Sunday, September 24, 2017

LIVING with cancer. The need for psycho-social services. Pati continues to lead the way

B came upon this abstract today.  It touches on something elemental...the psychosocial aspects of a cancer diagnosis.  Having 'cancer' affects the patient, the family, everything.  We are not who we once were.  But, in the midst of trying to survive our cancer (with the simultaneous need to learn a completely new, and often foreign, cancer language - fit in doctor appointments, surgeries, radiation, oncologic therapies, manage pain and fatigue, not to mention bills and family obligations) - LIVING with cancer is a topic that is almost never addressed, while patients and their families try to soldier on with little to no psychological support or effort by institutions or medical providers to teach needed skills and coping mechanisms for the new cancer reality in which we now live.

A very dear one of mine has written:

Psycho-Oncology: A Patient's View. Garcia-Prieto P. Recent Results Cancer Res. 2018;210:57-66. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-64310-6_4.  

Culturally the most important, valued, and less stigmatized part of cancer care is the medical part: The surgeon cutting the tumors out and the oncologist leading the strategic decision-making of the medical treatments available. The least valued and stigmatized part of cancer remains the psychosocial care. This chapter describes-through the eyes of an academic, psychologist, stage IV melanoma patient, and patient advocate-how one patient navigated changing psycho-oncological needs from early stage-to-stage IV through a whole range of psychological interventions available. Her voice joins that of all cancer patients around the world whom are urgently calling for psycho-oncological care to be fully recognized as a central part of cancer treatment.

I have tried to address this need, this world ~ many times:
2011:  Chemo Limo
2012:  My Life with Cancer
2014:  Tears and melanoma...they're not always sad...
2015:  Long term melanoma survivors....MARCH FORTH!!!!!
2015:  What to say and do....and NOT!!...for a cancer FRIEND (not patient)!
2015:  Health Monitor Magazine interview
2016:  Don't give up. Don't ever give up.
April 2017:  The Mental Price of Melanoma
June 2017:  ASCO 2017: Friends in need are friends indeed! Here's to the caregivers!!!

Yes, LIVING with cancer is not for sissies.  Luckily, we have had many advocates and dear cancer friends who, as beacons of light, have helped guide our way...even if current medical systems across the globe fail to address psychosocial needs as best they might.  Not the least of these amazing peeps is the author of the article highlighted above ~  Patricia Garcia-Prieto.

If you do not have time or interest in perusing my links above...I understand completely!!!  But, please!  Do have a peek at this one.... My Ode to Pati....a fallen comrade  especially her video, What's one life worth? [linked within].

You remain in my heart, Pati.  You continue to lead the way.  I hope your husband and sons are doing well.  love, les

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