I have procrastinated writing this blog or update. And, I've procrastinated because many of you who are following along are here because of sport. In particular, triathlon. And maybe more in particular elite triathlon. This blog is about Livestrong.org. This blog is not about Lance. If you can't or don't want to separate the two, please move on.
I'm not sure why I picked this week. Maybe because I wrote last week that somethings matter. In the grand scheme of things, I think that this matters. Or maybe I picked it because after we visited MD Anderson, another medical professional spoke highly of the organization. Or maybe it's because I've been able to talk with a few of the Livestrong navigators through this process...and will continue to talk with them through this process. And eventually, Amy will go by the offices.
A couple of weeks ago in Austin was AmplifyATX. 24 hours to raise money for local non-profits. We've picked a few over the past couple of years and have made small donations. This year Livestrong was one of them.
I moved to Austin in 1998, one year after Livestrong (then LAF) was founded. I probably did the Livestrong ride in 1999 or so. I've always said that the organization provided a much needed service. It is not a stretch to say that no one plans to 'need' an organization like Livestrong or LLS or ACS. But, after Amy's diagnosis it was hard to know where to start. You get a few pamphlets when you are diagnosed, but you really are in a daze. They all provide services that are similar but different. They are all needed organizations. Choosing Livestrong made sense because they were local, really local. I could walk in to the office and speak to a real person.
As a follow-up to last week's blog. They matter. All of the groups that provide patient services, they matter.
With Acute Leukemia things move quickly from a disease and treatment standpoint. Over the Christmas and New Year holidays I contacted Mike Thompson who contacted Chris at Livestrong. Chris and Mike both met and talked with me in a closed office. Not every patient or caregiver will get that opportunity.
But, everyone does have the opportunity to have a navigator to help wade through the process.
- Have insurance questions...they'll help with that.
- Have fertility questions...they'll help with that.
- Need to talk with another spouse, parent, caretaker, survivor...they'll help with that.
- Need to speak with a medical professional in addition to your doctor...they'll help with that.
- Need post-treatment help...they'll help with that.
I'm probably not really even scratching the surface. Simply put, we were thrown into this on December 23. The journey is never really over. It's hard to know what is needed. It's hard to know who to turn to or where to turn. These services, whether Livestrong or another mentioned, are available for all patients.