Displaying items by tag: Hospice and Palliative Care - Facing Cancer Together Facing Cancer Together invites anyone to join the conversation as we connect stories and lives of people touched by cancer. http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org Wed, 21 Mar 2018 20:00:13 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb How to Help a Parent Who Has Cancer http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/caregivers-and-family/how-to-help-a-parent-who-has-cancer-102212 http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/caregivers-and-family/how-to-help-a-parent-who-has-cancer-102212 How to Help a Parent Who Has Cancer

How to Help a Parent Who Has Cancer: 10 ways to support your parent -- and yourself-- through the journey.

Oct 16, 2012- Nothing is worse than hearing that someone you love has cancer. It's even harder when it's your parent. As children, we typically see our parents as strong and invincible. When they get sick, it's tough. Your roles may reverse, and you may have to start caring for your parent as they battle this disease.

While it's easy to be overwhelmed and frightened by the thought of cancer, there's a lot you can do to not only help your parent, but help yourself through the process too.

Treat Them to Luxuries
Helping your parent may be as easy as offering a good foot or back massage. Whether it's done by you or a licensed therapist is up to you. If your mother is the one battling cancer, give her a manicure or pedicure. These small luxuries, and the time you spend together, will be something you and your parent come to cherish.

father-with-cancerEnlist Nursing Help
Going back and forth from the hospital constantly can be hard...and time consuming. Rather than spending money on gas, hire a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or a visiting nursing assistant (VNA). These skilled nurses can administer IV medication, take vital signs, and perform other medical needs in the comfort of your parent's home. (No hospital room required.)

Be a Great Note-taker
The thought of cancer can be overwhelming and every doctor's meeting can feel like information overload. "Often the patient is unable to retain much of the meeting," explains Deborah Smith, Senior Vice President for Health Initiatives at the American Cancer Society, New England Division. She suggests designating one person to attend doctor appointments with the patient.

Be sure to write down notes about the doctor's plan, goals and next steps. Also include specifics like when they should take medication and problems they may encounter. You can also report to the doctor any side effects they are having. The American Cancer Society offers a list of specific questions that patients and families should ask the doctor.

Start a Written Correspondence
Buy a journal for your parent and write to them in it. In return, they can respond back to you. Talk about any topic you wish. And remember, sometimes it's easier to ask the hard questions or discuss emotional issues if you can write them down. Keep this journal going throughout your parent's treatment. You two will treasure having a written record of your conversations back and forth that will illustrate the journey you took together.

Be Patient with Siblings
You and your brothers and sisters are all very different and you will each cope with the cancer diagnosis and its effects in different ways. Some may keep emotions locked away internally; others will need ways to let emotions out. Rather than cause additional stress on your parent by constantly fighting with your siblings, try to be as patient as possible. Lean on your siblings during this time and let them lean on you, so that you can all better support your parent.

housekeeperHire a Housekeeper
When you're sick, it's easy to get stressed worrying about everything that you have to do, but that your body won't let you do. Imagine how your parent feels. Let them get the rest and relaxation they need and help out by cleaning the house, doing laundry, buying groceries, etc. If you aren't able to stop by on a regular basis, hire a housekeeper to make a daily, weekly, or even monthly visit. Getting these small tasks completed for your parent will allow them to recuperate without the worry.

Give Them a Distraction
Surgery recovery and chemo treatments can create a lot of idle time. Purchase a portable DVD player or an iPod to help your parent pass the time. Pick out movies or put together a playlist you think they would enjoy. If they are far away, record videos from your children, your siblings and yourself cheering them on during their fight. And if you are visiting during this time, try starting a new hobby together, such as knitting or card playing.

Start a Blog and Shared Calendar
When a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, family and friends usually rally around them. This community is wonderful, but can be overwhelming too. Imagine constantly getting inundated with calls from people checking in-always having to repeat the some details over and over. Sometimes your parent won't have time to respond to all of the messages or have the bandwidth to deal with them all.

family-blogInstead, create a family blog for them. You can update everyone on your parent's health, talk about emotions, and encourage people to leave comments and supportive messages.

Want to create a family-hub of chore-delegation and personal info for just the immediate family? Start a Google Calendar you can share with family and close friends and it update with appointments and caregiver schedules. Use Google Drive to keep a running list of to-dos (like chores and bill payments) that still need tackling. People can sign up for a task and lend a hand with your parent's care.

Read Stories
A parent who has cancer may be very emotional and need the support and inspiration of other cancer patients and survivors. Sit down with your parent and look through blogs and websites that share the amazing stories of other people who are dealing with the big "C". Try Blog for a Cure, The Cancer Warrior and Mothers with Cancer. You can even search for stories that talk about the specific type of cancer your parent is dealing with. This site is a great place to start.

cancer survivor men friendsCreate a Good Support System for You
And while you're caring for your parent and family, don't forget to care of yourself! Surround yourself with friends who will take your calls and don't mind a night in, as opposed to a fun night out. Allow yourself to cry and let your emotions out. Realize that you don't have to get back to every email and text message. You have a lot going on right now and people know that. You get a guilt-free pass.

It's important to get the care you need so you in turn can help your parent. "Learn what steps to take for your own physical health and emotion well-being," says Smith. "Taking care of yourself can make a big difference in the way you feel about your role as a caregiver and in your ability to perform these new tasks and activities."

Written by
Stephanie St. Martin, Contributor at Care.com

Originally published at Care.com

Caregivers and Family Mon, 22 Oct 2012 15:59:06 +0000
Palliative Care and Pain Management for the Cancer Patient http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/expert-journal/palliative-care-and-pain-management-for-the-cancer-patient-82712 http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/expert-journal/palliative-care-and-pain-management-for-the-cancer-patient-82712 Palliative Care and Pain Management for the Cancer Patient

Cancer patients may suffer from various symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, anxiety and depression. These symptoms can be caused either by the cancer itself or by chemotherapy and radiation therapy offered by oncologists.

pain-managementPalliative care is the relief of pain and suffering. It is part of the oath of Hippocrates and an inseparable part of the discipline of oncology.  Even though oncologists have provided palliation as part of their daily routine for decades, it hasn’t been until the last few years that palliative care has gained formal recognition and has become subject of vigorous academic study. National guidelines have been developed, and clinical trials designed at further improvement of symptoms have become common place. I would like to highlight a few recent findings.

healthcare-pillsNeuropathic pain is common in patients who receive chemotherapy. It is a sharp pins-and-needles sensation in finger or toe tips. It does not respond well to traditional pain medicines such as narcotics or anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen. At our recent American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting it was reported in a large randomized placebo-controlled trial that an antidepressant called duloxetine significantly benefited patients with this type of pain, improving their quality of life. This was an important find.

In another study at ASCO this year researchers showed that olanzapine was significantly superior to metoclopramide in preventing chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting. Over 70% of patients who took olanzapine 10 mg once daily for only 3 days after chemotherapy had no nausea or vomiting.

healthcare-reform-scanA futuristic area of research is using genetic markers to predict who is more likely to experience side effects of therapy. Those patients can then get more optimal supportive care minimizing side effects of chemotherapy.

At the York Cancer Center we have been enrolling patients who undergo radiation therapy in a trial studying the potential protective effect of Manuka honey in preventing radiation burn and pain. Patients who participate in such clinical trials will allow development of more effective palliative care measures for future generations.

Amir Tabatabai, MD
Cancer Care Associates of York

Expert Journal Wed, 29 Aug 2012 13:51:00 +0000
Partnership expands hospice care in the midstate http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/partnership-expands-hospice-care-in-the-midstate-8712 http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/partnership-expands-hospice-care-in-the-midstate-8712 Partnership expands hospice care in the midstate

(Lancaster) -- Two major midstate health care providers are joining together today to offer their services to more people. Hospice of Lancaster County and York County-based WellSpan Health are partnering to form "Hospice and Community Care."

hospice-partnershipSteve Knaub serves as its president. He says the affiliation will bring end-of-life care and grief counseling to an underserved population in York and Adams counties. "It gives a chance to reach people in a very specialized manner," Knaub says. "We have the ability to be specialized with pediatric hospice care, with dementia support, through wound specialization. All of those really can help."

Knaub says workers with WellSpan's VNA Hospice will become part of Hospice and Community Care. He says Hospice of Lancaster County currently cares for more than 500 people per day. Its services are now available in all of York and Lancaster counties, and parts of Adams, Berks, Chester, Lebanon, and Dauphin counties.

by Craig Layne, witf news

Last modified on Monday, 06 August 2012 04:47

End of Life Tue, 07 Aug 2012 19:27:48 +0000
Ask the funeral directors http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/ask-the-funeral-directors-71612 http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/ask-the-funeral-directors-71612 Ask the funeral directors

Death is a topic we often don’t talk about.  It could be one of the reasons more of us aren’t prepared for our funerals or haven’t conveyed our wishes to family members.

funeral-familyMore and more people are pre-planning their funerals.  Sometimes, they’re surprised at how much planning goes into even a small event.

Because the discussion doesn’t come up often, there are many questions surrounding what becomes of our bodies after death.

Funeral directors and supervisors from Central PA  answer community questions in this episode of  Radio Smart Talk.

For example, how to pick out and pay for a burial plot, what’s a funeral cost, what goes into the cremation process, or what about being buried “green?”

The guests include funeral directors Steven R. Kreamer of Kreamer Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. in Annville, Tom Buter of The Groffs Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Lancaster and Theodore Beck of Buch Funeral Home in Manheim.

Listen to the program: {mp3remote}http://witf.vo.llnwd.net/o35/smarttalk/radiosmarttalk/RST_July162012.mp3{/mp3remote}

Other questions that they help answer in the program are:

Madison- "I had heard about a thing where you can send ashes some where and have them turned into a diamond...I love this idea because then they could be given to the children to keep...I was wondering how expensive this really is and how it works?"

Rebecca- "I recently had my teeth cleaned. The hygienist mentioned my gold tooth. This had me thinking about when I die do these teeth have value and does a funeral director remove this gold and give it to the family?"

angel-graveWhat questions do you have? Please leave a comment below.

Related Stories


End of Life Mon, 16 Jul 2012 13:48:12 +0000
Emilio Parga: Helping kids grieve by creating memories http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/emilio-parga-helping-kids-grieve-by-creating-memories-52112 http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/emilio-parga-helping-kids-grieve-by-creating-memories-52112 Emilio Parga: Helping kids grieve by creating memories

"Though a life has ended, it won't really end depending how person is celebrated and remembered." Emilio Parga, MA, is the Founder & Executive Director of The Solace Tree in Reno, Nevada, a grief and loss center for children, teens and families.

fct_child_grief_hi-resAn important part of what they do at The Solace Tree is "helping kids create memories so there isn't unresolved grief."  

In 2002, Emilio Parga discovered that he had cancer. At the time, he was also assisting students who had lost parents to suicide, accidental death and cancer. In his attempt to provide these children with emotional support, he realized that many kids and teenagers in Northern Nevada had lost a parent, sibling or caregiver throughout the year, and that there were no grief support programs for them. That’s when Emilio created the Solace Tree in 2004.

The mission ofThe Solace Tree is that all children, teens and their family members have the freedom to express their feelings associated with death in a safe and loving environment. The peer support programs and educational opportunities at the Solace Tree help children, teens and their family members to freely express their feelings associated with death in a safe and loving environment. The programs also help them learn to cope and adjust to the changes in their lives.


In the video below are some highlights from Emilio Parga's presentation at "I'm Here With You: Understanding Children & Grief," a special community forum addressing myths, fears, and questions related to children's grief.  You can watch Emilio's entire presentation here.

You can purchase Emilio's books and journals at The Solace Tree Boookstore.

Do you have questions about children and grief? Please leave a comment below and we'll find the answers for you.

The Solace Tree
P.O. Box 2944
Reno, Nevada 89505

Phone: (775) 324-7723
Email: info@solacetree.org

Related links:

End of Life Tue, 22 May 2012 14:35:00 +0000
Leslie Delp: Grief is a sacred sorrow worthy of expression http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/leslie-delp-grief-is-a-sacred-sorrow-worthy-of-expression-52112 http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/leslie-delp-grief-is-a-sacred-sorrow-worthy-of-expression-52112 Leslie Delp: Grief is a sacred sorrow worthy of expression

“Grief is neither a problem to solve nor a difficulty to overcome.  It’s a sacred sorrow worthy of expression.”  These are the words of child grief expert Leslie Delp, who helped a group of parents, teachers, and caregivers understand grief through the eyes of a child at a community forum.

olivias_house_signLeslie Delp, MA, is the Founder & Bereavement Specialist at Olivia's House in York, PA, a grief and loss center for children and families. Leslie said at the forum "When you leave blanks for children, they make stuff up- and it's not always good." That's why Olivia's House is there to support parents in being honest with their children. She added, "Our job at Olivia's House is to provide support for parents- and to encourage them to provide their kids with opportunities for questions."

To Leslie and her team at Olivia’s House, a child doesn’t need to be fixed, they need to be supported.  Learn more from Leslie in the video below, or click here to watch her entire presentation given at "I'm Here With You: Understanding Children & Grief," a special community forum addressing myths, fears, and questions related to children's grief.

fct_child_grief_hi-resOlivia's House is an organization of caregiving professionals and volunteers committed to supporting grieving children. Its purpose is to facilitate healing through grief and loss education.

Olivia's House

830 S. George Street

York, PA 17403

Phone:  717-699-1133
Email: leslie@oliviashouse.org

Do you have any questions related to children and grief?  Please leave a comment below and we'll find the answer for you.

Related stories:

End of Life Mon, 21 May 2012 14:33:38 +0000
Camp Mend A Heart taking registrations http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/camp-mend-a-heart-taking-registrations-51812 http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/camp-mend-a-heart-taking-registrations-51812

Camp Mend A Heart, a one-day camp designed to support grieving children who have experienced a death of a loved one, will be held Saturday, June 2, at Camp Cann-Edi-On near York Haven, Pa.

The goal of the camp is to help children understand the death experience, learn about grief and have fun.

The camp, coordinated by WellSpan VNA Home Health, is staffed by a registered nurse, physical education instructor, trained adult volunteers, counselor and other members of WellSpan VNA Home Health and Hospice teams.There is a minimal registration fee to attend the event.  Scholarships are available.  

For more information, call 812-4433 or (877) 862-6006.  You may also email jrunge@wellspan.org

End of Life Fri, 18 May 2012 14:53:52 +0000
Central Dauphin Middle School Students Support PinnacleHealth Hospice’s “Kids Walking for Kids” http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/central-dauphin-middle-school-students-support-pinnaclehealth-hospice-s-kids-walking-for-kids-102111 http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/central-dauphin-middle-school-students-support-pinnaclehealth-hospice-s-kids-walking-for-kids-102111 Central Dauphin Middle School Students Support PinnacleHealth Hospice’s “Kids Walking for Kids”

HARRISBURG, PA – Central Dauphin Middle School students will participate in PinnacleHealth Hospice’s Kids Walking for Kids fundraising walk on Tuesday, October 25 from 2:45 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. at Central Dauphin Middle School’s track.

kids_walkThis is the third year that Central Dauphin Middle School students are participating in Kids Walking for Kids.  One of the school’s guidance counselors, Karyn McClintick, is assisting the students with coordinating the event. The walk, hosted by Central Dauphin Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society, will raise money for PinnacleHealth Hospice’s Camp Dragonfly, a free-of charge, weekend bereavement camp for children ages 6-15 who have experienced the death of a family member.
For more information about Camp Dragonfly or to make a donation to Kids Walking for Kids, contact Deb Collins, PinnacleHealth Hospice Bereavement Counselor, at (717) 782-2300.                                                      

PinnacleHealth is a non-profit healthcare system serving Central Pennsylvania. The healthcare network includes four campuses (Community, Cumberland, Harrisburg and Polyclinic), FamilyCare physician practices, home health and hospice services, outpatient surgery and imaging centers, inpatient and outpatient care and an array of other healthcare services. For a complete list of services, visit our website at www.pinnaclehealth.org

End of Life Fri, 21 Oct 2011 19:00:13 +0000
Hospice care eases physical and emotional pain http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/hospice-care-eases-physical-and-emotional-pain-92911 http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/hospice-care-eases-physical-and-emotional-pain-92911 Hospice care eases physical and emotional pain

(Elizabethtown) -- While more and more people are winning the fight against cancer, many still die from the disease. For those who cannot be cured, hospice care may be an option to ease both physical and emotional pain.


witf's Craig Layne talked about hospice care with Dr. George Simms, the medical director of Hospice care at Masonic Village in Elizabethtown.

Listen to their coversation:


End of Life Fri, 14 Oct 2011 16:42:00 +0000
End of Life Care on TV Smart Talk http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/end-of-life-care-on-tv-smart-talk-53111 http://www.facingcancertogether.witf.org/end-of-life/end-of-life-care-on-tv-smart-talk-53111 End of Life Care on TV Smart Talk

A cancer diagnosis can undoubtedly be overwhelming.  You may be forced to think about things you never wanted to consider.  Will you be able to beat the disease?

Today, millions of people are living with or have had cancer.  In 2010, it’s estimated that over 1.5 million people were diagnosed in the US, while over 500,000 lost the battle with cancer.

In this episode of TV Smart Talk, host Nell McCormack Abom and her guests address thoughts about the end of life and answer some of the tough questions.  Should someone who is facing a cancer diagnosis prepare for the worst?  The panel discusses everything from palliative care to the decision to end treatment.

Dr. Karen Mechanic, head of psychiatry for the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia helps to sort through thoughts about the end of life.  She is joined by Dr. Arlene Bobonich from PinnacleHealth Palliative Care who offers information about care options.  Dr. Joan Harrold, the medical director for the Hospice of Lancaster County shares her knowledge of hospice care.  And guest Dr. Amir Tabatabai, an oncologist with Cancer Care of York talks about medical decisions relating to a terminal diagnosis.

Share your cancer story by creating a digital patch at the Facing Cancer Together Digital Quilt.

Click here to watch Bette Martin's journey with cancer and the tough questions she is asking herself about life.

End of Life Tue, 31 May 2011 14:21:37 +0000