Caring for Cancer Patients
Breast cancer survivors unite to care for women newly diagnosed in a new program in Omaha.Photo: Video by kmtv.com
Omaha, NE--They're not doctors, nurses or experts. They're breast cancer survivors.
Eleven woman, united by their journey from diagnosis to survival, are using their personal experiences to help other women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. They're breast health navigators, part of a new program launched with the help of Komen Nebraska.
Cyndi Hume is one of the women who took a six week class, learning what the best treatments for breast cancer are and the standard of care for patients. She, herself, is a six-year survivor.
She believes in this program, because she knows just how lonely it was for her to hear a doctor say 'you have breast cancer.'
"I didn't have another woman sitting in the room with me who had experienced what I was getting ready to go through," Cyndi describes. "So if I can sit in a room, take notes, bounce some ideas off another woman so she might ask questions a little later, be that sounding board, then it has been worth the journey. It really has."
She and others recall that the minute they heard the word "cancer", their mind stopped and they don't remember anything after that. But it's also a time when critical decisions have to be made because surgeries have to be scheduled, a treatment plan decided on and arrangements made. It's exactly when Cindy believes breast navigators can do the most good, helping them sort through everything. She admits if she had a navigator when it happened to her, she would have chosen not to have a partial mastectomy.
But what surviving breast cancer has taught her is to stop having regrets and enjoy each moment of life. She's ready to pass that on to the women she meets when the program officially gets underway next month.
"No matter which way it goes, I'm going to be okay." An empowering message and attitude she hopes to share.
To find more information about the breast navigator program or to refer a patient, you can call 402-559-8883.