[{"command":"settings","settings":{"basePath":"\/","pathPrefix":"","ajaxPageState":{"theme":"mbctime","theme_token":"rCW3CX5Q1NtR3QZIkAiOPBNQ9H_VPlw5CmbpvfFkqWw","jquery_version":"1.10"},"colorbox":{"opacity":"0.85","current":"{current} of {total}","previous":"\u00ab Prev","next":"Next \u00bb","close":"Close","maxWidth":"98%","maxHeight":"98%","fixed":true,"mobiledetect":true,"mobiledevicewidth":"480px"},"CToolsModal":{"modalSize":{"type":"fixed"},"modalOptions":[],"closeText":"close","loadingText":"","animation":"fadeIn","animationSpeed":"fast","modalTheme":"CToolsSampleModal","throbber":""}},"merge":true},{"command":"modal_display","title":"","output":"\u003Cdiv id=\u0022ctools-sample\u0022\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\u0022view view-user-profile-front view-id-user_profile_front view-display-id-page_1 view-dom-id-d565c295da3c2913c2c03a1199d971a8\u0022\u003E\n \n \n \n \u003Cdiv class=\u0022view-content\u0022\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\u0022views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first views-row-last\u0022\u003E\n \n \u003Cdiv class=\u0022views-field views-field-nothing\u0022\u003E \u003Cspan class=\u0022field-content\u0022\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\u0027profile-images\u0027\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\u0022image1\u0022\u003E\u003Cimg src=\u0022https:\/\/www.mbctime.ca\/sites\/default\/files\/mary-lou1.png\u0022 width=\u0022325\u0022 height=\u0022325\u0022 alt=\u0022\u0022 \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\u0022image2\u0022\u003E\u003Cimg src=\u0022https:\/\/www.mbctime.ca\/sites\/default\/files\/mary-lou2.png\u0022 width=\u0022325\u0022 height=\u0022325\u0022 alt=\u0022\u0022 \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\u0022image3\u0022\u003E\u003Cimg src=\u0022https:\/\/www.mbctime.ca\/sites\/default\/files\/mary-lou3.png\u0022 width=\u0022325\u0022 height=\u0022325\u0022 alt=\u0022\u0022 \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003Ch2 class=\u0022profile-title\u0022\u003EMary Lou \u003C\/h2\u003E\n\u003Cdiv class=\u0027profile-story\u0027\u003E\u003Cp\u003EIn 2005 I applied for a new position in our hospital cancer care program called a medication resource specialist. At the time it was considered novel and a very different type of role for a social worker. Today the role is very common in cancer care. Many people know it by the term Drug Access Navigator. There are now dozens of people across the country from a variety of health backgrounds working in these roles to support patients with cancer. Our job is to try and help ease the burden on patients in coordinating coverage for prescription drugs. In many provinces this includes coverage for cancer treatments. We help patients, including many different types of breast cancer patients, figure out how they\u2019re going to get access to the prescription drugs they need. When I started the role I quickly learned that there were many gaps and inconsistencies in the system. It hasn\u2019t changed. If anything, our system has become more complicated to navigate.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003Cp\u003EOur drug coverage system is very fragmented in Canada. Although we have cancer treatment guidelines that are followed by physicians, treatment can actually be very different from person to person because there\u2019s no guarantee that the specific drugs a patient needs will be covered by their drug plan. Most patients don\u2019t realize this and it is very stressful to learn about it at the start of cancer care. I can\u2019t tell you how many conversations I\u2019ve had where I hear, \u2018wow, I didn\u2019t know that!\u2019 It creates inconsistencies. One person may have seamless access to their treatment, while another person has to wait for weeks. I started to make connections between the gaps in drug treatment access I saw every day and the policies that helped create those gaps. Much of my focus now is in bringing attention to those policy gaps that exist in Canada.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003Cp\u003EI worked with women diagnosed with mBC to help them access drug plan coverage for support, and treatment drugs. Many of the intravenous drug therapies like chemo are covered by provincial budgets, but in many parts of Canada the drugs taken at home are not. Thanks to research, women with breast cancer are living longer. They are moving through different treatments as their cancer progresses and they need different drugs to manage symptoms. I witnessed women living with mBC who defied the odds even though they were living with incredible amounts of fatigue, confusion and pain, they still kept on going day after day. I have seen many women who attempted to return to work and many who used the experience of their diagnosis to seek out a new life for themselves \u2013 something they loved doing that would help them get through the day. I have been astounded by the women I have met in my practice and the courage they have to get through every day.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003Cp\u003EI also started seeing more women diagnosed with mBC at a younger age. These women were often in vulnerable positions related to their jobs, childcare, and benefits. The population is changing in Canada. More people are working in contract positions, independently and working freelance. I started seeing a lot more women like this in my practise, women who had very little stability in their benefits or what they had to fall back on. Many lived alone. These younger self-employed women are much more vulnerable when they get a diagnosis of mBC.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003Cp\u003EWhen working with women with early stage breast cancer, my focus was primarily on helping them get what they needed to ease their chemo treatment, whereas, when helping women living with mBC my job was all about helping them manage the disease over time and through the various symptoms they would experience as a result of chemo or radiation. I noticed more and more younger women were running into situations where they either had a small amount of insurance that wouldn\u2019t cover everything they needed or would lose their insurance completely. Sadly, many people don\u2019t know what their benefits are until they need them.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003Cp\u003EWhen talking to metastatic patients I try to help them understand they won\u2019t be able to predict or control everything that happens to them in terms of their benefits. Some things like how much of a drug\u2019s cost will be covered, how long it will take to figure out coverage, and how far the plan will go for them may come as a total surprise to many patients. But women with mBC should all know there are people in their hospital that can help them figure it out. They don\u2019t have to do it alone.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003Cp\u003EI don\u2019t think as a society we have completely shifted our mindset about cancer yet. The majority of cancer now is something that people are living with for much longer periods of time. People need to start shifting their perception of cancer to start thinking of it in a more chronic care type model. Many women have told me that the experience of living with metastatic disease on an ongoing basis can be different from dealing with cancer that is more acute in nature. The women I\u2019ve seen with early stage breast cancer who have passed through treatment and moved into survivorship tell me they always think what \u003Cnobr\u003Eif \u2013 what\u003C\/nobr\u003E if it comes back? With the women I\u2019ve helped living with mBC, well, they think what\u2019s next? They\u2019re living with cancer. Every day.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E \u003C\/div\u003E \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \n \n \n \n \n \n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\u0022item-list\u0022\u003E\u003Cul\u003E\u003Cli class=\u0022first\u0022\u003E\u003Ca href=\u0022\/pfe_user_story\/ajax\/101\u0022 class=\u0022use-ajax prev\u0022 title=\u0022\u0022\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/li\u003E\n\u003Cli class=\u0022last\u0022\u003E\u003Ca href=\u0022\/pfe_user_story\/ajax\/30\u0022 class=\u0022use-ajax next\u0022 title=\u0022\u0022\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/li\u003E\n\u003C\/ul\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E"}]