Getting back to my career as a physician after cancer meant the world to me - something I was not certain would be possible again during bilateral breast cancer treatment, fatigue and chemo brain. Beyond that came opportunities to be a voice for Cancer in Cancer Care Ontario as a Regional Lead in the Cancer Journey, influencing Diagnosis, Survivorship and Palliative Care perspectives and programs. Now my leadership is in screening and early diagnosis to make upstream change in the cancer survivorship. Believing in what you do takes this to the next level as we influence the next generation of medical students in a course in communication and professional competencies as an Assistant Clinical Professor at McMaster University and Lecturer at University of Toronto. Survivorship does not end at the finish of treatment. Many of the drug effects, chemo effects and radiation effects continue. These factors weigh heavy on efforts to continue in cancer survivors. My interest in physician health and wellbeing created www.physicianselfcare.comand the deepening of my Psychotherapy and Art Therapy practice with patients and continued learnings. We continue to evolve if we stay curious to possibilities. Not all cancer patients have the positive outcomes that I have experienced but we can all change small parts of our world. Advocacy for palliative care will change the future of cancer care and community support innovation in our survivorship programs is bringing breast reconstruction awareness to the forefront of cancer care. When we all work together, we can change this disease.
It was Dr Ginty then Dr G. Now it is Vitamin G - the energizing power of Attitude. An attitude story of coming back to tennis at a club where I had no idea the impact my determination had on others as they stood by me through surgeries and chemo to hit the ball and come back with resilience.
A Feature Story : A Day in Family Medicine of connection
A story of a young man and our connection in a cancer journey. Ryan.
Look Good Feel Better is bringing back the womanhood to women in cancer. That includes difficult conversations of sexuality and physical wholeness after mastectomy and other hormone depriving treatments and surgery. New guidelines were released to discuss sexuality with cancer patients but cultural and personal barriers have realized that conversations with health care providers are often prohibitively difficult. My motivation to change this came when asked to do a presentation on it 1 year ago. That took this to a Primary Care Conference where we knew this conversation had to go straight to the people.
Sexuality is the 2nd highest concern in cancer patients after fear of recurrence.
Most patients will experience some change in their body image and sexual function because of their cancer treatment•
Only 10 % of patients will raise sexual concerns with their HCP (Park,Norris & Bober, 2009)
Only 2% of HCP regularly speak to patients about sexuality even though 96% believe it is part of their job (Robinson & Lounsberry, in press)
Patients/partners can experience feelings of isolation, anxiety, depression, inadequacy, distress, poorer QOL, or a sense of emotional distance from their partner if sexual activity within the couple relationship disappears or is diminished post-cancer (Gilbert, Ussher and Hawkins, 2009).)
Let's change this and bring the conversation to every woman.
Recognized by Look Good Feel Better as one of the top 20 women over 20 years to change the face of cancer
Travel to Far off lands .....
I was one of the inaugural dozen cancer survivors to go on a Fresh Chapter trip to India. I found deep insight as I volunteered at Mother Theresa's Home for those unwanted, disabled and dying. A Fresh Chapter Alliance Foundation was a remarkable experience. Watch the video