Saturday, March 15, 2008

"Jeff's Hope" Urgent Care Cancer Clinic

This experience is one that is teaching me so much about the needs--the very specific needs--of cancer patients. Jeff has endured many trips to the E.R. because he has not been given an alternative for urgent treatment at night or on weekends, or if the doctor is booked. As you can imagine, the E.R. is no place for cancer patients who are in pain and in need of specialized and compassionate care. The E.R. exposes a cancer patient's compromised immune system to illnesses that could complicate his/her recovery. If a trauma comes in, it is likely that the cancer patient's needs will become subordinate. Sometimes hospitalization is ordered for things like pain management because it is not something that can always be done in a doctor's office. When Jeff runs a high fever, we have to go to the E.R. and wait. When he has trouble with pain or breathing we are told to go to the E.R. These answers don't work for me.

One night, around two in the morning, when sleep was eluding me, I had a very clear thought. We provide Pediatric Urgent Care, General Urgent Care and Acute Urgent Care. But there is no Urgent Care Cancer Clinic. A place where cancer patients can be cared for in a way that is unique to what his/her needs are. The patient won't have to worry about a waiting room where there may be compromising illnesses. There won't be delays because they will be the priority. Hospitalizations for pain management and other urgent physical needs--like oxygen--won't be required. I have spoken to oncologists at M.D. Anderson, medical professionals in Springfield and in Columbia--who all agree that this need should be addressed.

So..this is my first public outcry for help. Anyone who has ever been touched by cancer knows what I am talking about. An Urgent Care Cancer Clinic needs to be a priority above all else. If you have an interest, if you can donate funds, if you have ideas or information, if you can contact those who can help, then you can be a vital part of this plan. There are many community leaders that I have made it my personal goal to communicate with about this plan. Join me--let me know how you can help make this hope and dream come true. WE CAN DO THIS! WE CAN HELP! WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF CANCER PATIENTS YOUNG AND OLD! Let's make "Jeff's Hope" Urgent Care Cancer Clinic a reality.

3 comments:

Chrissy said...

I will post this on our blog! I'M IN!!

Amber H. said...

As an oncology & hospice nurse, I absolutely agree that this type of service should be a priority. A center for urgent pain management, other urgent cancer patient issues, and a spiritual healing focus- offering massage, meditation, aromatherapy, holistic treatments, etc. I am moved to pitch this idea to Hulston Cancer Center and the administration @ Cox- where I personally know people who might be able to get us some funding or point us in the right direction for help...

Roz said...

I met the Meltons today and I have to say that I have not been inspired at this magnitude by two individuals that I just met in a while. The love and grace I witnessed was breath taking. I agree that this service should be a priority. As an ER nurse I see patients come in feeling their worst and if a bed is not immediately available we have to place them in a cramped consult room that has no beds just chairs, just to keep them out of the general population. I am going to speak to ER administration about what we can do to help now and in the future. I know you are looking to God, each other and to friends and family for inspiration. But you must know that you both are an inspiration to those around you.