Patient Navigators Offer Support and Guidance
Earlier this year Cheyenne resident Suzy Meisner-Esquibel, 59, was diagnosed with breast cancer, for the second time. “My first thought was that I couldn’t believe it. I wasn’t ready to go through this again.”
For help, Suzy turned to Dani Best, a breast health navigator with Cheyenne Regional’s Cancer Center. Dani had been there for Suzy through her first diagnosis and treatment 10 years ago.
“When you are sitting in those meetings where they tell you what’s going to happen next, sometimes you come away with nothing. You just don’t take it in,” Suzy said.
That’s why it’s so important to have an advocate by your side, she added.
CRMC navigators provide support and guidance for those recently diagnosed with cancer and for their family members. Their focus is to help the patient and family understand the diagnosis and treatment recommendations, to locate other support and care that the patient might need and to just be there for the patient, including going to appointments with them. Navigators are also available to help cancer survivors who are done with treatment.
“When you have cancer, every step is scary because it’s that crazy unknown,” Suzy said.
The one certainty, and comfort, for Suzy was having a wonderful network of friends and family to turn to.
And having an advocate like Dani to talk things over with.
“It can be good to have someone outside the family to talk to—someone that can offer a fresh perspective and who has experience dealing with cancer,” Suzy said. “I could pick up the phone and call Dani any time. I knew she’d be there for me. She is amazing.”
Suzy is now finished with cancer treatment and is looking forward with hope and optimism.
“I want to do more than endure,” she said. “I am going to be with the people I love. I’m going to travel. I’m going to enjoy my job. I am going to thrive.”
If you are facing a cancer diagnosis, our patient navigators can offer guidance and support. They are also available for families of cancer patients and for those who are done with their treatment but still have questions or need support. To reach our patient navigators, call the Cheyenne Regional Cancer Center at (307 ) 996-HOPE.
Sidebar: CBS News Channel 5 recently featured Suzy, Dani and Tammy Thiede, Cheyenne Regional’s Cancer Center director, in a story that aired earlier this month as part of the station’s focus on October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We’d like to thank Suzy for graciously offering to share her story. We’d also like to thank Britney Carter, the Channel 5 anchor who produced the piece, for the time she spent at our Cancer Center interviewing Suzy, Dani and Tammy and for her thoughtful and sensitive treatment of this subject.