Many of you may already know or recognize me because I have been caring for cancer patients in the community for the past eight years. The Providence Regional Cancer System is like family to me. I began my nursing career here and know the doctors, the staff and the community.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month, I want you to feel empowered as your own health advocate. Remember that you are not just a patient, but that you are the customer and should be made comfortable and happy. Here are some ‘take charge’ tips:
- Simplify things by keeping a journal and calendar to track symptoms and appointments.
- Be honest with your doctor about how you’ve been adhering to your treatment plan.
- It’s ok to seek a second opinion.
- Keep your own medical file and request copies of your records.
- Let me help you with practical problems that can get in the way like temporary housing, transportation or financial support.
- Take care of your emotional health by using counseling or integrative therapies.
- Keep up on changes in breast cancer research.
I am here for you throughout this journey, and the sky’s the limit to the resources I can help you access and support I can provide.