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Dear Readers,

As I mentioned on the WELCOME PAGE, I started this site on November 9, 2013—five days after being diagnosed with what turned out to be Stage 1b, Grade 3 uterine (endometrial) cancer. During the course of my treatment, I have described my surgery—total robotic hysterectomy, vaginal radiation (brachytherapy), and follow-up care—both as a healthcare participant and as a medical writer and editor. In addition, I have explored other medical and well-being topics, some of them based on the experiences of others.

For those browsing the blog, it will become apparent very quickly why it is named “The Patient Path”—it is just that, literally and metaphorically. It is about us—the patients who are the consumers of healthcare and all it has to offer. And it is about how we benefit from that healthcare—by patiently educating ourselves so we can become empowered decision-makers and the most important members of our healthcare teams.

Occasionally, someone will leave a comment in a blog post or use the CONTACT FORM. More often, I hear from people by email or on social media. Sometimes, and all too rarely, people talk with me on the phone or meet with me in person. Much of the information that others share with me could benefit the wide spectrum of our readers from all over the world (take a look at the Flag Counter in the right sidebar). As I know from my own experience, finding reliable information when you are having a specific problem that is not explored in traditional resources, which are generic by nature, or that is not explained—and even worse, dismissed—by doctors and other practitioners, who often don’t realize how the world looks from the patient’s perspective, can be frustrating. We are people, not statistics. And so our stories and situations will vary widely. And that’s why we need to offer one another support.

I hope you will share your experiences, as well as your tips for navigating the various courses of treatments and therapies available to help us live well and long. And this includes alternative medical philosophies and commonsense suggestions for living a healthful, beautiful life. You can participate in any way you wish, and I will collect stories and post them in this section of the blog as appropriate—being careful to honor requests for privacy and anonymity:

  • Leave a Comment following a blog post. Comments will be visible to everyone, but you can identify yourself or not, as you choose.
  • Use the CONTACT FORM if you prefer to be in touch with me behind the scenes. The information you share will be public only if I put in on the blog myself, and you can remain anonymous or be named, as you choose.
  • Contact me directly at pcontractor@thepatientpath.net if you wish to keep your information totally off the grid. We can also arrange a telephone call if you’d like your story to be told but prefer not to write it yourself.

It is important to note that although I am not a healthcare professional, I do have a lot of experience with the healthcare community as a consumer/patient and as one who has worked in the periphery of medicine during much of her editing and writing career. This blog is intended to provide not only my personal history, but—even more important—information, resources, and tools that will help people fully participate in their own care. However, it is not intended to offer medical advice or to advocate courses of treatment. Always seek professional help when managing a medical or health problem. 

Therefore, I also hope my friends and colleagues in the healthcare field will contribute their knowledge and perspectives along with you, the healthcare consumers whom this information is intended to benefit.

In the coming months, I hope to develop a database where women can go to anonymously report symptoms, side effects, and other information about their experiences with uterine cancer and treatment. Meanwhile, let’s face our health and well-being challenges together as informed consumers of all that our healthcare systems and practitioners—both traditional and alternative—have to offer us. And above all, let’s learn to be our own source of healing, for ourselves and others.

Best wishes to everyone on “The Patient Path.” You are not walking it alone.

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