“Get connected with people who can help”
Nurse navigator Lillie Shockney on the importance of making connections
Elaine Everett, diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in January 2014
How it helps me:
Lillie helped me get going in the right direction. I was 14 years out from my stage I breast cancer diagnosis. I had put cancer behind me. So when I felt chest pains, I thought I had pulled a muscle or cracked a rib. When X-rays showed a mass in the lungs, Lillie connected me with my former oncologist and with a pulmonary specialist. Once they identified it as a recurrence of breast cancer, Lillie put me in touch with another patient who had a similar diagnosis and is doing well. She’s several years out from
her diagnosis and she’s still working! It makes you hopeful.
Breast cancer nurse navigator:
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, Administrative Director, the Johns Hopkins Breast Center and Cancer Survivorship Programs, Baltimore, MD
Why that's important:
When a breast cancer survivor discovers that she has cancer again, particularly when many years have passed, it is shocking. In Elaine’s case, it wasn’t clear what kind of cancer it was. I immediately connected her with the right team so that a definitive diagnosis could be made. Getting a patient out of limbo, with uncertainty as to what her medical situation is, enables the oncology team to make a plan of care. I also put Elaine in touch with a metastatic breast cancer survivor who has a very similar clinical situation. I felt that connecting the two of them would be very
helpful for Elaine.