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Highlighting Your Health: Relationships help doctors, patients tackle challenges

December 18, 2019 posted by Vidant Health News

HYH-Patient-Doctor-relationship-1(2).jpgWayne Hollenbaugh speaks with Dr. Jasmin Jo.

Read the full story published in The Daily Reflector

He considered himself relatively healthy and played sports in his free time but something was not right inside 57-year-old, father of two Wayne Hollenbaugh.

Hollenbaugh had a seizure at home after a run last October and a following MRI and CT scan found a grape-sized tumor in his brain’s right occipital lobe where his eye sight is processed. The diagnosis was grade four glioblastoma – the most aggressive cancer that begins within the brain.

After a period of feeling emotional about his situation as a terminally ill patient, Hollenbaugh changed his way of thinking and got motivated to face his diagnosis head-on.

“Finally, I decided I needed to stop feeling sorry for myself because I have a family to take care of,” Hollenbaugh said. “The doctors were going to do their part and I had to do mine.”

Hollenbaugh jumped into chemotherapy treatments thanks to his relationship with his doctor. His trust in Dr. Jasmin Jo, a neuro-oncologist at Vidant Cancer Care, made him feel comfortable with his treatment despite the challenges. It is a demanding process with 12, 28-day cycles. Still, it was Dr. Jo’s compassion and honesty that ultimately persuaded him. This is the type of relationship they have built.

“I can talk to Dr. Jo freely with no reservations,” Hollenbaugh said. “It’s important to connect to a doctor on a personal level. We’re dealing with a terminal illness so to have someone that is both honest and comforting means a lot to me.”

Dr. Jo said Hollenbaugh is hopeful, but realistic and he doesn’t let his diagnosis control his life. Dr. Jo has built a strong bond between Hollenbaugh and many other patients, and she knows it is critical to both her success and the success of the patient.

“Trust is the most important thing you can build between a doctor and a patient,” Dr. Jo said.

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