“What’s going on with my body?”
“I don’t know what decision is best.”
“It all seems so overwhelming.”
These feelings and thoughts are very common and very normal. After all, cancer is an out-of-control group of cells. But you can take control.
At the NavigateCancer Foundation, we help patients take control by becoming Expert Patients. You might be wondering what exactly an Expert Patient is and how to become one. Believe it or not, you’ve already taken the first step. You are seeking resources to help you better understand your diagnosis. The first lesson in becoming an Expert Patient is knowing that cancer is as individual as you are. NavigateCancer, LIVESTRONG’s partner since 2011, understands this and provides you with your own personal nurse consultant to help you understand your diagnosis, your treatment choices and help you get your best health outcomes. But don’t just take our word for it; hear it from Stan:
Cancer appeared as a cone-shaped lump on my left knee. I had a very rare cancer called Leiomyosarcoma (LMS), and the doctor suggested surgery to get something called clear negative margins.
I went to see an oncologist and he started out by going to a whiteboard and writing PET. He talked for a while, but when I asked him if he had experience with LMS, he said no, and he wasn’t able to refer me to another doctor. I needed someone to talk to. LIVESTRONG put me in touch with a medical professional that would help me work through my options, and I made an appointment to talk to a nurse consultant at the NavigateCancer Foundation.
She helped me get through the process of optimizing my chances. She answered questions, helped to interpret my medical reports, helped to do research and educated me on the hospitals that had experience with sarcomas. I had several phone consultations with my nurse navigator and felt that she was always only a phone call away. She advised me to be an advocate for my own health. She wanted me to be in a place that treated sarcomas every day and to have a rock star surgeon, and that’s what I got. She was my ace in the hole, and I’m very grateful for her help.
Facing a cancer diagnosis is difficult, confusing and often results in feeling out of control. Initially, you’re taking a crash course in the language of cancer—Leiomyosarcoma, PET scan, negative margins, tumor bed resection. If you begin to search the Internet for answers, the millions of results can make you feel even more overwhelmed.
LIVESTRONG has partnered with the NavigateCancer Foundation to help you regain your sense of control. NavigateCancer has experienced oncology nurses who can help you throughout your cancer journey, from diagnosis to living with cancer. Along the way, you will find that you are in control and you are an Expert Patient. Be Informed. Be Proactive. Beat Cancer.
Here at LIVESTRONG, our goal is to prepare you the best we can for this journey. We are here for you and your loved ones every step of the way. Please give us a call at 1.855.220.7777, fill out our online intake form or visit the LIVESTRONG Cancer Navigation Center at 2201 E. 6th St, Austin, TX 78702 for free support.