Filling The Gaps in Cancer Care: It Really Does Take A Village

Filling The Gaps in Cancer Care: It Really Does Take A Village
May 9, 2015 Alene Nitzky

IMG_7073 (1024x709)Sunspirit Wellness Services is committed to addressing your individual needs that can sometimes slip through the cracks during and after the process of cancer treatment. By reaching out to individuals and organizations sharing our passion, we aim to make the experiences of treatment, recovery, and living with cancer less traumatic and more seamless, efficient, and helpful.

Helpful Organizations

Tiger Lily Foundation, Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day (BRADay), supporters of the passage of the¬†Breast Cancer Patient Education Act, and organizations like Hope Lives here in Fort Collins, Colorado are all working to reduce¬†the burden and impact on patients’ lives, and those of their caregivers, and family and friends.


Education is an integral part of filling the gaps, and getting people the resources they need to make fully informed choices is the premise behind the important work of Terri Coutee, who is a blogger, educator,¬†and advocate for breast reconstruction options and education. Currently she is working to support passage of¬†the Breast Cancer Patient Education¬†Act. Her own experiences have led her to advocate for other women who don’t get the information they need before making decisions that will affect¬†their¬†health and well-being for the rest of their lives.

Making informed choices about your care helps you have better quality of life after cancer treatment. When you look back at your decisions, you will feel more satisfied that you made the best choices for yourself and you directed the process in your own care because you understood your healthcare providers every step of the way.


Communication between patients and their healthcare providers is another important part of this process. While patients may lack the medical knowledge that their providers have, it takes a skilled provider to be able to communicate in a way that meets the patient’s needs. There needs to be education for both the patient and the healthcare provider to make the two way conversation work. Often it’s important to bring other professionals besides the doctor to make communication successful.

Here is an example of a patient’s experience that illustrates why communication with a provider is so important.


One of the priorities of Sunspirit Wellness Services, as part of your team, is to make communication easier between team members. We can translate medical jargon into understandable terms, not only to tell you what it means, but by showing you how to take action on that information. When you look back at your decisions, you will feel more satisfied that you made the best choice for yourself because your healthcare providers included you as part of the team and considered your needs first.

Here’s another example.

My own father is undergoing treatment right now for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and while he is being treated in a very reputable facility, the process has not been without its speed bumps. It really does take village and it takes much more than just the medical team to treat an entire human being.

It’s important for both patients and health care providers to understand that no one can¬† address cancer care alone. No matter how much experience a doctor has, how much money or how many resources a facility has, each individual person is different and will have their own¬†learning needs, and a unique set of¬†experiences, successes, and¬†struggles in the process. There is no grid, formula, potion, or single-minded approach that can possibly be applied to every patient.

For all team members involved, patients and healthcare providers alike, keeping an open mind and learning from each other: our mistakes, successes, failures, and efforts all contribute to improvements in the most important outcome: your quality of life as you move forward.

1 Comment

  1. Terri 5 years ago

    Thank you, Alene, for this information filled and heartfelt post. Your services along with so many others listed on this page will be instrumental in assisting cancer patients in living beyond the diagnosis and partaking of life more fully. This is a realistic and well laid out page of information and I appreciate your efforts.

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