Welcome to The Servant Heart Advocate World and Blog!
Patient-centered care, Oncology Care, Breast Oncology, We see you., I see you, The person before the diagnosis.
Welcome to our page and blog.
Our team shares the passion and belief to be strong patient advocates for the ability for all to receive safe care and care excellence with a patient-centered care model to allow the patient to play a vital role in care planning. In addition, the nurse advocates share similar feelings about the oncology field as a calling and purpose in life to be able to care for others in troubled times.
Many women every year will sit in a handkerchief of a gown as a radiologist "comes and speaks to them to discuss findings." All the while, the woman knows something about this is not correct. Then the words, the images show abnormal tissue in one area or a collection on the mammogram (most radiologists will never use the actual verbiage tumor or cancer). Then the radiologist explains to her that the following steps are for the woman to have a biopsy to see if "it" is something to follow up on or monitor for future mammograms and imaging. The radiologist reluctantly considered mentioning the word fearing the woman could handle it.
The woman has had the word go through her head a million times- CANCER. Is it, or could it be cancer? Yet the woman is too afraid even to ask...fearing the answer.
The Best Advice I Can Ever Give
Every one of us needs to familiarize ourselves daily with our skin and body. As teenagers, we should know how to perform a breast exam monthly and feel for any changes under our arms or pelvic area. Parents should instruct us on looking for any skin discolorations or new changes. The more familiar we all are, the better we will be at detecting any slight difference or abnormality as early as possible. The earlier any change is detected, scanned, or imaged to determine if it is a cause of concern correlates to better patient and treatment outcomes in MOST cases, not all. So, by all means, hear me out. I am not saying that for your hormone fluctuating ticking bomb, a teenage girl should be performing self-exams and skin checks due to breast tissue will fluctuate as she matures. Still, you should know how to perform each and how often with your associated risk level.
Know your family history of any health conditions, including cancer with subtype and that family member's age of diagnosis. Knowing your inherited risk factors allows for a plan of care modification based on your determined risk level on evaluation of family history on both parental sides. For example, a patient may benefit from genetic testing at an earlier a. In contrast, others might benefit from early imaging more than the standard imaging and testing age recommendations established by the NCCN.
You are right! It is scary, but so is life.
Anyone can tell you who has ever experienced an abnormal test/scan/mammogram finding. The majority will agree that when the subsequent imaging takes place, the person experiences a range of many emotions-fear, anxiety, panic, and fear after the test is over while waiting for results. You hold your breath until you see and read the words no abnormality found. It is called scanxiety and now is an official diagnosis. Similar to a traumatic event of any kind, big or small. You begin reliving the event. You may have developed poor coping mechanisms at the moment out of the need to survive that scary moment or day.
Recent studies and findings indicate that it is difficult to overcome a trauma until the unwanted coping mechanism is recognized and replaced with positive coping. It also helps to have an established trusted support system to ensure safety. One cannot move past the traumatic event regardless of how small or big it may appear to anyone else. You have to have loved ones who understand and value the deep level of trauma you feel and the impact on your life it has contributed to by disturbing your life and being portrayed by your image of yourself. It may appear small to others however caused an alarm of threat showing a possibility that could jeopardize everything you have ever known in your life while derailing all plans. It is traumatic.
The trauma is accurate, and I believe you. I know it is real because I have felt it too. What is stronger? One's to have the ability of perseverance and drive. You will see better days and chapters in your life. It may take years, days, or months. The time will come on your terms, and no one can determine the healing timeframe or say otherwise.
Who you are as you are healing is not who you are or will be forever. It is the result of a traumatic event. The disruption in your life of the event created a malfunction in coping that can and will be fixed. You are not a broken person. You are the same person you were before it occurred and still are the same person, ONLY stronger and wiser now. The cracks filled with gold, representing the cracks are not flaws but badges of honor to cherish the road of healing to discover a better you.
Please be patient with yourself and others. Be kind in a world of strangers. We never know what the other is battling. A smile could mean the world to someone who hasn't seen one in years. Smile at strangers often. Hold doors. Help others at every opportunity you can. Life is hard, but we are all on the messy journey in this world together. We should often look up from our phones to see the person before us and speak into the mirror as we would like our best friend or someone we look up to the most. Life is too precious, and so is every one of our lives.
If you or a loved one feels like you are tired of cancer ruling your life or scared of not knowing who has the lead or even if anyone does, and are afraid of falling through the care gaps or cracks, please reach out to us. We would love to meet you and speak to you about opportunities we have available to bring light into your darker days.
Call now to set up a meeting or introductory call to see how we can help. There is a link above to fill out.
You may also enjoy the blog posting telling the story behind Servant Heart Advocates.
Please leave a comment below and share your story or an about someone who has inspired you.
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