Julie Adams, a bohemian free spirit who likes to challenge the status quo in healthcare, and Lorna Cook, a dynamic powerhouse of networking and marketing energy, founded chemo@home in 2013. We are passionate about growing chemo@home across Australia; aiming to provide true patient centred care to cancer and chronic illness patients and their families. This blog is partly health information and partly a reflection of our personal experiences and opinions. Happy reading. www.chemoathome.com.au
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How to End a Relationship by Not Eating Grapes
I don't much like shopping. Not for food, clothes,
homewares, furniture, cars or houses. But give me a cause, a reason to think
more deeply and then I become a passionate shopper. The ultimate
Being a conscious consumer is defined as having an
increased awareness of the impact of purchasing decisions on the environment
and on health and life in general.
It is of course a double-edged sword. No decision can be made on
the spur of the moment, far too much thought needs to go into every
purchase. The joy, however, from having purchased an item that attains
the level of accountability I demand is immense.
It started years ago with "buy Australian". Something
which has turned into Australian made, Australian owned, Australian produce...
oh and even if it is Australian I want it as local as possible.
I support brands, the ones that disappear one by one on our
duopolies shelves, who look after the environment, who understand their supply
Carbon neutral, eco-friendly, sustainable, deforestation, workers
conditions in third world countries, culturally aware, natural fibres, low
waste, free range, pole and line caught, against animal testing, the list goes
The downside to this obsession, the joy of conscious shopping, is
that it is a nightmare for others to shop with me. Really, it's a stiff drink
after experience, for most. Ask my friends who left me in the juice isle
of IGA when we were on holidays. They finished all our shopping whilst I
was choosing a juice which met my exacting standards. I do think though,
that shopping with me is an "educational experience". The same gorgeous
friends will now send me a photo of their purchases when shopping, just to let
me know they are doing their bit.
It may have even ended a budding relationship. I declared I
couldn't eat grapes in winter to my new beau (no judgement if you do!), they
weren't in season, and were only available because they were imported.
Alas, my phone went cold. My inability to eat an out of season fruit became the
"Grapes of Wrath".
chemo@home tries whenever possible, to be a conscious
consumer. Hospitals and day-units have a huge carbon footprint.
They use lots of resources and produce lots of waste. Our patients are
also helping the environment by not driving their cars to the hospital or
day-unit. One nurse traveling to them, seeing 4-5 patients a day, instead
of 4-5 patients traveling to the hospital. Saving fossil fuels, reducing pollution.
As for this little ole conscious consumer, I can't wait to
discover the next brand that delights my senses by ticking all the boxes on my
hefty list. Julie
I am frequently
asked, as a pharmacist who specialises in cancer medicine, what do I think
about the use of marijuana for medical conditions?
I often reflect back
to dispensing dronabinol (a synthetic THC product) for chemotherapy induced
nausea and HIV related wasting syndrome, when I first started working as a
pharmacist in a hospital in the early 90s. Back then it was no big
deal, the hospital pharmacy imported the medication from overseas, just like we
did many other medications which were not marketed in Australia, and supplied
it on a doctor’s prescription. We didn’t stop
supplying it because it was difficult to get hold of, rather it just wasn’t
very useful any more. New anti-nausea medications came on the
market, and these were much more effective at controlling the nausea and
vomiting associated with chemotherapy, and, a new class of medications known as
antiretrovirals became available and these were so effective at treating HIV we
thankfully were no longer seeing the devast…
When I am asked why we started chemo@home, I often talk
about how when my Dad was sick, some 20 odd years ago, that there was no “@home”
services but that I was lucky enough to work in a hospital where the nursing
staff taught me (the pharmacist) how to give the antibiotics my Dad needed, and
this allowed us to take him home over Christmas. This was to be his last Christmas with us and
I am forever grateful that he spent it with us, his family, at home, and not in
a hospital. This is absolutely true.There are however, two other reasons that I was led down this path.Today I’ll talk about one of these. I've worked in a number of hospitals, both public and private, for
around 25 years.I loved everything
about working in a hospital.There is a comradery
amongst the staff, one which is built on working hard, doing a difficult job
under challenging circumstances, which is hard to find outside of a hospital
environment.I think, maybe, serving in the
military may provide a similar feeling. …
Have you ever believed in something, something you thought everyone else believed in as well; only to find out that in fact nothing could be further from the truth? Just after we started chemo@home 5 years ago, a very high up health executive said to us during a meeting, "It's not about the patients, don't bring emotion into this". It was possibly the first time (but definitely not the last time) that such a jaw dropping statement like this was said to us. We had started chemo@home on the entire principle that treatment WAS ALL ABOUT THE PATIENT. For us, the patient and their family are at the centre of everything we do. Their choices, about their treatment, is what matters most. To find out that there were health managers and executives who put other concerns before the patient was, for us, mind blowing. What are these concerns you might ask.... well let’s just say that a lot of emphasis is placed on a health services "activity", the number of staff they …