Page 10 - Inspire Autumn/Winter Edition 2017
P. 10

Information Days

        An Opportunity We’d Never Otherwise Get

        Our Lung Cancer Information Days give patients and         “They hear the word ‘cancer’ and everything else falls
        their families the opportunity to hear from lung           silent. They are scared – scared about what this could
        cancer professionals such as oncologists, thoracic         mean for them and for their family – so it’s no wonder
        surgeons and lung cancer nurses. There is also the         they can’t focus on any practical advice.
        chance to ask questions and share experiences with
        other patients and carers.                                 “However, after the initial shock subsides, there is a need
                                                                   for this kind of information and therefore a need for
        Lung cancer nurse specialist, Liz Steven, attended our     these information days. On the Aberdeen day I attended
        Aberdeen Information Day in August. She spoke to           with some of my patients, so many areas were covered.
        Inspire about the benefits of the day for healthcare
        professionals, and patients and their families alike:      “We heard from thoracic surgeon, Mr Keith Buchan,
                                                                   who explained the advances in curative surgery and how
        “Days like today are                                       these less invasive techniques improve the patient’s
        really important because                                   experience and recovery. Oncologist Dr Marianne
        they give healthcare                                       Nicolson spoke about and answered questions on
        professionals, patients                                    treatment for lung cancer including targeted therapies
        and families time                                          and immunotherapies.
        together. We never get
        this opportunity in the                                    “There was also a Q&A session, which featured lung
        hospital or at the clinic.                                 cancer nurse specialist – me(!),  thoracic nurse specialist,
        Although we try our best                                   research nurses and specialist dietician discussing all
        to give our patients all the                               matter of topics, from superfoods to research updates.
        time they need, the reality is we
        may only have 15 minutes, so the information days
        Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation organise are very
        welcome. It’s like giving us all the gift of time, and quality
        time at that.

        “They also give patients hope. Many of the people who
        come to these days are living with lung cancer. I
        remember when I first became a lung cancer nurse,
        around 12 years ago. When people were diagnosed with
        lung cancer back then, the prognosis was never good.
        Doctors would say – ‘Lung cancer, there’s nothing we can do
        for you’.

        “Thankfully, that is no longer the case - there is always
        something we can do. It may not be to cure the cancer
        but it may be to treat it, manage symptoms or improve      “We also heard from patient, Tom Simpson, who is
        quality of life, and these information days are an         living with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer. Listening
        excellent way to get those answers across. They are a      to someone else talk so openly about what they’re
        way to provide realistic help.                             going through is priceless. As healthcare professionals,
                                                                   we can talk about lung cancer, we can answer questions
              There is a need for this kind of                     but there is nothing more powerful than the words of
                information and therefore a                        someone who is going through what you’re going
                                                        ”          “The charity’s information days may be a patient’s only
             need for these information days.                      through.

        “From my experience, patients only remember about          opportunity to meet and talk to other people living
        25% of what is said to them in their first meeting after   with lung cancer. They can share experiences and offer
        being diagnosed. That’s not surprising considering what    support. But, above all, they can provide inspiration to
        they’ve just been told.                                    one another in a way no one else can.”

        10    Inspire 2017
   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15