This site illuminates the “patient path” of navigating the road to healing cancers, particularly those affecting women. Its purpose is to educate, enlighten, empower, and encourage patients actively participating in their own healing journey. And that means you and me. . . .
My journey started in November 2013 when I was diagnosed with uterine (endometrial) cancer. That’s when I knew I needed to feel inspired and empowered so I could take on this disease. So I set out on “The Patient Path” and did it. Today I am an almost five-year survivor. And I want to hear other women say the same thing.
The Patient Path initiative includes our two sister sites—this one, dedicated to coping with women’s cancers, and The Patient’s Path, covering a variety of health topics. Its mission is self-education through patient stories supplemented with an abundance of reliable resources. This combination of medical journalism with medical memoirs makes complex information accessible to all. Please join us as we explore ways to heal our bodies, minds, and hearts—and to keep them well—as we become full partners with our healthcare teams and guardians of our own well-being.
Additional information appears below.
In the US, we have the most advanced medical training and systems in the world. Practitioners come from around the globe to attend our schools and treat our population. We couldn’t do without them. But increasing specialization, high-tech modalities, healthcare reform, health insurance complexities, litigation fears, and general busy-ness have made the practice of medicine quite different from what it was 50 years ago when our family doctors knew everything about us from birth through adulthood—and even made house calls.
Today, despite electronic medical records, the only people who know all about our health history and management is us—the patients. This makes us vital members of our own healthcare teams and requires a level of knowledge and set of skills that previous generations just didn’t need. Being good patients requires much patience as we acquire the necessary information and skills demanded by our complicated times.
As mentioned above, I started this site five days after being diagnosed with uterine (endometrial) cancer in November 2013. Along the way, I have described my course of treatment—total robotic hysterectomy, vaginal radiation (brachytherapy), and follow-up—as both a patient and a medical writer.* Now, I also tell the stories of others generous enough to share them, even as they are going through active treatment. (For example, see Diane’s Story – Breast Cancer.) While browsing this site, it will become apparent very quickly why it is named “The Patient Path” (and check out the definitions on the home page).
And for those struggling with other, non-cancer health issues, check out the various stories and resources on The Patient’s Path—only an apostrophe and a letter distinguish our sister site from this site’s name—which has essentially the same purpose.** As topics have expanded beyond uterine and other types of cancer, it became desirable to build a second home for the myriad of other conditions that beset us. On The Patient’s Path, I tell not only my own stories, but the stories of others who generously wish to help people going through similar health situations. (For example, see Chelsea’s Story: Spinal Surgeries for Scoliosis & Degenerative Disc Disease about a young woman who faced a tough decision about having a second spine surgery that would change her life.)
I hope you, too, will share your experiences and stories about navigating the various courses of treatments and therapies needed to cope with cancers similar to yours so cancer strugglers and cancer survivors can live well and long. And this includes suggestions for living a healthful, beautiful life. Please contact us for information about how you can participate on The Patient Path in any way you wish.
Let’s face our health and well-being challenges together as informed consumers of all that our healthcare systems and practitioners—both traditional and alternative—have to offer us. And above all, let’s learn to be our own source of healing for ourselves and for everyone with whom we share the planet.
Best wishes to everyone on their own “patient path.”
Pamela Bond Contractor, Peer Health Educator
**Announcement: “The Patient Path’s” New Direction