After the Cure

Our healthcare system is filled with caring, committed professionals. If we are honest, however, we all must realize that there are shortcomings…places we could have done or could do better, whether that is in how care is delivered, how spaces are designed, or how lives are impacted.

A Cancer Patient’s Story

Suleika Jaouad recently wrote about her experiences as a 26-year old cancer patient whose leukemia was recently declared to be in remission, and how her struggles continue. Most of her army of support, feeling the battle won, has fallen away. Suleika, however, must adjust to some lasting changes to her life, and she no longer really knows who she is. The system that was so engaged to defeat a disease, is now failing her as a person. You can read her own account by clicking here.

Where Does This Lead Us?

Can we find a way to care for and treat the whole person, and not just the disease? How do we guard against dropping away or shifting our focus when the specific disease has been defeated, when the “cured” person is still challenged by new unfolding realities and anxieties about the future?

As healthcare professionals, have you seen situations like this? And if you think the answer is no, is it possible you simply missed them?

And as healthcare architects, are we creating the types of environments that will foster deeper communication between providers and patients? Are there other ways we can help?

Much to consider.