"Care Navigation is there. Avail yourself. They will save your life."
He readily admits now he was sorely mistaken.
After being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2011 and scheduled for a radical prostatectomy, Anthony Lawson of West Stockbridge initially resisted outreach from BMC’s Care Navigation team, which stands ready to guide all cancer patients through every step of the process, from diagnosis through treatment and rehabilitation.
“I told them it wouldn’t be necessary. I’ve always taken care of myself and didn’t think I’d need any help.”
Before surgery, he eventually agreed – reluctantly – to arrange some post-surgical support through Care Navigation and the Berkshire Visiting Nurse Association. And he’s sure glad he did.
“Unbeknownst to me, it knocked me on my you-know-what,” said Lawson, 62, a retired special education teacher. “I was just plain stopped in my tracks. I wouldn’t have known what to do, where to go, or who to see. What doctor am I seeing? Which one is he? Which medication is for what? It would have been a maze of confusion.”
Care navigators provide clarity and continuity at a time cancer patients need it most. They’re part of an entire team of highly skilled medical professionals dedicated to cancer care at BMC. Working with the Berkshire VNA and others, they streamline the appointment process, reinforce information and education, and connect patients to vital nutrition, financial, and other support services.
“They were my support. They thought of everything.” To this day, he still receives calls from Care Navigation’s Daniel Borgia-Forster, RN, asking how he’s doing. “There's no other reason for him to do that other than that he genuinely, personally cares.”