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Tag Archives: patient advocate

Candace Henley and The Blue Hat Foundation

RobinMcGeeby Dr. Robin McGee, CKN Editor, Survivor, Advocate

 

Cancer Advocacy for Minorities and the Medically Under-Served

 

When Candace Henley was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at 36, her journey to survival took her to brutal places.   She fought crushing financial and psychological pressures to make it through, a story she shares openly.  She faced bankruptcy, homelessness, and psychological collapse.  “I made a promise to God,” she remembers, “that if I survived I would reach back and help others, and He would let me see my youngest (then only 4) reach the age of 18.”  Her mission was to spare others the grueling hardships she endured.   “I got my fight back,” she recounts, “and I was motivated by pure anger.”

 

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Patient Advocates at Cancer Conversations that Matter

RobinMcGeeby Dr. Robin McGee, CKN Editor

 

I have just returned from “Cancer Conversations that Matter” – a national event sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Action Network (CCAN) and their collaborative partner, the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC).   The event was held in Toronto.

 

We were cancer patients, survivors, family members, patient advocacy groups, and agency representatives.  We were brought together from across the county.  The mandate?  To discuss three key themes: 1) access to screening for low income populations; 2) collection and use of cancer data; and 3) the cancer-related needs of Canada’s aging population.

 

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“Therapeutic Relationships”—prized but hard to deliver

TessaRichardsby Dr. Tessa Richards, Living with Cancer

 

I hate to think of what I’ve cost the NHS since I was diagnosed with cancer in 2004. This year alone I’d need to factor in 12 outpatient appointments, seven MRI scans, and a course of radiotherapy. And “the worst is yet to come,” as one consultant I saw wryly reminded me. But sufficient unto the day. I’m grateful to be alive and kicking, and having plenty of opportunity to observe how health professionals’ behaviour affects patient well being.

 

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Decision Making Can’t Be Shared if Conversations Aren’t

TessaRichardsby Dr. Tessa Richards, Living with Cancer

 

Being “under the care,” a phrase surely ripe for euthanasia, of cancer specialists is a salutary experience. You learn a lot about the gulf between those who live with disease and those who treat it.

 

As a three operation 12 year survivor of adrenal cancer the news that my cancer had recurred came as a shock but not a surprise.  The endocrinologist was sympathetic. He suggested we ask the surgeon who operated on me ten years ago whether the recurrent tumour was operable.

 

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What is a Patient Engagement Coordinator and how do they Help Patients Advocate?

RobinMcGeeby Dr. Robin McGee, CKN Patient Advocacy Editor

 

Many Canadian provinces have government branches responsible for Cancer Care.   In my home province of Nova Scotia, I have had my efforts at advocacy supported by the Patient Engagement Coordinator.   In this guest blog, Leslie Hill describes her role.   If you are a Canadian interested in advocacy, contacting the Patient Engagement Coordinator in your province could be your first step to a rewarding adventure.

 


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