Well, it’s happened yet again. Another good friend of mine has been diagnosed with FC (f-bomb cancer for new readers). I’ve been spending a fair amount of time wondering WTF is going on. This f-bomb disease sure seems to be everywhere.
This week is my friend’s “chemo” talk with the doctor. Ugh. I remember that talk like it was yesterday (though for some strange reason I still can’t remember what I had for breakfast).
As you or anyone you know enters into this world of mess, puhleasssse learn from my mistakes (as well as some of the things that I did correctly!).
Here are a few recommendations:
- Bring a friend or family member to sit with you and actively take notes while you talk with your doctor. Because this is such a deer-in-headlights time, having a level-headed person with you will help you understand what your doctor says during your visit and will help refresh your memory afterward. To get every detail of the dialogue, you may want to consider tape recording the conversation (with your doctor’s permission, of course).
- Because Google-ing a disease can take you from fear to terror (because there is so much misinformation out there!), I recommend that you ask your doctor for printed information or sanctioned websites that are available on your specific type of cancer and treatment.
- If you feel like your doctor is talking quickly, it’s ok to ask him or her to sloooooow dowwwwn or to repeat an answer. This is a pivotal, earth rocking situation and taking in small bits of information, slowly is key to helping you digest it all.
Additionally, here are some of the questions that I recommend you ask at this meeting. Click here to download and print out this list so you can take it with you. This will help you get all (or at least your beginning) questions answered.
(Also, if you’re curious about the chemo process, you can read my entire (and, ahem, candid) experience from start to finish in the Chemotherapy section of the Cancer category.)