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CaregiversFamily MembersIssue Introductions

Cancer Also Affects Family Members and Caregivers

Welcome to the newest issue of CONQUER! This issue is packed with a wealth of information that we hope will be of value to you and your family. Here are some of the highlights.
April 2016 Vol 2 No 2
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
Co-Founder, Academy of Oncology Nurse & Patient Navigators® (AONN+)
Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Oncology Navigation & Survivorship®
University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer
Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Co-Developer, Work Stride: Managing Cancer at Work
Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions
Breast cancer survivor

Welcome to the newest issue of CONQUER! This issue is packed with a wealth of information that we hope will be of value to you and your family. Here are some of the highlights.

Multiple myeloma is a rare, challenging form of cancer. We have included a “multiple myeloma 101” article about this cancer, and a personal story about a patient who was a patient advocate to the last minute and left his mark on everyone who knew him.

Chemotherapy can cause your appetite to change. Foods that you used to love can suddenly become unappealing. What to eat and how to prepare it while receiving chemotherapy can be complicated. Read the article on nutritious meals that are chemotherapy-friendly.

Financial toxicity is a new “side effect” of cancer treatment, as the cost of cancer treatment keeps increasing. Patients may not have any idea about the cost of their care until the bills start coming in. An oncology doctor is telling patients to be empowered and discuss any cost issues with their care team.

Has anyone asked you about participating in a clinical trial? The treatments you are currently receiving came about because patients before you participated in a clinical trial. Clinical trials are about innovative care. Read the article in this issue that explains the features of clinical trials to find out whether a clinical trial is a good option for you.

Your caregivers may be abandoning their own healthcare needs while caring for you. So, read the article together with your caregiver. We want to make sure caregivers have a healthy lifestyle, which includes keeping any appointments for their own cancer screenings while they are taking care of you.

Receiving cancer treatment can be complex, which is a key reason to stay in touch with your oncology navigator and to receive guidance along your care. Cancer impacts everyone who lives with you, and those outside of your home who love you. We all need to be cognizant of this and recognize the impact that a cancer diagnosis and treatment has on those around us.

Dietary supplements may seem to be safe and healthy for you, right? Not necessarily. It is important for your oncology team to know about anything you are putting in or on your body. Some vitamins can undo the work of certain chemotherapy drugs. An article in this issue provides some insights as to why you need to be careful with dietary supplements. When in doubt, it is best to leave it!

Some people prey on others during vulnerable times, especially when faced with a life-threatening disease such as cancer. Some websites may insist that there is a “miracle cure” that doctors don’t want you to know about. Well, there is no miracle cure; at least, not yet. Researchers continue to work toward a cure, but cancer is a very complicated disorder. What is my point? The same point you will read in this issue: don’t get drawn in by false medicine that can empty your wallet and could harm you. I have personally seen patients leave the country to buy the “magic bullet” whose bodies were returned a few weeks later.

Also read the touching story about a wonderful man named Jack. Although he is gone, he is not forgotten. His life continues through his family, who loves him deeply.

Finally, Nancy Webster provides an artistic look into her psyche, depicting her view of herself while receiving chemotherapy. Art therapy can be very therapeutic. If you haven’t heard about it or tried it, consider doing so.

See, this is a jam-packed issue! Enjoy, and be well.

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Last modified: October 14, 2020

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