Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Surviving Cancer is a Team Effort

Good Morning Cancer Patients
Being treated for cancer requires a coordinated team effort of three primary players. They are:
- The Oncologist leading the treatment effort and defining the treatment regime for your specific cancer.
-The Cancer Treatment Team consisting of all the cancer treatment providers, nurses, medical
technicians, radiologists, pharmacists, infusion room nurses, CT and PET scan technicians,
dietitians, and many others you may encounter during the treatment process.
- You, the cancer patient and your caregiver.

Most cancer patients and their caregivers don't think of themselves as being part of the coordinated team effort. Instead, they may see themselves as unwilling participants that have been ambushed by this dreadfull disease that has just totally disrupted their lives and has put them in this predicament of having cancer treatment done to them. In addition, the treatment process may encourage this perception.

When you are diagnosed, your oncologist puts together a treatment protocal and directs the treatment team in the execution of the protocal. They know exactly what they are going to do to treat you and do everything to cure your cancer. The question is " What do you need to be doing as a member of this coordinated team effort to contribute to the success of your treatment?" Doing nothing but showing-up for treatment and office visits with the oncologist is a choice, but passive "hoping not to lose" behavior. Your alternative choice is to get on the team bus and begin to be part of the coordinated team effort. Challenge your oncologist and cancer treatment team to direct you and your caregiver on what you should be doing to contribute to the success of the treatment. This is going to be one of the worst battles of your life and a battle for your life so get engaged to win. Your charter is to improve your personal survival of cancer, whether it's for three days, three weeks, three months, three years or thirty years. Become a proactive member of your coordinated team.

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