Jo, the Macmillan nurse asks Alex where she would like to meet. They meet at Alex’s home and over a cup of tea, Jo explains the care and support planning process – the preparation, conversation and other stages, and how it could help Alex.
They develop a relationship map, which includes all the important people in Alex’s life, including professionals. They discuss which of the professionals she should gather information from and who Alex would like to help her prepare for the conversation. Alex wants to involve her family –husband Ab, and daughter Armani.
Jo explains that there are a range of resources that can help – from workbooks, to videos, conversation cards, and step-by-step guides, and a website developed by people affected by cancer.
Jo asks Alex how she’d like to receive information and when and how often they should meet before the conversation.
Preparation by Alex:
Alex, Ab and Armani have several sessions around the kitchen table, thinking about what is important to Alex.
One of the videos they watch includes someone talking about a one-page profile and Alex follows a website link and develops her own profile. Alex is not as fit and active as she would like. She wants to find a way to manage her reaction to headaches or other aches and pains so that she stops imagining that the cancer has returned and can get on with her life.
Preparation by the practitioner:
Jo talks to the GP and other people supporting Alex to learn what is and isn’t working and to check that she is up to date with any assessments or health reviews. Alex uses Maggie’s, a local centre for people affected by cancer. She’d like the lead person Hazel to be involved in the conversation, as well as her Macmillan nurse Jo.