We had the good fortune of connecting with Barbara Truknett-Edwards and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Barbara, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
Seeing my sister lose her life on her cancer journey, along with the pre and post traumatic yet less spoken about aspects of that journey. Things from depression, to no transportation to and from chemo, anxiety, finances, and overall fear. Shortly put; life inspires me, but to expound further, increasing the quality of life during and after cancer treatment is a motivating factor. With a focus on underserved communities i noticed a lack of knowledge and education about resources already at their disposal, some patients don’t even understand their treatment, many non-English speakers have a language barrier and also don’t understand their treatment plans, so RMT Cancer Network which is a 501 c3 non profit advocates and coaches through treatment also.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
RMT Cancer Network wants to be remembered for sharing hope, knowledge, but most of all resources during and after a cancer journey with a positive attitude. In doing so we strive to never give up, and always treat every individual with a personal touch. I recall during my first meeting with the surgeon, he asked me if I knew why I was there…I was stunned that he would ask me such a thing, of course i knew why I was there! I proceeded to explain to him the reason for my surgery and he then told me that most women who come in there not only don’t understand their cancer diagnosis but they don’t even know if they’re there to have body parts removed or have a biopsy. THIS is a problem. Advocacy, education and resources is how you help these women and men. Empathy and similarity is what sets RMT apart from others because I also am a survivor and can relate to the experiences that they’ve had or yet to have had throughout their cancer journey. During my cancer journey i was introduced to a free program which revolved around physical training for oncology patients, it helped my journey immensely, it expanded even my pre-cancer physical boundaries. There are ways to come out of cancer treatment feeling better than you did before, and as a survivor, it’s often received better from me by a patient.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
As a cancer thriver (not survivor), I love to take people to the Arts and Medicines Studio at Baylor Cancer Center in Dallas, Texas due to its relaxing nature and availability of various therapies, and classes for free such as meditation, Chef Zoe’s healthy cooking, art, and painting. Our next destination would have to be the AT&T Discovery District, it has restaurants, sculptures, beautiful grounds for children to play as well as various parks and events throughout the year. Next would be Klyde Warren Park, live concerts, activities and food trucks. I’m a big fan of music and art venues if you can’t tell. Lastly the Dallas Museum of Arts, where we would enjoy different art, live music and eateries.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
All the people who I’ve met throughout my own cancer journey are the reason that I started this.
Facebook: Rose M. Turknett Cancer Network