Friday, June 12, 2009

As Long As They Call Your Name

Today my husband and I had another visit to our local Cancer Center for a follow-up visit with his oncologist.

It's a place, as I've said before that we kind of feel at home whenever we step inside the main entrance. It's been my third visit there this week as a result of a conference, my husband's tests and now today, a visit with his doctor. We both have spent so much time there, it's no wonder we feel rather comfortable at each visit.

The main waiting areas and clinics are located downstairs and each time I descend down the staircase, I always scan the waiting rooms for patients/caregivers that we may know. Today was no different, as we had the opportunity to chat with some friends who were also awaiting their oncologist's appointment.

As I look at the faces of other patients/caregivers I can instantly detect the fears and unknowns that they are dealing with. My husband and I are very comfortable to a point of being in that Clinic, but for those who are relatively new to those waiting rooms, it can certainly be a place that is filled with anxiety and nervous feelings. We always introduce ourselves to those around us and try our best to help lessen their uneasiness. All of the staff are so very helpful and comforting, but it does take a few visits to get to know them and feel more at ease.

My one thought as I look around, is how ignorant to cancer facts and how nieve we were about kidney cancer at the beginning when my husband was first diagnosed. We accepted everything that his doctors told us as the whole truth and nothing but the truth, never questioning anything or doing our own research into his type of cancer.

Today, we know the you have to be "always" a step ahead! At my seminar earlier this week, I sat around a conference table with other oncologists, pharmacists, and directors. My being there shows that I know everything pretty much that they know about my husband's type of cancer. I'm no medical expert, but at least I know the realities of it, the options that are there for him and the test trial results of every available treatment that is out there. I know the most informed people to talk with whenever a medical issue arises and I know who to connect with if a uncertainty should arise. Most of all, I am informed!!!
Today at the Clinic, I wanted to get up and tell everyone there to make certain they search for every bit of information that is out there on the type of cancer they have. I wanted to yell from the highest rafters that they need to have an advocate to keep informed with the oncologists, specialists, pharmacists and other patients/caregivers. It's the combination of knowing everyone together that makes the difference in how informed you are about CANCER!
How can you become informed you might ask?
  • Google your type of cancer on the web and find sites that are national, state or provincial organizations
  • Search for blogs written by cancer patients or caregivers for your type of cancer (I recently included a very good link in one of my posts to help find these blogs)
  • Contact the top pharmaceutical companies and read more about recent treatments that are available for your type of cancer
  • MOST OF ALL - find an oncologist who is a SPECIALIST in your type of cancer and be certain that he/she knows all about your present condition and is willing to discuss options with you, either in person or by telephone or via the web

Remember, if you have cancer, you are in one of the most informed eras to have it. There are so many contacts and so much information, that at times it can become mind boggling, but take your time and you can learn so many important things. You need to stay informed.

As the title of today's post reads: "As Long As They Call Your Name" you always need to keep searching!!!

Take care everyone!

1 comment:

Alli said...

I just found your blog through reading Daria's. What a fantastic idea for the spreadsheet..

I have serious issues after chemo with FEC chemo treatment

Alli Xx