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During the last two years, I had my first experience in working with people with cancer. After 25 years of clinical practice, a PhD, and 8 years working as an academic, I was suddenly immersed in a caseload I did not feel comfortable with. I was not comfortable because I did not feel like an “expert”. I soon learned that the “experts” were my patients. I am a speech pathologist working in a rural area of Victoria, Australia. After specialising in working with people with a neurological diagnosis, I now was also working with people with cancer. The tables had turned. Talking to people that had had treatment for head and neck cancer opened my eyes to the things that really mattered: “sounding normal”, “having a beer”, “being able to get up onto the tractor”, “eating pork crackling”, and “being OK with dying”. I also received referrals for people with breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, brain cancer, and other malignancies. Difficulties with word finding, remembering names, swallowing, and wanting to be a “Jazz Singer” once again were recognised by my team as a flag to refer to speech pathology. The Speech Pathologist plays a vital role in the cancer survivorship team. From preventing aspiration pneumonia, to giving survivors a voice. A loud voice.

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© Copyright 2019 Morressier GmbH. All rights reserved.

© Copyright 2019 Morressier GmbH.
All rights reserved.