Monday, April 23, 2012

Cancer Coach - Trained to Help Cancer Patients Along Their Journey - Could a Cancer Coach Help You?

by Sue Bock (guest blogger)

Breast cancer. When I first heard the words, I was stunned. The earth dropped out beneath my feet. As time passed, my feelings evolved, the roller coaster ride of emotions from high to low became more of a child’s ride. I went from craving knowledge to how will I carry myself through the journey of treatment and after. I was already a trained co- active life coach, now how will that help me?

A Co-Active Coach trained at the The Coaches Training Institute uses a “tried-and-true approach that provides a powerful process for engaging with others and is supported by current scientific research. Our program is built on the cornerstone that we are all naturally creative, resourceful and whole and that we all possess the capacity for knowing what is best for ourselves. From this place, the Co-Active Coach comes from a place of authentic being, listening and encouragement, to uncover the best in oneself and others.” This is where I started. Now I help other breast cancer survivors transition from breast cancer treatment to breast cancer thriver. Leading a fulfilling life is possible after breast cancer. After the dust settles and the “normal” life returns, a Wellness Coach partners with the client to pave a path, so to speak. The client makes choices to answer the burning question of, “what is next?”
There are many hurdles to jump after breast cancer, and a Co-Active Coach is there to soften any bumps along the road. Often after breast cancer, women (and there are some men) find themselves at a loss. No longer is the support the same. The medical team is less a part of their lives and it may feel like they are alone in their quest to find answers. Coaching is a way to creative problem solve in a positive and safe environment.

In The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Pam Schmid shared the following testimonial:“Coaching made lasting, positive changes in the cancer survivors’ llives. Instead of being stuck, they have a partner to start moving ahead to be their best,” said Schmid. “As one survivor told me, ‘This is not like anything I’ve experienced. It’s given me a pathway out … I need to move forward to do the things I know I need to do to be my best’.”

I inspire women to dream, change, and live life’s adventure courageously. Breast cancer doesn’t define you. It frees you to arrive at different choices.

Sue Bock
You can visit Sue's Courage to Adventure Coaching website by clicking here

For products that can help reduce and relieve cancer treatment side effects visit:

Monday, April 16, 2012

What Is An Oncology Nurse Navigator?

By Pam Matten, RN, BSN, OCN

The diagnosis and treatment of cancer and living with the disease can be overwhelming for many patients and their family members. The maze of oncology services that families are asked to go through can be intimidating and daunting. A nurse navigator is a professional who comes alongside the family undergoing the cancer crisis. He/she may follow the patient from pre-diagnosis through the continuum of care. The navigator will ensure that the patient is given timely care for appointments, tests and procedures. She educates the patient on treatment options, medication and chemotherapy side effects, and clinical trial options. She may also provide psychosocial support to the patient and family. The navigator will provide resources and referrals to the family such as: financial assistance, support groups, transportation options and complimentary wellness opportunities. The nurse navigator role is integral for families as they navigate through the complexities of cancer care.

Most National and community cancer centers are using nurse navigators for individual types of cancer. For instance, there may be breast nurse navigator who deals specifically with patients diagnosed with breast cancer. It is important to understand that the role of navigator is diverse. You may find lay navigators who reach out to a particular community of patients or lay navigators who assist with more specific care such as those who coordinate initial consultations for treatment. If you are fortunate to be offered a lay or professional navigator I believe you will find them to be individuals who offer empathy and support during a difficult time. If you are not made aware of navigation services when you are newly diagnosed you can ask either your physician or cancer center if navigation services are provided.

Submitted by Guest Blogger:
Pam Matten, RN, BSN, OCN
Pam Matten is an oncology-certified nurse, specializing in thoracic oncology. She has been the Nurse Navigator for lung cancer patients at the Center for Cancer Prevention & Treatment, St. Joseph Hospital, orange. CA for over 9 years. Pam is also a public health nurse, tobacco treatment specialist, health instructor and yoga teacher.

For more information about oncology nurse navigators:

To find products to help reduce and relieve cancer side effect symptoms visit: