A Life in a Day is an incredibly impactful and meaningful immersive experience. Some of our recent participants were keen to share the impact of our oncology experiences. Introducing Kate Nicholson, a Key Account Manager, Oncology and Haematology at Chugai Pharma UK and Folake Ajose-Adeogun, medical manager and Final Medical Signatory in oncology medical affairs at Chugai Pharma UK.
Hear how the experience impacted them and what they are going to do differently as a result.
Lung Cancer Experience: Coughing, Breathing Problems and Waiting
A Life in a Day’s immersive experience of a patient with Lung Cancer is one of our most challenging programs. Participants are faced with decisions and trials throughout the day about what real patients would have to deal with: from breathing problems to receiving results from hospitals.
All A Life in a Day’s experiences are built on the stories of real patients who want their stories to be told. All participants gain a unique insight into what life looks like for real patients.
Katie Nicholson, Key Account Manager Oncology and Haematology at Chugai Pharma UK, was very impressed after she went through the experience of living with lung cancer. She shared with us a vlog taken about the experience, reflecting on the impact it had.
Become a patient for 24 hours
Katie started her morning by seeing a napkin full of blood and getting a call from the GP. One aspect of the experience is live role-play: actors contact participants by phone in multiple roles throughout the experience.
“The doctor had to call me to explain my results and confirm whether or not I had cancer. I used antibiotics, but they did not work. I had an X-ray and they saw something suspicious.”
Waiting for the results from the hospital
Kate asked how difficult it was to receive the results from the hospital – does she have cancer: Yes or no? One aspect that is frequently shared with us during our conversations with patients is the huge anxiety that comes with waiting for their results. “Waiting for results is always terrifying, even if I feel fine,” said one of the patients who survived kidney cancer.
52-year-old Daniel, who had lung cancer, agreed that one of the most frustrating things is waiting.
“Waiting for appointments, waiting for scans, waiting for blood tests, waiting for results, waiting for diagnosis, and then waiting to start treatment. Cancer patients are on limited time, and we waste so much of it waiting”.
During the immersive experience, Katie also felt helpless when she was choosing to wait more or to chase up her results.
“Well, I will wait. It gave me a patient experience how people were helpless waiting for the results and phone calls,” – Katie said.
Participants shared that it is hard to focus on other things during the day whilst waiting for one of the most important calls in life.
Katie Nicholson shared her thoughts about A Life in a Day experience:
Facing the diagnosis
Later, Katie received a call from a doctor confirming stage four non-small cell lung cancer.
“Doctors told me that I have lung cancer, and it is not curable. She (the doctor) said it was not operable. Then for me to say yes to hearing about survival statistics… To be honest, that was too much to take in a single conversation.”
The participant had started medication and received a care package. Doctors said not to stop taking treatment even if side effects start.
“I felt quite anxious thinking when they (doctors) were going to ring. Cause they did not ring at the time that they were supposed to ring when my appointment was supposed to be.”
Immersive experience: How it impacts patients
After Katie completed her 24-hour experience, she shared that it made her see how much patients are going through and dealing with long-term side effects, psychological and physical impact.
“I did not think the emotional side would affect me and it did not at first. Later in the evening it started to impact me more,” – Katie said.
“It Affected Me”: Final Medical Signatory About Immersive Experience
Folake Ajose-Adeogun, Medical Manager and Final Medical Signatory in oncology medical affairs at Chugai Pharma UK, also went through A Life in a Day’s immersive experience and shared her honest feedback.
Folake Ajose-Adeogun said that she felt so many different emotions during the A Life in a Day immersive experience.
“I think I was shocked by how much it affected me. And even though I knew that it was not real, it really made me feel it.”
Folake said she honestly believed what was happening and how her life had changed.
“It really opened my eyes for me in terms of what patients are going through, even though I have worked in oncology for years and I have worked with patients. This experience showed me that I did not know, or I did not understand as much as I thought and how appropriate support is important for patients.”
The immersive experience made Folake see what real patients are going through: not only during treatment, but also after recovery.
Folake Ajose-Adeogun talks about her immersive experience:
Immersive Experience Increases Patient Awareness
She said it is incredibly important for all people working in healthcare and pharma to pick up and opportunity such as A Life in a Day where you can put yourself in patient shoes.
“It is something that people should be doing regularly because you can become a robot. And if there is anything that you can do within your power to make a change for patients in your service, in your hospital, in your day-to-day practice or even if it is the way that you speak – then this is an effective way to do it.”
A Life in a Day’s immersive experiences were created for people who work in life sciences within multiple therapy areas. The goal is to increase patient insight, empathy and understanding.