Justin Query’s Extra Layer of Support
Working in wildfire control with NC Forest Services, husband to Dawn and father to eleven- and eight-year old daughters, forty-one-year old Justin Query looked like the picture of health. When blood work at a routine doctor visit showed elevated liver counts, he and his family were shocked to receive a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.
He soon began aggressive chemotherapy to fight the cancer and was hesitant when his oncologist suggested AIM, Caldwell Hospice’s palliative medicine program, in addition to his curative course of treatment. When he talked with AIM’s Freda Cowan, DNP, FNP-BC, Justin learned that AIM is a non-hospice palliative medicine service that provides an extra layer of support for anyone living with serious illness—even while seeking curative treatment.
Palliative medicine is a medical specialty that optimizes quality of life, prevents frequent hospitalizations, and empowers patients and families in managing complex illnesses. Care is provided by a medical doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant who works closely with the patient’s physician.
“My faith, family and friends are a strong network of support, but the more support you have the better,” says Query. “AIM is one of my supports and they have shown they genuinely care about ME.”
Currently in his third round of chemotherapy, AIM has provided guidance with symptom management and worked to find solutions that work best for Justin.
In addition to symptom management, AIM assisted Justin with completing advance care planning documents. “They helped me plan and make some of the hardest decisions I’ve had to face,” adds Query. “AIM has definitely improved my quality of life.”
Query reaches out to others traveling the same path to provide support and says that staying active helps him to stay positive.
Referrals for non-hospice palliative medicine and hospice care may be made by the patients themselves, family members, friends, clergy, or physicians. For more information about Caldwell Hospice and Palliative Care call 828.754.0101 or 1.844.MY.JOURNEY, visit www.caldwellhospice.org, or follow on Facebook and Instagram.