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Retirement. One word, a milestone that awards one who has worked hard and sacriﬁced so much to do the things they love most — no schedules, kick back and relax, and perhaps discover new adventures never before imagined. It was oﬃcial for my husband, Ed, on December 10, 2018.
This dream was shattered when Ed learned in January 2019 that the test showed he had throat cancer, and the vision he had of retirement turned to shock and disbelief. Ed was now faced with doctor appointments and tests to get through this diagnosis. I was faced with being an advocate for him and a caregiver. We were both scared.
ConnectCare3 (CC3) was just another beneﬁt available to Susquehanna University employees, and one I never took advantage of until Ed learned he had cancer. CC3 took away some of my fears as an advocate and caregiver.
My ﬁrst contact with a CC3 Patient Advocate was met with compassion, understanding, and relief. I was informed there would be a Nurse Navigator assigned to us who would help answer any questions we had about Ed’s diagnosis and the devastating journey he faced.
The CC3 Nurse Navigator emailed us immediately to get information regarding our initial consultation with Ed’s oncology team. A day later, she emailed me a list of questions for each doctor who would be involved in Ed’s treatment.
The CC3 Nurse Navigator not only sent us questions to ask the oncology team, but made the trip to be with us at the consultation. She empowered me with the right questions to ask, but it was soon apparent that I needed her to take over once the consultation began, as Ed and I were both overwhelmed. Our CC3 Nurse Navigator picked up on that and immediately took over asking the questions and writing notes. A day or so later, after the consultation, she sent us a detailed summary of our consultation. This summary was so helpful when family and friends asked Ed and I questions. I would never have been able to compile a report of that kind on my own.
Ed went through aggressive radiation and chemo treatments that began in February. In July, he was declared cancer-free! Our CC3 Nurse Navigator continued to check in with us to see how Ed was doing and to oﬀer her help wherever needed.
Ed and I will be forever grateful to Susquehanna University for oﬀering their employees such a vital service like ConnectCare3, and to ConnectCare3 for providing us with such a wonderful and caring nurse navigator. Thank you!