Guidance for the Journey
Everyday I’m reminded of the tremendous dedication of The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation's Cancer Supportive Services team. On a recent late Friday afternoon, one of our oncology social workers received a call from a woman, devastated by a breast cancer diagnosis and the fact that she is uninsured. She had just been referred by her primary care physician directly to a surgeon. She had no idea what her options were, except that she had been scheduled for surgery in two short weeks.
After listening to the caller's story and her fears, our oncology social worker began to establish a plan to help this woman feel more in control. The woman talked at length about being afraid to rush into major surgery. She immediately embraced the suggestion of seeing an oncologist, indicating that she just needed to hear someone else say that surgery was recommended. Our oncology social worker then provided her with several physician referral lines to hospitals in her area. Together they compiled a list of questions to help her feel more informed about meeting with another physician for a second opinion. The two talked at length, into the early evening, about what the woman was feeling and who she could lean upon for support during the next few days as the reality of her diagnosis continued to sink in.
This client primarily needed someone to validate her concerns, to become better educated about her options, to feel confident that she had a right to a second opinion, to organize the tasks at hand in a way that enabled her to feel better control of her situation, and to share the journey. What began with tears and a feeling of helplessness soon turned to empowerment and a productive plan for taking action regarding her situation. What began as a bleak late Friday afternoon with little hope of finding someone who could help her develop a plan became an afternoon with positive, life-changing results and an emerging plan for coping with her dilemma.
This client ultimately consulted with an oncologist for a second opinion and expressed great relief in knowing that she was on the right path to her best medical care.
Daily, we are living out our mission to compassionately assist adults impacted by cancer with treatment options, clinical trial opportunities and coping plans. We hope you will continue to join us in our efforts to link arms with thousands of adults impacted by cancer and to provide them with a personalized plan for treatment information and for coping with the complexities of cancer.