Meet Kris Neal
My name is Kris Neal. In August of 2006 my husband Terry was diagnosed with throat cancer including metastasis to lymph nodes on the right side of his neck. As anyone with a cancer diagnosis knows, our world began to change. I rapidly discovered, by chance, the following: ways to expedite appointment dates, make each consultation worthwhile and complete, have dates and timelines readily available, eliminate repeat tests or medication errors, ways to make each radiation and chemo treatment most effective, have names and numbers of every contact and medical professional.
I began documenting & keeping track of each phone call, conversation, appointment, test, transfer of records, medical professional. I had notepads, spiral notebooks, folders and papers everywhere! Every day Terry’s symptoms, appointments, tests, etc. were documented. By the time we consulted the Head Neck Surgeon at Loyola in Chicago and the Oncologist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Zion, I had the answers to every question asked us. We had medical history, medications, tests, symptoms, insurance information at our fingertips. We met with many teams, health professionals and physicians. I never left one appointment feeling I hadn’t given them all they needed to help Terry.
The process and time leading to final diagnosis, surgery and treatment is intense, stressful, frightening and overwhelming. There was an enormous advantage to having every piece of information, every symptom, every move we made to Terry’s diagnosis and treatment. I truly believe, because of the precise documentation of his entire journey, from beginning to end, he received the optimum treatment to lead to his recovery. As difficult as the journey was for him, I believe the procedure of my HopeTrack made his suffering less than it would have been without the exact focus on everything affecting him.
The HopeTrack Hospice Tracker was developed by Kris Neal after experiencing Hospice care with both of her parents. In 2006 Kris lost her father to heart disease. For six weeks, along with her brother, her two sisters and her mother, they cared for their father. Then in 2011, their mother suddenly became ill and for four weeks they remained at her bedside. They had discovered documenting accurate information during this process was crucial to the comfort of their loved ones. She and her sisters had designed charts for medications, symptoms, visitors, acts of kindness as well as instructions for their care and notes of Hospice visits. When more than one person is caring for a loved one, accurate records at your fingertips eliminate errors and guarantee the comfort of the patient.HopeTrack was developed. I want to share what I learned with all other Caregivers who are desperately trying to do everything they can for someone they love. We all want the best for our loved one and as the Caregiver, many times we feel so helpless. HopeTrack will allow you to accurately monitor the diagnosis, treatment and recovery.