Out of a Diagnosis, a Friendship

When Brian received a diagnosis of esophageal cancer, he didn’t foresee the loss of appetite, the pain caused by the tumor and a time when he couldn’t swallow or didn’t want to eat. At every new turn, the journey seemed overwhelming and Brian and his wife Stacey thought they would travel this road alone—until they met Charlene.

A supportive guide

As Brian’s nurse navigator, Charlene anticipated the obstacles ahead—because that’s her job. She made multiple physician appointments, completed piles of paperwork, orchestrated medication changes and ensured timely coordination of care.

At the same time, Charlene talked to Brian about the highs and lows of his cancer journey and reinforced that one day he would find joy again. Despite his shy personality, Charlene and Brian grew to know one another throughout weeks of cancer treatments and frequent check-in calls.

On the other side of a diagnosis

Brian endured daily radiation treatments, weekly chemotherapy sessions and IV infusions every other day. “I was so inspired by Brian’s courage and how he bravely faced his treatments,” says Charlene.

The cancer treatments are finished now and Brian is back to the life he once knew, but during his last appointment with Charlene, he had one request: “Please keep calling me. It means so much to me.”