"Cheryl is an excellent medical advocate. When I needed assistance to deal with a sudden diagnosis of lung cancer, I am so glad Cheryl was there.
I was not in a position to deal with the medical bureaucracy on my own. In fact, I got so overwhelmed that I canceled my surgery. It’s not easy for me to ask for help. I found Cheryl’s web page and was very impressed with her qualifications and her philosophy of helping others. When we met for an initial consultation, I found Cheryl to be true to her description of herself. She is friendly, knowledgeable and empathetic.
Cheryl immediately began working on my behalf. She researched medical centers and surgeons and sent me what she discovered. She always appreciated my feedback and direction. When I decided on how I wanted to proceed, Cheryl made appointments and gave advice on what I should ask the surgeon. When I needed to make my needs clear to the medical staff, Cheryl was not afraid to advocate for me and get my particular circumstances addressed. Cheryl was also very responsive to my questions, proactive and kept my medical journey moving swiftly. All the while maintaining a friendly, professional relationship. After additional consultation with the surgeon, I felt comfortable proceeding with surgery.
The day I had my lung surgery, Cheryl was there to help with my recovery. Cheryl interacted with the nursing staff, making sure that I was being attended to as needed. Cheryl interpreted the nurses’ findings for me when they checked my vital signs. When I had questions about my treatment, Cheryl immediately advocated for me. Cheryl also speeded up my recovery by using her medical training to help me get up and walk and encouraged me to do my breathing exercises. She helped me continuously until my discharge from the hospital. I believe that Cheryl’s medical assistance was key to my successful recovery.
Cheryl also helped me after I left the medical center. She communicated with me regularly to check on my recovery. She accompanied me to check up visits with the surgeon and interpreted the surgeon’s explanation of my condition. The surgery was completely successful and I am now CANCER FREE.
I can’t imagine that anyone else could have helped me as well. Thank you, Cheryl!"
Cheryl here: Thank you so much for the kind words, Bruce. It was a true honor to help you! Bruce is also an amateur photographer. He shared his unique perspective with me and the photo accompanying this post is his. Thanks, Bruce!
"I was feeling overwhelmed not knowing how to navigate the health care system in order to best support my mom and advocate for her care. Cheryl decreased my stress level and gave me tangible recommendations regarding what type of specialist would be appropriate for the situation while coaching me on specific questions we could ask. I appreciated her calm presence during our consultation and felt confident that her knowledge and experience would help guide us on the next steps to take."
"Cheryl gave our family simple, concrete suggestions for how to keep our dad as safe and happy as possible at home despite his dementia. It was valuable to get outside ideas from a professional."
"I consulted with Cheryl prior to a planned joint replacement. She let me know what to expect after surgery and had suggestions for how to prepare my home. She also taught my husband and me about the services available in a nursing rehab facility. Silly me, I had thought that those were only places where people went to die. She encouraged me to visit numerous facilities and had advice about what to look for and what questions to ask. Indeed, while recuperating in the hospital, I decided that a rehab facility would ease the transition home. I'm so glad I made that decision! I took the same route years later when I had the other joint replaced."
"I first benefited from Cheryl’s expertise in 2007 when my mom was hospitalized after a short illness. Her health rapidly deteriorated. Family was scattered throughout the country and we all felt distanced, overwhelmed, and lost. Cheryl met with the doctors and nurses to understand how the medical work-up was going, what diagnoses were being considered, and what potential treatment options might be. She submitted frequent written updates to family – in clear language that we could all understand despite our various careers (retail manager, accountant, architect, and electrician). Receiving updates by email ensured that we all got the same info at the same time, and that we could read and reread it as necessary. I was amazed at how clearly she communicated the complex medical information. I called her a “Medical Code Talker!” She assisted Mom at the bedside: she helped Mom voice her needs and concerns and fears. She advocated for Mom’s pain management needs. One very important thing she helped us with was clarifying Mom’s code status. Mom didn’t fully understand the questions she’d been asked and had declared herself to be No Code. Cheryl explained to Mom and to family that this might not be appropriate for someone who had recently been a healthy, happy, golfing retiree. Mom changed her code status, survived a night in the ICU (Cheryl remained at the bedside throughout), and went on to a successful discharge.
Two years later we again needed Cheryl’s services. Mom had been diagnosed with late-stage, aggressive cancer. The doctors immediately began aggressive chemo, which had devastating side effects. Mom was scared and in horrible pain, and reluctant to tell us, her husband, and her medical team that she did not want to continue treatment. Cheryl helped Mom clarify and express her desires, and helped the family understand and accept them. Yet again, Mom’s code status needed to be considered. This time she was listed as a Full Code, which meant that she would have been subjected to CPR, intubation, and all manner of procedures should she go into heart or respiratory failure. Cheryl facilitated communication of her desires to the family and the team and her code status was changed to DNR (do not resuscitate). Mom and our family were blessed to spend her last days in peace, receiving palliative pain management, having hospital slumber parties, and saying goodbye on mom’s terms.
I have since had my own health crisis and Cheryl helped me with the many out-patient appointments and therapy required after a hospitalization. She organized an avalanche of paperwork to facilitate tracking my bills, insurance notices, and payments.
She is an invaluable person to have on your team when the proverbial #*&! hits the fan."