1. Health
Trisha Torrey

Pat Has Conquered Cancer Twice - Offers Hints for the Rest of Us

By January 16, 2013

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I've not met Pat Elliott in person - yet. (Hope to someday!) We have talked on the phone, exchanged dozens of emails, worked together on a few small tasks....

I knew she was remarkable and knowledgeable, but never knew to what extent until this week when I found an article about her and her healthcare journey - CANCER journey - that astounded me. I had NO idea.


Pat has conquered cancer twice. The first time she was a young woman diagnosed with breast cancer. More recently she was diagnosed with (and continues to live with) CML, a rare and chronic form of leukemia. Neither cancer has slowed her career much; she has worked in everything from marketing, PR and journalism, to hospitals and global tech firms.

Recently she was contacted by two gentlemen who are working on a book about transforming healthcare, and they asked her for input. Pat put together a list of things she has either employed or exposed for patients, all of which provide some excellent insight into what patients with difficult diagnoses face.

Samples:

  • Tapping into assistance from others using scheduling apps and online support groups
  • Participation in virtual educational programs that help her learn more about her leukemia
  • Dealing with problems with online research because "cookies" on her browser make her the target of unscrupulous online drug stores
  • Encountering a lack of access in some ways you wouldn't expect: cancer apps developed only for mobile customers and not for desktop computers (many people aren't mobile and don't care to be mobile) - or younger people who fear privacy violations and therefore won't search for medical information at all.

And then there's her statement that hit closest to home for me. She describes how she found information online about her CML treatment options and how she parlayed them into her choices:

I avoided having a transplant I did not need that had a good chance of killing me or leaving me very ill afterwards while bankrupting me. None of that would have been possible in the old days (before the internet).

Substitute the word "chemo" for "transplant" and you have my sentiments exactly.

I invite you to read Pat's entire list in this article from Forbes.

It seems incredibly comprehensive... good advice for us all, whether we are diagnosed with cancer or not.

What discoveries have you made that can help others?

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