By Ray Posey
Patient Advisor, Patient and Family Advisory Program
Every day at 2 p.m., Moffitt Cancer Center offers a virtual Patient and Family Orientation for patients and their families. Some sessions are presented by patient library team members and others are presented by volunteers from the Patient and Family Advisory Program. These presentations provide information about Moffitt, resources available to patients and caregivers, services offered, and how to navigate their many buildings and campuses.
Four years ago, when I first became a Moffitt patient, I learned how disorienting a cancer diagnosis can be. I had surgery and an overnight stay at the Magnolia campus, but I had only been there once before while my wife had never visited. We did not receive an orientation and it was especially challenging for my wife to find her way around.
After becoming a patient advisor, I remembered my own experiences and readily volunteered to present orientation. I’m able to provide a patient’s perspective for new patients and I hope my excellent experience at Moffitt can help ease some of the tension newly diagnosed patients might feel. I believe that if I can at least remove the worry about simple things, like where to park or how to find your way to the first appointment, then I’m helping new patients cope.
Not long ago during an orientation session, a new patient who was clearly anxious about her upcoming appointment asked me what her first appointment would be like an appointment at Moffitt and what I thought would be the range of possibilities. I went on to acknowledge how gut-wrenching the time between a cancer diagnosis and the beginning of treatment can be.
You know your body has turned on you and you can’t wait to fight back. But you’re left worrying that every day that passes is an opportunity lost and time for the disease to advance. Hearing that from another patient seemed to help her.
Patient and Family Orientation can help reduce this kind of stress and prepare new patients for their first visit to Moffitt.
Visit our Patient and Family Orientation page for more information or call 813-745-1690.