Rae Anne Reflects: How Palliative Care Helps to Manage Pain and Symptoms of a Serious Illness

Rae Anne is on a mission to share how palliative care changed her and her family’s life for the better. She is living well, after treatment from stage 4 head and neck cancer, and wants to help other people living with a serious illness understand how palliative care can help them, too. Her video series, Rae Anne Reflects, includes conversations with different members of the palliative care team. Her goal is to share how palliative care adds an extra layer of support for patients and families – from the time of diagnosis, through, and after treatment. 

In this new four-part episode, Rae Anne speaks with Dr. Andrew Esch, a palliative care doctor, to discuss how palliative care helps to manage pain and symptoms of a serious illness. They cover a wide range of topics, including how palliative care helped Rae Anne and her family move forward after treatment. They also touch upon how palliative care helped to manage medications; coordinated care with other specialists; and communicated openly and frequently with her and her family. 

As Dr. Esch says, “All palliative care teams focus on the patient and the caregiver, and their experience of living through a serious illness. We define palliative care as being an extra layer of support for patients, and palliative care teams live that motto. We really look at what matters to the patient and their caregivers or family.”

Watch Part 1
Watch Part 2
Watch Part 3
Watch Part 4

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. 

Learn More at GetPalliativeCare.Org

GetPalliativeCare.org is an online resource for patients and families that focuses solely on providing information on palliative care from the point of diagnosis.  At GetPalliativeCare.Org you can take a short quiz to see whether you could benefit from palliative care, and find a nearby provider.  The site is provided by the Center to Advance Palliative Care.