I’ve been introduced to 2 navigators thus far in my journey.
First, during the initial surgery, I had one navigator (associated with my surgeon) who showed up at one of my early appointments and at my first surgery. After that I couldn’t have found her with a search party. I emailed her a question at one point – only to get an out-of-office message – and then finally heard back from her more than a week later.
Second navigator I met at my initial consult with my oncologist. At my first chemo treatment I actually was encouraged when she walked into the infusion room. Unfortunately, she walked right by me (apparently not remembering seeing me just a little more than a week earlier) and talked to another patient. I had to stop her on her way out and tell her who I was and that I had previously met her. She acted surprised and finally just said, “Oh, you’re on my list to visit. Are you doing OK?” After that question, she walked away. Didn’t hear from her at all and then saw her today at the oncologist’s office. She spoke but didn’t even ask how I was doing, what treatment did I have coming up? Was I handling my side effects OK? Nothing.
Amazing. I’ve heard wonderful things about this program. There are people who have traveled and are traveling a similar journey to mine who’ve had amazing relationships with their navigators.
Here is my thought. I’m not a “needy” person and I have a pretty strong and visible support system around me. Maybe the navigators just don’t perceive that I need them and act accordingly, spending more energy on the needy ones. This is all well and good. I don’t need anything. But they set the expectation when you meet them that they will be keeping up with you, checking in with you and making sure that you have everything you need. That just hasn’t happened with either navigator. Hopefully, I won’t need something and try to reach out to get answers quickly. After all, one thing they are supposed to do is find out information for you if you don’t know where to get your answers.
I suppose you could say that I definitely lack confidence in these relationships.