer, the term "survivorship" as it pertains to my new status totally escapes me. Indeed, not much has changed for me physically other than the frequent medical appointments. My functional capacity is the same, my pain levels have slightly improved, but without my medical teams' constant encouragement and enthusiasm, I feel very alone and misunderstood. Sort of like a soul lost in pergatory, awaiting my passage through the Gates of Heaven signifying (ironically) my return to Health and my life.

         In fact, I truly miss the aura of my doctor's office, especially the staffs' cheerful support and compassion, especially their genuine "how are you today" query. My family has concluded that since treatment ended, I am now recovered. Clearly, I am not meeting their expectations as my response regarding my need for cancer rehab and complimentary therapies have fallen on deaf ears. In their defense, this has been a long hard year for everyone, and they are just as tired of this as I am. 

         The issue remains that I am not really functional, the medical menopause causes visible profuse sweating. The fatigue is profound ... I can continue but need not. The point is, if a survivoship plan and therapies would improve outcome, compliance, functionality and reduce painful side effects, then ..... Where is it? What is it called? My oncologist sent me to the nurse navigator, who referred me to a local general rehab, where the typical patient is an elderly person who had a stroke or broke a hip.

THE NUANCES OF A CANCER DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT OFTEN REQUIRE SPECIFIC REHABILITATION, AND OTHER COMPLIMENTARY INTERVENTIONS (REIKI, YOGA) INCLUDING STRESS REDUCTION TECHNIQUES TO ASSIST MANY PATIENTS HANDLE THE PSYCHOSOCIAL EFFECTS AND FINANCIAL TOXICITY WHICH TYPICALLY OCCUR WITH CANCER; THIS SEEMS TO REMAIN UNADDRESSED BY ONCOLOGY MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS DESPITE THE NEED. 

          Quite honestly, after spending an entire year housebound, bald, and 80 lbs fighting for my life, I am terribly disappointed that more mad not been done to help with this transition, and turn "survivorship" into a good place. 

Nancy

 

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