Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Get On The Team

Good Morning Cancer Patients and Caregivers;
Fighting your battle with cancer requires a team effort with the oncologist, treatment team and cancer patient. When you are diagnosed with cancer, your oncologist and treatment team know exactly what, and how, they are going to treat you and rid you of the disease. They know the treatment regimen and the protocal they will follow. They know, the what, the how, and the when, of your treatment process. Unfortunately, the cancer patient, who has Never Done This Before, doesn't know what he doesn't know. The cancer patient doesn't feel like a customer, and more likely feels like a victim or a specimen.The cancer patient certainly doesn't feel like they are a member of the team, and the treatment process lends itself to this feeling.

Don't let the treatment of cancer be done to you. Insert yourself into the process and have treatment done with you. If you don't know what is in store for you as you go through treatment, then ask the oncologist and members of your treatment team. You should be proactive in your treatment process and you should know what your oncologist and treatment team expects of you as the patient, to achieve the best outcome from the treatment. Know the choices you have and alternatives you can choose, to make informed decisions.

During my year of treatment, there were many times I knew I wasn't the customer, and felt like a victim and sometimes a specimen. I learned the more I knew what was expected of me by the the oncologist and treatment team, the more I felt like treatment was being done with me and not to me. The more I knew and understood about the process, the fewer surprises I experienced, and the more choices I had and could make. My anxiety level decreased and my fear of the unknown about treatment, deminished.

Every cancer patient decides how they will deal with their cancer and treatment. Decide to be a member of the team and have treatment done with you and not to you.

Stay strong, keep your sense of humor, find what works for you, and never ever give up.