It Normally takes a Staff: A Health practitioner With Terminal Cancer Depends on a Shut-Knit Team in Her Remaining Times

[Editor’s note: Dr. Susan Massad, who is featured in this story, died Nov. 29.]

The decisions have been intestine-wrenching. Ought to she try another round of chemotherapy, even while she scarcely tolerated the past one? Need to she continue ingesting, although it’s finding tricky? Really should she take additional painkillers, even if she ends up greatly sedated?

Dr. Susan Massad, 83, has been generating these selections with a group of close friends and family members — a “health team” she made in 2014 soon after studying her breast cancer experienced metastasized to her spine. Considering that then, medical doctors have identified most cancers in her colon and pancreas, much too.

Now, as Massad lies dying at house in New York Metropolis, the group is concentrated on how she would like to are living by means of her last weeks. It’s recognized this is a mutual problem, not hers by itself. Or, as Massad explained to me, “Health is about a lot more than the individual. It’s a thing that people today do together.”

Initially, 5 of Massad’s team users lived with her in a Greenwich Village brownstone she acquired with good friends in 1993. They are in their 60s or 70s and have recognised one a further a lengthy time. Previously this 12 months, Massad’s two daughters and 4 other close close friends joined the team when she was thinking about an additional spherical of chemotherapy.

Massad ended up indicating “no” to that alternative in September right after weighing the team’s enter and consulting with a medical professional who researches remedies on her behalf. Several weeks ago, she stopped ingesting — a final decision she also created with the group. A hospice nurse visits weekly, and an aide arrives five several hours a day.

Any person with a question or problem is totally free to raise it with the team, which fulfills now “as wanted.” The team does not exist just for Massad, spelled out Kate Henselmans, her lover, “it’s about our collective nicely-getting.” And it’s not just about crew members’ professional medical problems it is about “wellness” substantially far more broadly outlined.

Massad, a principal care physician, very first embraced the thought of a “health team” in the mid-1980s, when a college professor she realized was diagnosed with metastatic most cancers. Massad was deeply included in neighborhood organizing in New York Metropolis, and this professor was section of these circles. A self-professed loner, the professor said she preferred deeper connections to other individuals all through the very last stage of her daily life.

Massad joined with the woman’s social therapist and two of her shut close friends to present assistance. (Social remedy is a type of group remedy.) More than the subsequent three years, they assisted manage the woman’s actual physical and psychological symptoms, accompanied her to doctors’ visits and mobilized close friends to make certain she was not often by yourself.

As phrase bought out about this “let’s do this together” product, dozens of Massad’s good friends and

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New CA law takes aim at long wait times for mental health care : Shots

When Greta Christina heard that Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians were staging a protest on Oct. 13, 2019, over long wait times for therapy, she made her own sign and showed up to support them. She’s had to wait up to six weeks between therapy appointments for her depression.

Ingrid Nelson


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Ingrid Nelson


When Greta Christina heard that Kaiser Permanente mental health clinicians were staging a protest on Oct. 13, 2019, over long wait times for therapy, she made her own sign and showed up to support them. She’s had to wait up to six weeks between therapy appointments for her depression.

Ingrid Nelson

When Greta Christina fell into a deep depression five years ago, she called up her therapist in San Francisco — someone she’d had a great connection with when she needed therapy in the past. And she was delighted to find out that he was now “in network” with her insurance company, meaning she wouldn’t have to pay out of pocket anymore to see him.

But her excitement was short-lived. Over time, Christina’s appointments with the therapist went from every two weeks, to every four weeks, to every five or six.

“To tell somebody with serious, chronic, disabling depression that they can only see their therapist every five or six weeks is like telling somebody with a broken leg that they can only see their physical therapist every five or six weeks,” she says. “It’s not enough. It’s not even close to enough.”

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Then, this summer, Christina was diagnosed with breast cancer. Everything related to her cancer care — her mammogram, biopsy, surgery appointments — happened promptly, like a “well-oiled machine,” she says, while her depression care stumbled along.

“It is a hot mess,” she says. “I need to be in therapy — I have cancer! And still nothing has changed.”

A new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in October aims to fix this problem for Californians. Senate Bill 221, which passed the state Legislature with a nearly unanimous vote, requires health insurers across the state to reduce wait times for mental health care to no more than 10 business days. Six other states have similar laws limiting wait times, including Colorado, Maryland, and Texas.

Unequal access to behavioral health care is pervasive

Long waits for mental health treatment are a nationwide problem, with reports of patients waiting an average of five or six weeks for care in community clinics, at the VA, and in private offices from Maryland to Los Angeles County. Across California, half of residents surveyed said they have to wait too long to see a mental health provider when they need one.

At Kaiser Permanente, the state’s largest insurance company, 87% of therapists said weekly appointments were not available to patients who needed them, according to a survey by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, which represents Kaiser’s therapists — and was the main sponsor of the legislative bill.

“It just feels so unethical,”

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Men’s Health Fitness Editor Andrew Tracey Takes on 24 Hero WODs in 24 Hours

Photo Credit: Callum Tracey (IG: @sportsdaymedia)

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Men’s Health fitness editor Andrew Tracey is about to take on a monumental task. He will complete 24 CrossFit Hero WODs in a 24-hour timeframe for the fourth year, but he will add in an ultra-marathon as an extra challenge, according to a profile originally published in Men’s Health.

The details: Tracey will start the Herculean endeavor in rural Essex at 10 a.m. local time on Saturday, November 20. He will complete all 24 Hero WODs by 9 a.m. local time on Sunday, November 21. Tracey will tick off miles between each of the CrossFit workouts to reach his ultimate goal of completing an ultra-marathon. 

  • Tracey will not simply complete these workouts in a gym. Each portion of the ultra-marathon will continue a journey between Stansted and Stratford. His Hero WODs will take place at different locations along the route. 
  • Tracey’s final workout — Murph — will take place in East London’s Olympic Park. 

Tracey will start with the 100 muscle-ups of James Prosser before taking on Nate, which includes even more muscle-ups. The schedule continues with Hidalgo, Jerry, DT, Ricky, Mead, Bert, Joseva, Oz, Burgess McLaren, Bolger, Smudge, and Jordan.

Tracey will complete nine more Hero WODs on Sunday to cap off the schedule. The list is The Chief, Heidi, Jones, Jay, Sham, Jenny, Randy, Joseph Grzelak, and Murph. 

Raising money for charity: Tracey will complete this task to raise money for Pilgrim Bandits, the organization whose motto — “Always a little further” — originally inspired this task in 2018. Those who want to support Tracey as he takes on the Hero WODs can donate directly to Pilgrim Bandits.

Pacing is critical: Tracy’s past efforts to complete 24 Hero WODs in 24 hours have always included a mix of longer workouts and shorter, intense ones. The mix would provide him with extra time every few hours to refuel and recharge. The 2021 iteration is a different beast.

  • Tracey will have to complete two or three miles between each workout to chip away at the ultra-marathon distance. If a Hero WOD takes 50 minutes, he will only have 10 minutes to get this distance in before starting the next workout. 

“Discomfort is not found within the four walls of a gym,” Tracey told Men’s Health. “That’s just a little bit of hard work… This is about putting myself in an unknown situation where I can’t stop. And this year, more than ever, will reflect that, because there’ll be real consequences to slowing down. It’s s— or bust. You either make it to the next one, or you don’t.”

The WODs and schedule: Courtesy of Men’s Health.

10am: James Prosser

11am: Nate

  • 20-minute AMRAP:
    2 muscle-ups
    4 handstand press-ups
    8 kettlebell swings

12pm: Hidalgo

  • 2-mile run
    20 cleans
    20 box jumps
    20 walking lunges
    20 box jumps
    20 cleans
    2-mile run

1pm: Jerry

  • 1-mile run
    2000-metre row
    1 mile
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