In this episode of the Care Dimensions Learning Institute's podcast of Living Forever, Not an Option, we learn about the challenges of living with a serious illness. Hosts Lyn Skarmeas and Mary Crowe stress the importance of being proactive with your care once you are diagnosed. A serious or advanced illness can be stressful, scary and full of uncertainty but creating a plan with medical professionals and your family will help you ease in to the “new normal” that is associated with living with a serious illness diagnosis. Throughout this episode, Lyn and Mary provide their professional and personal insight on how this type of diagnosis can change the way a person views life and the importance of creating a strong support system.
Upon receiving the news that you have a serious illness, you should try to learn as much as you can about the disease and take time to acknowledge your emotions. Lyn and Mary advise that once you are given the diagnosis, wait a little while before making major life decisions if you can until you can assess all options. You should research who provides expert care for your situation and work collaboratively to create the best plan of care. Creating a strong support team of both loved ones and medical professionals will make the transition smoother and will ultimately result in the best quality of life for you, regardless of the progression of your illness.
Assess your priorities first and give thought to what is most important to you before jumping directly into the treatment plan. The treatment plan should align with your priorities and what quality of life means to you. Living with a serious or advanced illness can be very overwhelming, however, knowing your options and educating yourself on the best possible care for your illness makes the process manageable and allows you to explore new ways to incorporate comfort and care into your “new normal.”
Listen to the podcast (click here)
Learn more about how a palliative care consultation can help you assess options.
Watch our Timing is Everything television show focused on the benefits of palliative care goals of care conversations (click here).
About the author:
Mia Buscone is a marketing assistant working with the Care Dimensions Learning Institute.