CANCER – Team Effort For Advocacy

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“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead

In our day and age, things change quickly. It’s hard to keep up with learning curves, new information, technology, and research. The common limitation is that the human mind can only move so fast, and we can’t match the speed and data capabilities of machines.

Health works at a human speed. We can only process so many treatments, interventions and drugs in our bodies at once. We can only heal so quickly. We can only change the way we serve people by making those changes happen by human influence. That human influence happens as a result of advocacy.

Advocacy can be defined, more or less, as support for some cause, policy, or principle, with the goal of addressing or resolving some need or problem. And it takes a team commitment to do it.

People come from different backgrounds and experiences, bringing different skills, gifts, and perspectives, for a more effective approach to making change.

The reality of everyday, human, lifestyle factors can get cast aside in the quest for more effective means of treating cancer, but they will always remain, as long as humans are made of flesh and blood. And they have played a long-minimized and underestimated role in our ability to heal and move forward with quality to our lives, no matter where we are on the continuum of birth to death.

Medicine has its very important place but it cannot possibly touch all of the multiple and multifaceted needs experienced by people with cancer. Patients’ voices and experiences must be heard and incorporated in order to improve outcomes.

In addition, someone must bridge the gap between medicine and patient experiences, by translating complex information into useful and practical skills. These skills can be learned and adopted by patients to make improvements in their own lives despite adverse and long lasting effects from cancer treatment.

Cancer Harbors, to be released soon, is a service that bridges this gap. This service supports patients in their efforts to follow medical recommendations at the same time as showing them how to take an informed, active, self-directed role in improving their own quality of life.

Nancy Stordahl blogs at Nancy’s Point. A breast cancer survivor and patient advocate, she is about to release her second book, which will be announced here on our Sunspirit website as soon as we get the word. Nancy has been generous in her donation of her first book, Getting Past the Fear, in giveaways on her blog.

It’s a fantastic book, and Sunspirit Wellness Services has donated more than half a dozen copies of it so far this year toHope Lives to place in the chemo bags they give as supportive gifts for local women diagnosed with breast cancer and about to start chemotherapy.

Terri Coutee, breast reconstruction patient advocate and survivor who spearheaded the BRA Day Tucson event last month, and whom we’ve mentioned before, sent me this statement about Nancy, and I quote Terri here:

This summer, I received a very generous email from Nancy Stordahl of Nancy’s Point.  She was having a raffle for her book, “Getting Past the Fear: A Guide to Help you Through Chemotherapy”.  I entered her raffle and won!  I wrote Nancy a thank you email and told her I knew exactly what I was going to do with the book.  I was going to give it as a door prize at our BRAs to Tucson event that was to be held in October.  I promised Nancy I would take a photo of that evening and be sure to share it with her.

So Nancy, here it is.  Thank you for the work and passion you devote in educating others.  I’m sure the recipient of the book is grateful. 

Terri Coutee is owner and author of http://diepcjourney.com  She is an educator and patient advocate for all options and choices of breast reconstruction after a mastectomy.  You can find Terri on Twitter https://twitter.com/6state and request to join her private Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/diepcjourney

Alene Nitzky is Founder, CEO and Owner of Sunspirit Wellness Services, LLC and the creator of Cancer Harbors, to be released in late 2015.

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