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Issue Introductions

A New Outlook for the New Year

Happy Holidays to you and your family! If you are in the midst of treatment, or recently completed treatment, you have already been dealing with a lot, and now the busiest time of the year just got busier for you.
December 2017 Vol 3 No 6
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 December 2017 issue of CONQUER. You have likely received this issue from your navigator, or maybe you requested a free subscription online or mailed the postcard inside the issue. Whichever is the case, I think you will enjoy reading this issue, which is full of wonderful stories, words of wisdom, and educational information for patients, survivors, caregivers, and even your navigators! Let’s review some of the articles before you turn the page.

First, Happy Holidays to you and your family! If you are in the midst of treatment, or recently completed treatment, you have already been dealing with a lot, and now the busiest time of the year just got busier for you. One article in this issue provides helpful advice to help you survive the holidays and enjoy them with family and friends. Follow these words of wisdom and welcome in the new year with a new outlook on life, and wellness as your goal.

Reading people’s personal journeys with cancer can be empowering. Some of the stories in this issue may resonate with you strongly; others perhaps less, but still providing a compelling story that can enlighten you about how others are coping, whether still in the middle of their cancer experience or already in the long-term “survivorship club.”

The CEO of a biotech company believed, as we all do, that he was immune from cancer, especially because he headed a company that developed cancer treatments. But no one is immune. Read about his experience with incurable cancer and what it has taught him.

And can you imagine—a pastor getting the surprise of his life with a lymphoma diagnosis? He calls his story “Living with Uncertainty.” Read how he has applied humor to his treatment and to his life, to help him get through each day. I am a strong advocate of using humor and prayer when dealing with the rough spots that cancer can cause.

If you are not familiar with dragon boat racing, you will be reading the story. It was one of the gifts that came from a cancer diagnosis—water, wind, stroke after stroke, and teamwork at its best!

We often refer to a family member taking care of a loved one as a “caregiver.” The writer in this issue, however, calls it “cancer partner.” I like that term. See if you agree, and if you choose to apply it within your relationships.

We live in the world of social media today. You no longer have to drive to attend a cancer support group unless you need the face-to-face experience. Read about online communities that you may want to explore.

Cancer treatment rarely happens without some side effects. It is important to keep your glass half full instead of half empty. Read the article to see if there are effective ways to reduce these side effects, prepare for potential late effects, and try to live in harmony with the stubborn side effects that linger on. Also read about lymphedema—a known risk of having axillary lymph node dissections and axillary radiation for breast cancer treatment.

Finally, read an article that provides great information to anyone newly diagnosed with lung cancer, particularly those preparing for their first consultation. If you know someone with lung cancer, consider sharing this article with him or her.

So enjoy reading and sharing these articles with family and friends, and happy New Year!

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Last modified: January 2, 2018

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