Manage episode 376715966 series 2956476
Welcome back to an emotionally charged episode of Brainbeat, as your host, Pete Stavinoha, guides you through an extraordinary journey, shining a spotlight on the formidable challenges of battling brain cancer. Our guest, Dr. Tresa Roebuck Spencer, a distinguished board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, brings with her a unique perspective, having transitioned from clinician to patient when diagnosed with glioblastoma in October 2020. As a former President of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, her insights resonate deeply, making this episode an inspiring exploration of hope, resilience, and patient advocacy in the face of adversity.
Dr. Roebuck Spencer's journey unfolds as a poignant story of unexpected health turmoil that disrupted her life while she was diligently working as a neuropsychologist. Her remarkable account takes listeners on a gripping odyssey through numerous surgeries, radiation treatments, chemotherapy, and clinical trials, offering a comprehensive view of the intricate landscape of brain cancer care. What sets this episode apart is Dr. Roebuck Spencer's dual role as both clinician and patient, providing a profound understanding of the patient experience. Amid her journey, she shares invaluable insights into coping strategies, the importance of mental health awareness, and the significance of transparent communication with healthcare providers. Dr. Roebuck Spencer's story, as shared here today, serves as a poignant reminder that, even in the face of daunting challenges, the human spirit can find strength, hope, and a rekindled appreciation for life. For more on this story, please visit the recent BrainWise article, From Expert to Patient.
- Dr. Roebuck Spencer's unexpected health crisis that unfolded during a typical workday
- Her unique perspective as a neuropsychologist and patient
- Dr. Roebuck Spencer's treatment odyssey
- Her coping strategies
- The impact of Dr. Roebuck Spencer’s diagnosis on her family
- The integral role of maintaining a sense of normalcy and engaging in social and physical activities
- Advice for clinicians
"Awareness is very good because it has allowed me to compensate quite well."
"I now understand why patients always wanted to show me their pictures."
"I'm not the normal patient in that I'm asking them for strategies.”
"You certainly want clinicians to understand you as a person in a holistic way, not just who you are now going through an illness, but who you were before and how that affects you now."
"I think the awareness is a blessing because I am able to stay more independent, because I'm able to compensate because of that awareness."
"Don't make assumptions about your patient just because they've had brain injury or brain surgery and they may or may not be in a wheelchair or using a cane. Don't assume they're cognitively impaired, either in part or in whole."
National Academy of Neuropsychology Foundation website