Get Palliative Blog

5 Tips for People Living with Serious Illness Who are LGBTQ+

June 13, 2022

June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community’s voices, culture, and civil rights. In honor of Pride, we spoke with Dr. Noelle Marie Javier, who is a palliative care doctor and a woman of transgender experience. She works with patients every day who are living with serious illnesses, such as cancer and heart disease.

In our conversation with Dr. Javier, she shared a few things that people who identify as LGBTQ+ may want to keep in mind when visiting a palliative care doctor (or any other doctor, really!). … Read More

How Palliative Care Helped Amy Get Back to Her Hobbies

May 16, 2022

Amy is in her mid-40s and loves the outdoors—especially biking, hiking, and walking her dog. 

In the fall of 2018, she felt a lump on her neck, and when it did not go away, she visited her primary care doctor. After many tests, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes and femur (thigh bone). She was devastated and scared.

A few weeks later, Amy started treatment with radiation and a medicine that helps the body’s immune system fight cancer. This combination can get cancer under control but may cause side effects.

After a month of treatment, Amy’s oncologist, or cancer doctor, recognized that she could use an extra layer of support to deal with her symptoms and stress. A palliative care nurse started to visit her at home every week and was available by phone whenever Amy needed to reach out. She helped Amy through her difficult treatments, both physically and emotionally. The goal was to get her back to feeling like herself again, which to her, meant being active and riding her bike.   

This is Amy’s palliative care story.  … Read More

Rae Anne Reflects: Achieving Your Goals

April 18, 2022

 

Rae Anne was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer after finding a lump on her neck. She is now in remission and back to share more of her story. This time, she joins the podcast to speak with Dr. Tony Back about how palliative care sees the patient as a person. They also discuss how palliative care helped Rae Anne and her family manage her symptoms, understand the path forward, and match her treatment options to her goals.  … Read More

A Quality Life: How Palliative Care Helps You Live Well with Serious Lung Disease

February 16, 2022

 

After struggling with shortness of breath for many years, Betsy was referred to a special lung care clinic. Worsening symptoms limited her ability to remain active, which in turn led to anxiety and depression. She struggled to care for her home and visit with friends; and felt like a burden to her husband. Betsy’s world was getting smaller.

At the lung care clinic, she met Dr. Patty Fogelman, doctor of nursing practice – who is trained to treat lung disease and as a palliative care provider. At the time, Betsy, a retired nurse, didn’t have an in-depth understanding of palliative care. In the years to come, she and her husband, and their family learned how palliative care manages many symptoms, and eases the many burdens faced by those living with serious illnesses. It also meant that Betsy learned new ways to keep enjoying her life.

This is Betsy’s palliative care story. … Read More

How Palliative Care Helps with the Symptoms and Stress of EAD

January 17, 2022

Meet twenty-three year old Aly, a college student who lives with Eosinophil-Associated Disease (EAD) of her gastrointestinal system. With multiple symptoms including chronic pain and discomfort, as well as stress, Aly’s palliative care team helps her manage it all. 

This means helping Aly set goals for herself—both short term and long term—so that she is still able to participate in social activities, and attend band marches and performances at school. They also help her by working closely with her other doctors.  … Read More

You Are a Bridge: A Video about How Palliative Care Can Help You

December 14, 2021

 

Many people don’t know what palliative care is or how it can help people living with a serious illness like cancer, COPD, or heart disease. So, let’s define it.

Palliative Care (pronounced pal-lee-uh-tiv) is specialized medical care that is focused on relieving the symptoms and stress of a serious illness. The goal is to improve quality of life for both the patient and the family. Palliative care is provided by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with your other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in an illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment.

Here is a great video, which explains palliative care very well. It compares people living with a serious illness to a bridge that needs support. While a serious illness may weaken the foundation, the palliative care team provides a stronger, necessary layer of support.

How Palliative Care Helps Families with Dementia Focus on Quality of Life

November 15, 2021

November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, so we are sharing Ann and Holly’s story about how palliative care has helped improve their family’s quality of life.  

Ann is a 92-year-old mother, grandmother, and former nurse, who has been living with dementia for 7 years. She also has COPD and heart problems. Anne has been able to live in her own home with the help of her daughter Holly, care from home aides, and the support of a palliative care team.  … Read More

Living Well with Serious Illness: April’s Palliative Care Story

October 17, 2021

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we are sharing April’s story. April was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer when she was 37 years old. She had 16 rounds of chemotherapy, 30 rounds of radiation, and a mastectomy.

When she was diagnosed, her life was centered around her two young daughters and her hair salon, which she owned and managed. The cancer and its treatment were devastating enough, but matters became worse when she had to stop working at the salon because of symptoms and side effects.  … Read More

A Quality Life: How Palliative Care Helps the Patient and the Family

September 13, 2021

Rae Anne, who was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer after finding a lump on her neck, is back to share more of her story. This time, she joins our podcast to speak with Dr. Diane E. Meier about how palliative care helped change her life—and her family’s—for the better. 

If unfamiliar with her story, Rae Anne started chemotherapy and radiation treatments soon after her diagnosis. Later, she received a call from the palliative care team at her cancer center, who met with her and her family to help figure out how they can help. Together, they thought of ways to help Rae Anne feel more like herself, which included communicating with and coordinating care between all of her different doctors, managing her medications, and much more. 

Rae Anne shares, “I absolutely attribute palliative care to being able to take next steps, to becoming healthier again. They tied the knot that made everything better.” … Read More

The COVID-19 Vaccine: What All Patients and Families Need to Know

August 16, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on due to the Delta variant, vaccination has become an issue, unnecessarily. Vaccines are widely available, and are proven to be effective, however many Americans worry about their safety and whether or not they are needed. Studies have demonstrated that any of the COVID-19 vaccines will protect those who receive them from getting very sick from the virus – and should also help to stop it from spreading. 

Although more than 50% of Americans have already received their vaccine, others are still waiting. It is important for people living with a serious illness and their loved ones to receive the vaccine as soon as possible, to avoid getting sick from COVID-19 – and wear masks when in high-transmission areas of the country, even after vaccination.  

To learn more, we spoke with palliative care doctor, Dr. Anthony Back, who shared what all patients and families need to know.  … Read More

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