Rae Anne Reflects: Achieving Your Goals
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.
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. They met with her and her family to learn how they could help. The team worked together with Rae Anne so that she would feel more like herself. This included communicating with, and coordinating care between, all of her different doctors, as well as managing her medications, and much more.
Rae Anne wants others living with a serious illness, whether cancer or another disease, to know that palliative care can help them.
She shares, “I really felt that my palliative care team really saw me as not just a patient, but a mom, an executive director of a nonprofit, and productive member of society. It was as important for them to get me back out there as it was for me. They were able to see my goals and help me obtain them.”
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What is Palliative Care?
Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness. This type of care focuses on providing relief from the symptoms and stress of the 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 a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness, and it can be provided along with curative treatment.
GetPalliativeCare.Org is an online resource for patients and families. You can take a short quiz to see whether you could benefit from palliative care, and you can find a nearby provider. The site is provided by the Center to Advance Palliative Care.