When Dr. Twyla Smith received a cancer diagnosis last year, she not only had to battle the cancer itself, but the unexpected side effects of treatment as well.
She lost her finger and toe nails. Her body also underwent many changes associated with cancer treatment.
“I needed to do something proactive,” Smith said.
Smith’s husband is Dr. Joel Holloway, a board-certified dermatologist and Doctor of Pharmacy. He found using certain items such as Vitamin C and aspirin powder helped his wife’s skin irritation and other symptoms.
Now Smith, a board-certified psychiatrist, and her husband have teamed up to form a new cancer support group that touches on both the physical and emotional aspects of cancer treatment.
“We thought maybe someone else could benefit from this,” Smith said.
The Hope Oklahoma Skin Care and Support Group meets the first Wednesday of each month in Norman Regional Hospital’s Education Center. At 10:30 a.m. Holloway begins his presentation on the prevention and treatment of skin-related side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Holloway has been on the consulting staff at Norman Regional for 35 years.
He has developed specific formulations for products to help ease skin reactions to chemotherapy and radiation. Participants are also given free sample products.
At 11 a.m. the support group component begins with Smith along with Nadine Nunez, a licensed clinical social worker. Various topics are discussed such as body image after treatment, coping with changes following surgery and resources for dealing with the physical changes cancer patients experience.
Smith has also developed ‘101 Practical Suggestions to Help During Cancer Treatment.’ Her suggestions include taking a good listener with you to your appointments, taking naps and to save every supportive card, letter and email.
To register for the Hope Oklahoma Support Group, please call (405) 440-8802.