Posted on June 5, 2015 by Judith Morley
National Cancer Survivors Day is June 7. As a cancer survivor, I am marking this a special day by sharing my story of how digital health helped me throughout my cancer journey.
I had never heard of digital health when a routine colonoscopy led to a devastating cancer diagnosis in January 2008. By the time I was declared cancer-free seven years later, I was not only an avid user of digital health, I wouldn’t dream of giving it up.
Four days after my diagnosis, my husband David and I met with the oncology team. Together, we planned out what would be our new lives for the foreseeable future, and we signed on to be part of the hospital’s digital health program, which provided me, my family and my authorized clinicians with secure access to my medical information.
Those early days were a whirlwind of activity for me. My diagnosis led to gruelling tests, visits to many doctors, and appointments with multiple technicians at numerous care facilities.
Still in shock from my diagnosis, the volume of medical information that was generated at these appointments overwhelmed me. But my family reviewed my medical information and progress securely online, and kept in contact with members of my care team, who provided clarification or answered questions as needed.
In hindsight, digital health gave my family hope at a time when I was overcome with anger and grief, and was unable to grasp what was happening to me, let alone focus on the value of digital health.
It was while undergoing treatment, including chemotherapy, radiation and multiple surgeries, that I realized the potential of digital health to help me through my cancer journey.
Digital health allowed me to process, on my terms, the vast amount of information I was being given. It helped me, and my family, to feel empowered. We were no longer just going along for the ride. We were now part of the plan to get me well again, and this helped me get through my care regimen.
Today, I am cancer-free. While I haven’t looked back since conquering my battle with cancer, I am grateful that the experience led me to digital health.
Today I am healthy, and I am in charge of my ongoing wellness. With digital health serving as my security blanket, I feel more confident and empowered about managing my wellness than ever before.
To learn more about how digital health is working for you, visit BetterHealthTogether.ca.
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Judith Morley is a cancer survivor. Having experienced the personal benefit of digital health in her care, she is sharing her story with Canadians.