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I was at a Myeloma patient group meeting a few days ago. A lady patient who had recently received a diagnosis for her illness (but not began treatment) displayed some distress and worry which she confided to the CNS in attendance.It was an ad-hoc approach that would be followed up the next day, when the CNS would endeavour to soothe the lady's fears.
This example of ad-hoc accessibility appears at variance with a move to a more formalized basis of dealing with patients' post-treatment arrangements. In this respect I refer to links to documents supporting this viewpoint;
I need to emphasize however, that in discussions at local cancer patient groups, nursing staff and consultants have reiterated their commitment to ensuring the psychological well-being of their patients, and that CNS's are integral to that goal.
There is nevertheless an acknowledgement that resources are limited and severely stretched, so that a more formal basis of patient care may be necessary, in which self-management of care is developed together with an education process to accompany it. If this is the case the role of Macmillan becomes even more crucial in dealing with the empathy sought by distraught patients.
As a final comment I refer to a Macmillan member's recent comments about the important role of a local CNS:
"I really hope Trusts do not all go down the more formal and restricted follow up care route. My personal experience is that free access by phone and more importantly email to my CNS was absolutely crucial to my mental well being during the early days of diagnosis and treatment. When I needed help, I needed it immediately and was given it immediately, absolutely invaluable".
Our mental well being often gets pushed to the side because we are focusing so much on (patients their treatments and follow up appointments) ( carers trying to support a friend or loved one though cancer) and our own mental well being is forgotten alot and things can become really overwhelming. I can reconise the importance of looking after our whole well being and agree the current role of the CNSs to look at a more holistic approach to our treatment is a fantastic idea. And I would hate for that to be taken away from patients and their families. Being diagnosed with cancer is a hugely traumatic experience and often can lead to all kinds of overwhelming mental health issues, its one illness that seems to scare us the most, so it’s important that the right care is offered. So yes it’s important to get as much exercise out doors as you can, start it slow walking about the garden or a little bit up the road, as you get well this will increase and your also absorbing natural vitamins and its a good feel good factor, eating regular helps too even if you can only manage small amounts at first, i struggle with my appetite and so my dietician adviced having a “feel good factor snack box” and to eat a nutritious meal daily having small amounts at first,i found it helps me.
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