We see so many patients every day, every week – we’re hopefully helping thousands of patients throughout our careers as OncoPTs. But what can sometimes get lost is that patients often only see one of us: one oncologist, one (or two surgeons, depending), one physical therapist. We know our stuff because we see it all the time! Not the case for patients, & they can often feel like they’re being thrown from one treatment to the next, without much patient input.
What is crucial & missing many times is shared decision making with patients. Yes, we as OncoPTs can help make this part of the standard care for patients with cancer. How? Glad you asked.
Terri Coutee is the founder & director of DiepC Foundation, which educates & supports patients on their mastectomy & reconstruction (or not) journey. Through her experience as a two-time breast cancer survivor & facilitator of this amazing platform, she is helping patients learn & take an active role in their oncology treatment journey. In our interview today, Terri provides amazing insight into her own treatment journey & how we as OncoPTs can help our patients buy-in & be a participating member of their oncology team.
Terri is a two-time breast cancer survivor. After a double mastectomy she had successful DIEP flap breast reconstruction. She continues her profession as a long-time educator and is the Founder and Director of the nonprofit (501c3), DiepCFoundation.org. She serves as a patient advocate for those in need of education, support, and resources for all options of breast reconstruction after mastectomy.