If you or a loved one have received a breast cancer diagnosis, you know that it can be scary. You may have gone from thinking everything was okay to suddenly needing to decide about surgery and starting treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy. On top of this, you may experience symptoms such as pain, nausea, anxiety, and fatigue. Combined, this may all feel very stressful and overwhelming. You’re not alone. Palliative care can help. … Read More
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 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
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
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
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
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are mostly known for memory loss that worsens over time, but it comes with a range of complex needs – for the person diagnosed and the family. And the health needs and safety concerns for all involved typically increase as the disease progresses.
Ann, a 92-year-old mother, grandmother, and former nurse, has been living with dementia for about 7 years. She also has COPD and heart problems. Ann has been able to stay in her own home with the help of her daughter Holly, care from home aides, and a palliative care team.
Holly and her family know firsthand that the palliative care team improves the quality of life for people with dementia and their caregivers by adding a layer of support.
This is Ann and Holly’s palliative care story. … Read More
The COVID-19 virus is still circulating in the U.S. and millions of people are still 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
Sixty-six year old Joni knows all too well that living with the lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – or COPD – can be stressful. The main symptom is shortness of breath, which worsens over time. The disease and treatments also cause coughing, wheezing, tremors, and emotional effects, such as anxiety and panic attacks, depression, and insomnia.
When Joni’s lung doctor of more than a dozen years referred her to a palliative care doctor, the goal was to address the worsening symptoms from the illness and its treatments, and help Joni live her life in the fullest way possible.
This is Joni’s palliative care story. … Read More
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