Get Palliative Blog

Relieving the Symptoms and Stress of Huntington’s Disease – Palliative Care Can Help

October 18, 2020

By Andy Esch, MD

Living with Huntington’s disease can be extremely challenging. It’s a disease of the nervous system and brain, with symptoms that typically progress over time. These can include uncontrollable movements in your arms, legs, or body overall; painful muscle jerking; and difficulty swallowing or breathing. Huntington’s can also cause mental disturbances such as nervousness, mood swings, depression, and personality changes. … Read More

Rae Anne Reflects: A Conversation with Her Palliative Care Nurse

October 6, 2020

Rae Anne found a lump on the side of her neck while at a concert with friends several years ago. Over the course of a few weeks and several doctor appointments, she was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer. After many rounds of chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments, she received a call from a palliative care nurse, Eve. At the time, Rae Anne was not familiar with palliative care, but soon learned that it would change her life for the better. In remission for more than three years, and enjoying life with her two children, Rae Anne wants others living with a serious illness to know how palliative care can help them.  … Read More

Coronavirus and Parkinson’s Disease: What You Need to Know

September 22, 2020

Having Parkinson’s disease (PD) comes with many uncertainties and anxiety. On top of this now is the concern about coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. PD symptoms can worsen when you also have another illness.  And some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease may increase the risk for complications from this respiratory virus, such as difficulty breathing or swallowing. Other factors that may increase risk of complications are older age and having other serious medical conditions such as heart disease, respiratory illnesses, diabetes, and kidney failure.  The added stress from worry over catching the new virus and the need to remain at home can also increase PD symptoms.

Meanwhile, much of the country is beginning to open, which makes it more important than ever to remain safe – and know what to do if you feel sick.  … Read More

Living Well with Serious Illness: A Young Mother’s Cancer Story

September 8, 2020

At age 37, April was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. She endured 16 rounds of chemotherapy and 30 rounds of radiation, as well as a mastectomy. Her life centered on her two young daughters and the hair salon she ran and owned. The cancer and its treatment were devastating enough, but matters got worse when she had to give up her work at the salon because of symptoms and side effects. 

“Being a hairdresser was always something I wanted to be even as a kid. I was the girl putting curlers in my cat’s hair for practice. Not being able to work was really hard,” says April.

Her cancer doctor recognized that April could use an extra layer of support to deal with nausea and hot flashes, pain that made standing difficult for more than a few seconds at a time, and the emotional toll it was taking on her. The doctor referred April to a medical specialty to help her address these symptoms. The ultimate goal was to get her back to the job she loved.

This is April’s Palliative Care Story.  … Read More

What to Know About Coronavirus If You Have Liver Disease

August 24, 2020

There is a lot of uncertainty about COVID-19 (coronavirus), but current information shows that people with liver disease or those who have received organ transplants might be at higher risk for severe illness from this new virus. And as much of the country begins to phase in routine activities, it’s more important than ever to remain safe and know what to do if you feel sick. … Read More

Parkinson's News Today

PCORI Award to Bring Palliative Care to Parkinson’s Foundation Specialty Centers in US

August 17, 2020  /  By Mary Chapman

Managing the Symptoms and Treatment Side Effects of Chronic Kidney Disease – Palliative Care Can Help

August 9, 2020

By Jennifer S. Scherer, MD

Living with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) presents many challenges. You may sleep poorly, feel weak or tired. Your skin can itch. Food tastes different, and you just don’t feel like eating much. It’s difficult to get around because your feet and ankles are swollen. All in all, it’s hard to get through the day and do many of the things you and your family used to enjoy. 

But you don’t have to go through this alone. There are ways to improve your quality of life. Palliative care can help.  … Read More

Do You Need Help with Symptoms and Stress from Parkinson’s Disease?

July 27, 2020

By Andy Esch, MD

Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressing and long-lasting condition that can cause many challenges to those diagnosed and their families. In addition to affecting muscle movement, it can impact mood and cognitive abilities; involve pain; cause sleep disturbances and other distressing symptoms. While it’s not curable, much can be done to manage the disease and its symptoms. For example, patients and families can ask for a referral to a palliative care team — a medical team that focuses on improving quality of life and relief of symptoms and stress caused by living with serious illnesses.  … Read More

Surviving COVID-19: Bobye’s Experience at age 78

July 13, 2020

The COVID-19 virus is still circulating in the U.S. and millions of people are testing positive.  Thankfully, most who come down with COVID-19 don’t have to be hospitalized. Even so, for many the symptoms can be extensive and recovery can take weeks or months. 

Listen to one woman’s COVID-19 experience, including the palliative care she received that helped keep her at home, and how she coped through six weeks with more than a dozen different and debilitating symptoms.  

This is Bobye’s story. … Read More

Palliative Care Helps You Live With Congestive Heart Failure

June 28, 2020

By Andrew Esch, MD

Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a serious illness that can take a toll on the quality of life of patients and their families. If you are living with CHF, you already know that it is a serious illness in which the heart is unable to pump blood properly. Palliative care can help.  … Read More

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