Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer. Before she showed up for her first appointment to plan her treatment with her
City of Hope
doctor, a Biller Patient and Family Resource Center patient navigator called her to make sure she knew where to go and to answer any questions she had.
When she visited the clinic, a Biller Patient and Family Resource Center clinical social worker met with her to better understand what she was going through and what help she might need.
As a mother of three young children, with a husband who works full time, Carol was worried about her family. She wondered how she’d be able to juggle caring for her kids while recovering from surgery. She also realized she would have to find child care for the kids when she started radiation therapy at City of Hope.
She had her own fears, too. She struggled with extreme anxiety, afraid of what the future might bring.
became an increasingly precious commodity. She also was unsure how to talk to her kids about her cancer treatment.
Her social worker listened carefully and assured her that her feelings and worries were normal — and that help was available. First, she helped Carol arrange child care with a network of friends and babysitters. She also referred Carol to a City of Hope psychologist for help with her anxiety, while a Child Life specialist guided her in sensitive and appropriate ways to talk to her kids.
Finally, social workers suggested that Carol consider learning about cancer treatment and getting encouragement from other patients through a support group. Carol got over her initial shyness and attended, picking up useful tips for dealing with treatment side effects and gaining some dear friends in the process. Her husband joined in, too.
And that’s just the beginning. Biller Patient and Family Resource Center pain physicians, spiritual care providers, educators and other staff members continued to be there for Carol, her kids and her husband throughout her treatment — and her healing.