Posted at 08:16 PM in Action, Clinical Trials, Dictionary of Healthy Survivorship, Doctor-Patient Communication, Happiness, Healthy Survivorship, Knowledge, Post-treatment Recovery, Science, Treatment Decisions, Uncertainty | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Many of my friends and family assume that the further away I get from the mini-mantle irradiation I received in 1992, the more I can relax about my developing any complications of that treatment. Not so.
What a three days I've had here at the 2010 Biennial Conference. While packing my suitcase for the return home, I'm thinking about all I've heard.
Posted at 09:19 AM in Action, Clinical Trials, Dictionary of Healthy Survivorship, Doctor-Patient Communication, End-of-Life, Family illness, Finances, Health care system, Healthy Survivorship, Hope, Knowledge, Post-treatment Recovery, Science, Uncertainty | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Healthy Survivors make the best decisions, not the right ones. They take the best steps, not the right steps. Right? Best? Is there any difference?
When I was a child, I thought people over 40 years of age were very old. I believed they were done growing up and knew everything one needs to know. Wrong.
Now over 50 years old, I often say, "I'm a work in progress."
White coat hypertension (white coat syndrome) is when patients' blood pressure (BP) readings are high in clinical settings and normal in other settings.
Patients obtain medical information not only from their healthcare team but also from the Internet. Time Magazine's Bonnie Rochman discusses one potential benefit of this phenomenon in a fascinating article entitled, "When Patients Share Medical Data Online."
What does it mean to "value" the time and expertise of primary care clinicians (PCPs)?
Problems can arise when people have lengthy and passionate discussions without realizing they are talking about two (or more) different things. So to keep us all on the same page, periodically I will provide a refresher post about the basic tenets of Healthy Survivorship.
What are we talking about when we say "Healthy Survivor" or "Healthy Survivorship"?
Healthy Survivors use language that helps them get good care and live as fully as possible. In the case of challenges, it is usually better to say "very" instead of "too." For example, "This newspaper article is too very upsetting."
What if a topic really is "too" upsetting? What's a Healthy Survivor to do?
Imagine a 75-year-old man at a new-patient appointment with a young physician. The patient is meticulously dressed and groomed, and he walks somewhat awkwardly with a cane. His medical history is significant for a fall five months earlier that resulted in two fractures of his pelvis. The fractures are healing nicely, but he now needs help with a problem that developed as a consequence of his treatment.
News Flash: "The results of a study prove a promising new treatment to be less toxic and more effective than today's standard therapy. Experts are calling these results 'practice-changing findings.'"
While most people rejoice, some feel upset. Why?
A patient learns about a treatment for his condition. So he goes to his physician to suggest the treatment as an option. Is there anything wrong with that?
Imagine being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. Now imagine being told by consulting physicians that you should not begin any treatment yet. Instead they advise you to "watch and wait." They explain that only if your disease progresses or causes other problems should you consider starting treatment.
You've survived cancer. Now a friend develops the same type of cancer and is making horrible decisions (in your opinion). She's declining conventional therapies for a treatable cancer or deciding against telling her children she is sick. What's a good friend to do?
Soon after penicillin became commercially available (1940s), "bugs" became resistant. It was war: Researchers kept developing new antibiotics. "Bugs" kept developing adaptations to resist the antibiotics and flourish. Today's microbes are gaining the upper hand from one of the hallmarks of our modern age:
As a Patient Money columnist, Walecia Konrad provides financial advice for those patients choosing to pursue complementary therapies.
Last evening I was interviewed by Betsy de Parry on Lymphomation Live, a weekly webcast sponsored by Patients Against Lymphoma. In this show entitled "The Art of Survivorship," we discuss how knowledge, hope and action help people become Healthy Survivors. The information and advice are addressed to patients dealing with any medical challenge (not just cancer) who want to get good care and live as fully as possible.
The hour-long interview is available online by clicking here. I hope it helps. With hope, Wendy
Right or Wrong? extols the benefits of good communication between doctors and patients. But what if a patient makes the request, "Doctor, if a time comes that I'm dying, please don't tell me I'm dying."
It seems a reasonable request, if knowing "would only increase my anxiety and make it impossible for me to hope for future better days," as described in the post's comments by Bint Alshamsa.
Posted at 01:17 PM in Doctor-Patient Communication, End-of-Life, Family illness, Happiness, Healthy Survivorship, Hope, Knowledge, Meaning of life, Treatment Decisions | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
The 21st century is the age of connectivity. What does this mean for Healthy Survivors?
In sharp contrast to the days when people spoke of "the Big C" and when diagnoses and medical details were kept secret from patients, today you are are inundated with information.