Like the disease, the language of cancer is complex and unique. It’s filled with potential land mines and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. I get it. As a coach, I believe strongly in the power of language, the words we choose, and the energy they generate for us. Normally, in…
Tracy, in our last blog interview, we explored the challenge of survivors who avoid preventative testing out of fear of having to go through treatment again. Let’s take a look at a related issue…what it’s like for the healthcare professional with a patient or survivor who makes a choice the healthcare professional doesn’t feel is in the patient/survivor’s best interest.
When a healthcare professional has a situation such as a survivor who chooses not to do preventative testing, what are some of the challenges that can come up for the professional?
We continue my interview, Taking a Pass on Prevention, with Tracy Whitworth…
Something I’ve noticed as I coach more and more nurses is how often they are already using some of the basic coaching skills and often are unaware of it. Coach training increases their awareness so they can consciously build in use of the tools more frequently instead of wondering why sometimes their patient dialogue is effective and other times they feel like they just can’t get through. Nurses are also often already very patient-centered so they know to honor patients’ wishes.
How has the coach training helped you be more at peace when a patient or survivor makes a choice that you wouldn’t personally necessarily feel is in their best interest such as avoiding preventative scans?
As a trained coach, I tend to notice patterns more than I did, perhaps, in the past. I no longer see them as coincidences. Instead I look to see what opportunity the pattern may be calling for my attention.
Recently, I’ve come across a number of my followers in Social Media who have shared openly as cancer survivors that they are choosing to take a pass on the recommended follow up tests and scans that typically become part of the landscape of survivorship. I decided to check in with Tracy Whitworth, CTCA AZ’s Survivorship Care Coordinator we’ve been following on her journey through coach training with iPEC, to see what she could share with my readers on this topic.
We continue to follow Tracy Whitworth, the Survivorship Care Coordinator for Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Phoenix, as she trains to become a certified professional coach through iPEC’s Coach Training Program.
Tracy, you recently completed your first on-the-ground training weekend – three very full days of learning coaching skills with iPEC. What was your biggest ah-ha moment of the weekend you’d like to share?
For me, it was becoming truly aware. The weekend intensive gave me the opportunity to recognize where my apprehensions, fears and worries stemmed from. Even more exciting was the realization that I have the power to change this and move forward. Does this mean I magically don’t still have fearful, worrying moments? Of course not. They still occur, but I am better equipped to handle these moments through awareness and support I have now built.
What are two ways you feel you will now approach your role differently with what you’ve learned in just this first weekend?
One of the things I admire and respect about Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) is that they take risks and experiment with new approaches.
I’d long heard about the benefits of Kale and yet I hadn’t found a palatable way to enjoy it. But at the 2013 Blogger Summit in Arizona, CTCA’s talented chef created a visually inviting kale salad that showed a lot of potential for a non-Kale eater. So I decided to follow Robin William’s advice and seize the day.
Given that the kale was fresh from CTCA AZ’s organic 25 acre farm, planted and harvested by their very own Farmer Bob, my guess was that if Kale was ever going to be tasty, this would be the time.
By the time I was three forkfuls in, I was a convert…even more so when I had Laura, CTCA’s Public Affairs Specialist, email me the recipe. What?! Four ingredients was all it took to make this flavorful and healthy salad? Lemon juice, olive oil, chopped kale and shaved Parmesan? Now that’s something even someone as busy as I am can pull together fast.
On March 22nd and 23rd, a group of influential and committed health bloggers and cancer advocates entered the doors of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America Western Regional Center in Goodyear, Arizona into a lobby literally built on hope.
We came together for their second annual CTCA AZ Blogger Summit to learn from their expert teams about their innovative approach to cancer treatment and care. It was also an opportunity to serve as advocates by generating questions and getting the information back to our communities through social media efforts.
During our tour, we learned that patients, family members and staff had written messages of hope during construction and these were sealed beneath the lobby floor. The entire center was built to match the feedback of patients, their families and staff. Sitting areas in the lobby are fashioned to be like a comfortable living room, complete with a fireplace to add to the cozy feel. While it is airy, it is also understated relative to many other treatment centers which patients reported as being cold and impersonal.
Like the disease, the language of cancer is complex and unique. It’s filled with potential landmines and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. I get it. As a coach, I believe strongly in the power of language, the words we choose and the energy they generate for us.
While attending the Cancer Treatment Centers of America 2013 Blogger Summit, there was a moment with some of my fellow bloggers where it looked like we might get to generate a sidebar conversation about this topic. But the unique direct access to medical experts and the extremely full panel discussion schedule preempted this. So, in honor of those who shared a table with me in Arizona, here’s my exploration of the language of cancer…