Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a frightening experience and an enormous shock. Now at the ONJ Cancer Centre, patients newly diagnosed with lymphoma, a cancer of the blood, will have access to a new support service.
“Being diagnosed with lymphoma can be overwhelming,” says Tania Cushion, new Lymphoma Nurse Co-ordinator at the ONJ Cancer Centre. “My job is to help relieve some of the anxiety of what’s happening, for patients and families to have someone to talk to as well as helping them understand what’s going on.”
Part of Tania’s role is to help patients understand and learn more about their diagnosis and she is often with the patient when they are given their diagnosis by their doctor.
“I am able to talk to the patients afterwards, give them as much information and resources as they need, and from then on I am their primary contact,” says Tania. “Issues can range from how to deal with their diagnosis, helping them negotiate the hospital system, liaising with their doctor to organise treatments and medication, helping them understand blood tests and scans and how to interpret the results. But it’s mostly about being there for them and providing continuity of care.”
Tania hopes that in her role she will be able to calm and reassure patients and their families and empower them to deal with their lymphoma diagnosis.
“Most people struggle with the concept that they have cancer, and to have a person support and guide them to where they need to be is so reassuring,” says Tania. “It’s a privilege to be able to support these patients. ”
If you have been recently diagnosed with lymphoma at ONJ Cancer Centre ask your Doctor, Nurse or Allied Heath staff about a referral to the Lymphoma Nurse Co-ordinator.