Reconditioning in Response to Being Deconditioned

AONN+ Blog published on May 5, 2013 in Side-Effects Management
Lillie D. Shockney, RN, BS, MAS, HON-ONN-CG
Editor-in-Chief, JONS; Co-Founder, AONN+; University Distinguished Service Professor of Breast Cancer, Professor of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Co-Developer, Work Stride-Managing Cancer at Work, Johns Hopkins Healthcare Solutions

When someone is diagnosed with cancer, they are informed of the various “expected” side effects they will likely experience as they travel through their cancer treatment experience. Whether it is fatigue, peripheral neuropathy, weight gain, cognitive functioning problems, sexual dysfunction, hair loss, etc, patients are expected to accept these side effects as part of the hand they have been dealt. Initially a newly diagnosed cancer patient is very willing and accepting of any and all side effects. This is usually due to the patient and their family being so frightened and focused on survival that they will put up with virtually anything in order to live through this experience. And sure enough, the side effects come, some one at a time and others in bunches. As acute treatment comes to a completion some months later, and these side effects continue to linger on, the patient’s tolerance is grown smaller than it originally was when first hearing those words “you have cancer.” Perhaps the fear of death has now passed so the clinical sequale is no longer acceptable. Additonally patients are making it increasingly clear to their oncology providers that the goal of treatment is not limited to just surviving; they want quality of life as well.

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