How second opinion helped save Coast blood cancer patient
AFTER being told she didn’t require treatment for a slow-developing blood cancer, Toogoom’s Jenny Von Pein was determined to get a second opinion.
Jenny had been diagnosed with a condition called chronic lymphocytic leukaemia after a routine blood test.
Initially, Jenny was told she didn’t require any immediate treatment and was put on a list to watch and wait, she decided to get another opinion when she was diagnosed with an additional auto-immune condition.
“I got in contact with Sheila, a Leukaemia Foundation blood cancer co-ordinator when I decided to switch to the public system,” she said.
“I needed to go where the most valid knowledge was, and if necessary where the clinical trials were.”
Dry July have awarded funds to the Leukaemia Foundation that enabled them to continue to provide cancer patients access to blood cancer co-ordinators who provide support and information to cancer patients going through a difficult time.
Dry July donations topped $10 million for 2020, with over 38,000 Aussies going dry to raise fund for those affected by cancer.
Shelia took Jenny through the terminology, what to expect with the treatment and what it meant to have chronic leukaemia.
She provided Jenny with the name of a doctor who she said had been her “absolute saving grace”.
Having to travel four hours from her hometown for treatment, Shelia also helped Jenny to access a patient travel subsidy scheme and find appropriate accommodation.
“You don’t know what you don’t know,” Jenny said.
“Shelia was just excellent; she was in constant contact with me throughout the whole journey. “Shelia has eased my anxiety over the travel to treatment and through chemotherapy.”
Jenny was recently told she is blood cancer-free and is feeling grateful for all the support she received to find the right treatment pathway for her.