My best advice to someone who is newly diagnosed with cancer is this…
- Make sure you understand your treatment plan. If you don’t, that is one of the main reasons I created Nurse Adina – Let’s talk.
- Make sure you get your questions answered. One of the statements I love to tell teach my clients is this:
- When your doctor or nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant has finished going over a bunch of medical information with you, say this: “What I hear you say is….” and then repeat back to them everything you just heard them say. We call this the teach-back method. When you repeat back new information, it helps you retain the data. It also helps clarify an issue if you have misunderstood data that was being shared.
- Make sure you trust your doctor. Go with your gut; listen to your instinct.
- Always get a 2nd opinion – preferably at a National Cancer Institute (NCI) if you are able. There is nothing wrong with getting a 2nd opinion. This is your life and respectable doctors will understand your need for a 2nd opinion. As long as there are humans in healthcare, there will be mistakes. Better to get a 2nd opinion and have both doctors agree with your treatment plan. I would be happy to talk with you about this process.
- There are 70+ NCI’s in the U.S. and they work hand-in-hand with NIH on cancer research and diagnostics. They typically have very good scanning equipment. As a former doctor that I worked with in Seattle used to say, “We have fancy tests.”
- *Ask to have your labs printed (and trended, if possible).
- *When reviewing your scans, ask your doctor, NP or PA to pull up the scan and review the images with you on the computer. Also, ask for a print-out of the scan so you can read the “Impression” and have the doctor go over the printed results with you.
* Things can be missed during lab reviews and scan results. It is definitely one of those situations where we need to slow down and pause to make sure you are understanding what is being explained.
Trust your nurses, oncology nurses usually have a heart for what they do. <3
Hope you find this helpful. As always, I’m here for you. If you’d like to talk or ask me specific questions, please click HERE and select a day and time that works best for your schedule 🙂