Quality of Life Risk Management

19 Dec

As the year comes to a close, I often reflect on past events and activities. Sometimes my reflections are purely going down memory lane. Other times they are around what could be improved. I do find it funny how our perspectives change over time and how we seek information to inform our decisions.

I’d like to think our decisioning evolves and improves. I am cognizant our decisions are dependent on the circumstances at hand. Initially with brain cancer diagnosis and treatment, our primary decisions focus on survival. Quality of Life (QoL) is an important priority, but avoiding death is (for most of us) higher on the importance scale. My observation is QoL becomes a priority when it is threatened.

We’ve been blessed Susie has survived her diagnosis, treatments, recurrence and follow-on treatments. Though she took a toll with her recurrence and its follow-on treatments. So we now focus on managing daily neurological and physical challenges, which directly relate to QoL. Seeing further down the road and mitigating possible risks is not easy, especially for long term survivor patients and care partners. We are an anomaly, hopefully becoming less so. So we lean on a team of medical professionals (Neuro-Oncologists, Internal Medicine, Endocrinologist and others) to be our risk manager.

We’ve been lucky in this space, as our Medical Team communicates with each other as related to the broader whole person that is Susie. One example is keeping an eye out regarding osteoporosis, that can be drug induced. While long term steroid use is what triggered this discussion, it seems other drugs like anti-epileptics also may affect bone loss.

Managing downstream risks is key to maintaining and hopefully improving QoL. We are very thankful to have a Medical Team that is proactive. Without them, I expect this would be a very different blog entry.