Podcasts

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: Palliative Care Helps Families Living with Dementia Focus on Quality of Life

May 25, 2021

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

One Woman’s Story of Surviving COVID-19 at Age 78

December 1, 2020

 

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

A Quality Life: How Palliative Care Helps Joni Live Well with COPD

November 17, 2020

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

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

Living Well with Serious Illness: Palliative Care Improves Quality of Life with Ovarian Cancer

May 18, 2020

As a speech language pathologist for young children, Ilene’s skills as an educator, careful listener and problem solver were keys to her career success. These factors also have played an important role for her through the many years she’s been treated for advanced ovarian cancer. It was a surprise diagnosis for the 68-year-old New Yorker that came in the fall of 2015 and changed her life dramatically.

She had a growing number of symptoms and side effects from treatments and surgery. When her cancer doctor referred Ilene to the palliative care team, Ilene didn’t know about the medical specialty. She had no idea how important it would be over the many years of her cancer journey, which included several recurrences. But ever-the-educator and problem solver, she went to the first appointment hoping for help to address many sources of discomfort.  … Read More

Living Well with Serious Illness: Rae Anne’s Story

February 6, 2020

Rae Anne was at a concert with friends when she found a lump on the side her neck. Worried, she left and scheduled various doctor appointments to figure out what it could be, as she didn’t have any other symptoms. Over the course of a few weeks, the lump grew, and she was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer.

After several rounds of chemotherapy and 35 radiation treatments, Rae Anne was told by her oncology team that she needed to wait at home for 3 months until her next scan, in order to see if the treatment worked. While living with anxiety and side effects from treatment, Rae Anne received a phone call from the palliative care team at the hospital where she received treatment, to schedule an appointment. She had never heard of palliative care and didn’t know what to expect.  … Read More

Living Well with Serious Illness: Ryan’s Pediatric Palliative Care Story

January 13, 2020

 

When Dan and Meghan’s five-year-old son Ryan was born with a rare genetic disorder that causes severe developmental delays and many other complications—they didn’t know where to turn. Seizures, surgeries, and sleepless nights due to respiratory issues that required frequent hospital stays in the first six months of Ryan’s life took a toll on the young parents. 

“I spent so much time on the phone dealing with insurance companies and coordinating doctor’s appointments that I wasn’t able to spend quality time with my newborn,” says Meghan. 

As the number of symptoms and medical issues increased, along with traveling long distance to get to the closest hospital, Meghan and Dan began searching for extra support. Social media research led them to a specialty that helps children and their families deal with all aspects of a serious illness.

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

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

November 4, 2019

 

When Sarah, a mother of two young boys, was diagnosed with metastatic colon cancer at age 34, she was shocked and overwhelmed, but also determined to find the best care possible. She fought for a cancer doctor who would support her at every turn, and found specialists to address the many consequences of treatment she experienced. She enlisted her own pharmacist to help her understand and adjust the numerous medicines to minimize side effects. She found a pain specialist and physical therapist to help with difficult symptoms and side effects of treatment, and other doctors to round out her care team. She was willing to do anything to remain active and be able to care for her sons. 

“I think any serious illness is going to make a patient assess their life, their values, and their purpose,” says Sarah. “Patients deserve the highest level of care available and I wasn’t going to settle. Not for me and not for my children.”  

One day, she was telling a friend about the hand-selected care team she assembled to give her an extra layer of support through the cancer journey.  

“That sounds a lot like palliative care,” the friend said.  This is Sarah’s story.  … Read More

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