Providing support for your patients after treatment finishes or where a secondary diagnosis is given
Life after treatment for patients
This period is often regarded by patients, and increasingly by healthcare professionals as the most difficult and unpredictable part of any cancer diagnosis.
This is largely because the after-effects of diagnosis and treatment are both physical and psychological and there is simply no timeline as to how everyone will feel or react because the diagnosis and treatment will have impacted them uniquely. Some get straight back into life as they knew it before and may then struggle years later. Others feel the struggle very soon after their treatment/surgery ends.
This often coincides and is compounded with the withdrawing of support available to them, because of a perception that they are now okay because the treatment has been completed.
If you are supporting a patient who is finding the time after treatment difficult please get in touch and we can help you put support in place for them.
We are all too aware that sadly for some of our families, they will receive a diagnosis of secondary cancer (metastatic disease) and are thus incurable. The future here becomes very uncertain. For some women, they will continue further, often regularly changing treatments on an ongoing basis whereas, for others, treatment options can become very limited depending on the nature of cancer or where it has spread to.
End of life support/Loss of a patient
What Do we mean by end of Life? Open conversations around prognosis and end of life can be extremely difficult to have but also important for everyone involved. They can provide an understanding of what is going to happen as well as what support and care can be put in place for this final part of life. This also gives you the chance to talk about your faith or spiritual beliefs you have and if there are any wishes or requests you would like to be taken into account.
Most mums take for granted that they have a life of being a parent and seeing their child grow up which spreads over the many years ahead. To be told you don’t get to have that can be distressing and worrying both physically and emotionally overwhelming. You may also be anxious about the physical process of dying and worry about pain. There is a huge amount of loss to process about the things you hoped you would be able to do.
If we can offer support or signpost around the end of life please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pete and Louise have written several blogs about the end of life which can be found here, we hope you find them helpful.
No matter how much experience you have, little prepares you for supporting a pregnant woman or one who has given into end of life care or her death. We hope that during this time you have access to support through your hospital and access counselling or other support.
The important message we share with health professionals is to maintain your care for her just as you would any other pregnant woman or new mum and that is just that. A lasting memory or childbirth, dignity and choice. This benefits both her and the memories of her family and child. That she was a mother first and foremost, rather than a cancer patient.
Our CEO Pete who set the charity up, following the loss of his wife, is here to offer understanding, guidance and links to support groups when you need it for the partners of women you have cared for who may sadly have died as a result of their diagnosis email@example.com.