Not a time to go it alone


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Words and image by Catherine Arcolio of  Leaf and Twig. To see more of her wonderful work go to:

Today,  a story of successful support from Dorothy Kamaker and her team for Sandra. Dorothy is one of those advocates we need more of: she helps people navigate our confusing modern health care system to get the style of care they want – whether minimal or all out, usually when confronting the worst news, a terminal diagnosis.

Sandra wanted no intervention but as Dorothy points out: “It’s not a time to go it alone.”

“For Sandra, negativity was all consuming. Sandra went literally from a session at the gym to receiving a death sentence at a doctor’s surgery,” says Dorothy.

“Chemotherapy and immunotherapy were unacceptable further assaults. My role has been to understand Sandra’s goals and treatment options and become the independent expert supporter she can rely on to keep those goals at the forefront of her management. To cut a long story short, her house goes to auction in a month, her successful immunotherapy has her telling me ‘if I didn’t have those scan results I would not believe I had a problem’ and ‘the single most unexpected piece of advice you have given me has been to use palliative care as a way to go on living well rather than a last resort option’. The incredible sadness and negativity have disappeared.”

More about Dorothy Kamaker – Independent Patient Supporter  and Advocate – can be found at:


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