Issue Introductions

Let There Be Spring!

Happy spring 2018! Though the weather may not feel like spring, the calendar says it is. Let me give you a quick snapshot of what this issue of CONQUER contains.
April 2018 Vol 4 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

There are specific patient stories that you may personally relate to. Leukemia is a tough cancer because of its debilitating treatments that leave patients feeling like they have been squeezed through a keyhole. The patient you will read about certainly felt that way, but over time he realized that he was part of a much bigger picture when it came to enduring his cancer. Read Shaun’s story, including his words of wisdom and inspiring approach to coping.

Lymphoma is another blood cancer that slams the patient hard with toxic treatments intended to get the body rid of it, and for a woman only 29 years old, it can also rob her of the opportunity to become a biological mom. See how her story unfolds, and the miracles that happened after treatment was completed.

Do you have a navigator? I sure hope so. Do you know how best to use her expertise in supporting you? Read this article written by a seasoned oncology nurse navigator, so you could maximize your experience with the professional who is responsible to navigate you across the continuum of care.

Although more people will die of heart disease of some kind than of cancer, those diagnosed with cancer are not immune to also having heart disease. In fact, some cancer treatments can directly contribute to heart problems for cancer survivors. Read more on this topic to become aware of what to do, when, and why.

Musa Mayer is well-known within the metastatic breast cancer community. Read about her advocacy work to make the diagnosis and treatment of stage IV breast cancer better for those who are thrust into this type of metastatic disease.

You live here, but the care you need is all the way over there, hundreds of miles away? There may be a solution for you in these pages. Air Charity Network provides free flights for those who have geographic barriers to care.

Did I hear somebody say “sex”? Well, it likely wasn’t your oncologist. Sexuality, intimacy, and sexual activity are not topics many doctors are eager to discuss, yet they are important. Sexual dysfunction and infertility are 2 side effects of cancer treatment that can seriously affect relationships and long-term family goals. Learn more about this, and how potentially to overcome these problems if you are experiencing them.

We would be remiss if we didn’t provide some information on nutrition, and, in particular, herbal therapies. Although they don’t require a prescription, it is important that you keep your oncology specialists and primary care providers informed of what you are currently taking, or want to try. Some of these substances interfere with the absorption of cancer-fighting drugs, so it is important to remember that an over-the-counter product doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe to use for your particular circumstances.

So there you have it. Lots of information for you to digest as you (hopefully) begin to see the trees bud and the flowers starting to grow. Enjoy, and take care.

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Last modified: April 18, 2018

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