Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Are You Part of a Team?

Strange title isn't it?  Let me explain....

Last week while we were at the cancer clinic, my husband was first screened by a new doctor before he saw his regular oncologist.

The new doctor began to explain to us a little about RCC and about the treatments, side effects, and all of the other good stuff that go along with having cancer (now I am being a bit sarcastic when I use the word good). After hearing what the new physician had to say, then it was our turn, my husband and I.  We both relayed some of my husband's medical history, the pitfalls that we have encountered along the way, how my husband has been sent home, not once, not twice but three times and taken off all treatments since he was first diagnosed and the list goes on..................

The doctor knew instantly that both of us knew so much more about my husband's type of cancer than most patients and their caregivers do.  That was no surprise to us at all, but I think we threw this new doctor a loop so to speak.  I am sure that most of his patients never add additional information on what he has already told them, I am sure they probably never ask for copies of ALL medical tests that are completed, I am sure that most patients/caregivers cannot recite all of the treatment names and dates on which they were first started and suddenly stopped, and I am sure that most patients don't keep a carbon copy of most everything that has happened from hospital stays to doctor visits since first being diagnosed with cancer.  I could tell that this new doctor was a little impressed, if that is the right word to use about both my husband's and my knowledge of his cancer journey.  The doctor looked at us after his initial consultation and with a smile said:

"I can tell that you and your husband are a TEAM"

Yes, I never really thought about it like that, the fact that we are a team, but I guess that statement is very true.  I have learned that both patient and his/her caregiver must be a team in order to ensure that the patient is getting the best possible care and treatments that are out there.  Sometimes it can be a stressful position to be in, but it's well worth all the effort you put into it.  

If you are a patient who is battling cancer, it is vital that you have someone right by you to be your advocate and your second voice, second sight, and second set of ears who will hear things that you as a patient will most definitely not even hear when your doctor is giving you test results or asking you important information if you become ill.  Sometimes I don't even hear all the info, but I do try to write the important things down that you will need to refer to at a later time.

So being on a team is very important for any cancer patient.  If you don't have that someone special to make you a team, then don't delay...go find him/her today!  It's probably going to be one of the most difficult jobs they will ever have, but it well be one of the most rewarding and worthwhile one in all of their lives!

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Your doctor certainly 'nailed' it. Teamwork is what it is all about. You, and your husband, are truly blessed to have each other - loving and caring all the way xo