#NEROLICARES: What You Should Know From Dr. Waltke

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At Neroli Salon & Spa, we are focused on continuing to provide the best possible experience for our guests. We understand that everyone experiences different circumstances throughout their lifetime, and our mission is to provide comfort and relaxation along the way. The world is ever-changing, and we are motivated to evolve with it. As service providers, we pride ourselves on working directly with medical professionals to stay updated on how we can continually provide our guests with a safe and relaxing experience.

During the month of October, we are partnering with ABCD (After Breast Cancer Diagnosis) to support their mission of helping those affected by breast cancer. They provide excellent resources to those impacted through nurses, doctors, mentors, specialists, and physical therapists.

We sat down to speak with Dr. Leslie Waltke, who works directly with ABCD, to provide accurate information involving receiving services while undergoing treatment. We encourage you to share with your family and friends as a way of support to those who may benefit from her medical advice.

If you or someone you know has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and seeking support, we recommend reaching out to ABCD. They are locally owned and internationally recognized for their outstanding mentors who are able to provide you or your loved ones with the support needed during this trying time.

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Q: CAN YOU PROVIDE US WITH A BRIEF INTRODUCTION ABOUT YOU, WHAT YOU DO, AND HOW YOU WORK WITH PATIENTS UNDERGOING CANCER TREATMENT?

“My name is Dr. Leslie Waltke, and I am a Physical Therapist with a clinical specialty in Oncology. I am the Cancer Rehabilitation Coordinator for Advocate Aurora Health here in Wisconsin. My job as a Physical Therapist includes that while patients are going through surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation — I help them stay strong, address their pain, fatigue, and weakness — all the physical side effects that happen with cancer and cancer treatments.

We start at the beginning because sometimes cancer treatments can take months and at times up to a year or longer to treat depending on the type of cancer and stage. We are there throughout the entire process. The job of the physical therapist is to help work with treatments as they come starting from the beginning to keep patients as strong as possible. We try to minimize unnecessary loss and unnecessary suffering to the best of our ability.”

Q: What Are Some of Your Recommendations for Patients Interested in Receiving Services?

“I always highly recommend for people to continue to do the things that make them feel good. For most, it does include getting their hair, nails, facials, and massage services—which are all really good and we encourage people to continue to do things like that. Often people will just stop doing the things that they love for reasons that do not always make sense.”

Q: Are There Certain Ingredients That You Recommend or Advise Against in Terms of Providing Self-Care at Home?

“Typically, there are very little ingredients that I would not recommend. However, I would recommend consulting with your physician and basing your decisions on their requirements and recommendations. Any post-operative restrictions, radiation treatments and care, and incisions should be consulted with your physician first in terms of safe self-care.

If you have new hair growing back, there is no rule of when you can start using products on your hair, but keep in mind that newer hair is young and its sensitive. So, try to avoid anything too unnecessarily harsh. As always, consult with your medical team first.”

Q: What are Some Post-Care Services That Guests Can Do at Home to Help with Relaxation and Wellness?

“Self-care is really important. Human touch in general is very important. So, I encourage people to continue to receive their services. It is okay to get your nails done at the appropriate time. There are no contraindications for getting a massage during chemotherapy and other treatments. Continuing self-care is extremely important, and I think the team at Neroli Salon & Spa could really help people through their cancer process. It is okay to do these things and take care of yourself.

Exercise is critically important, people should continue to exercise, walk, and life weights. When you are at home, even putting body lotion on or something that smells good, or burning a candle that feels good, are all great things to do. Again, people tend to shut down and sometimes stop doing things which is opposite of what they should do.

Typically for a lot of people, when they look better, they feel better. That is actually an American Cancer Society saying. Sometimes the trivial stuff is important to make you feel better. I always tell patients, ‘You can be miserable, or you can be less miserable, and I highly recommend less miserable.’ Taking part in self-care such as massaging your feet, putting oil on your legs, or your facial cream at night are key. Especially when you are tired and have other things going on those things might get pushed to the side, but those self-maintenance techniques are really important.”

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Q: What Resources Can Guests Use to Know What Services Are Okay at a Specific Time? Does it Always Have to Come from Their Doctor or are There Other Resources Available?

“Most people with cancer now get a team member called a Cancer Nurse Navigator. If someone does not have one, they can certainly ask for one. It is typically a nurse, but it does not always have to be. They are like the patient’s coach to help them through the process. The Cancer Nurse Navigator is a good person to go through because they understand everything that the patient has been through, going through, or is going to go through. They are the best person to go through for answering those detailed questions and are a lot easier to get ahold of than a physician usually.”

Can You Share How ABCD Has Helped Patients Who Are Undergoing Treatments?

“Cancer is incredibly universal, but its’ impact is incredibly personal. When a person goes through cancer treatment, usually they will get a fantastic team of sometimes 20 people who are really great and really smart. These are usually physicians, nurses, physical therapists, and pharmacists. However, no one on that team has been on the surgery table, in a chemotherapy chair, or has been through the radiation that a patient is going through.

What ABCD does is it connects newly diagnosed people with breast cancer to a trained breast cancer mentor. Somebody who has been through breast cancer already who we trained to have mentor skills. Through connecting over the phone or email, that mentor then helps that patient go through the journey from the perspective of someone who has received a similar treatment. This is something that we in healthcare cannot do.

One of the most wonderful things about ABCD is that when a new person calls, ABCD matches that particular person with someone who has had similar breast cancer treatment. Then, they also match on interests, age, life situation, and importance such as religion, race, working moms, taking care of a parent, etc. Those life factors are all especially important and ABCD has a big enough group of mentors that can match people for both diagnosis and similar life interests and experiences. It is a spectacular organization that provides our newly diagnosed patients with another solid resource to get through their cancer journey.

They service Wisconsin, nationally, and internationally. Anyone who has a phone, or an internet connection can contact ABCD.”

Q: What is the Best Way to Get in Contact With ABCD? What is the Process for Becoming a Mentee?

“Anyone can go to ABCD’s website or call them at 1-800-977-4121. Their intake people are spectacular, and they will take you step-by-step through the process. I refer my patients to ABCD regularly. You do not need to be referred by a physician or have any sort of permission to call. Anyone who is affected by breast cancer is encouraged to call. If you have a family member, employee, friend, or someone you deeply care about who is struggling with breast cancer, and you are struggling because of it even though you do not have breast cancer—you can even call and get support. It is a really great organization that is so helpful to so many.”

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We are incredibly thankful for Dr. Waltke’s time and knowledge. As a diagnosis that impacts so many people, our intent is to provide our guests with safe and relaxing support in any way that we can.

If you or someone you know is interested in receiving services during this time, please call us at 414-227-2888, schedule with us online, or reserve through your Neroli App.

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