It's Cancer; Where Do I Begin - You are dealing with one of the most terrifying challenges you may ever face in your life. Decisions you make today will impact your quality of life for years to come. Take back control by establishing the ground rules for your cancer.
TOP TEN TIPS FOR THE NEWLY DIAGNOSED CANCER PATIENT
Don't Give Up Your Power!
Create a Notebook - Purchase a notebook, this will become your bible, bring it with you to all your appointments. Note names, dates, addresses, contact people, referrals, diagnoses and drugs. You might also note how you felt when speaking with your doctors. Were you comfortable with the doctor and his staff? Did the doctor answer all your questions? Was the staff friendly, helpful and supportive?
Ask questions - Ask more questions. Keep your notebook handy, so that you can jot down questions to ask your medical team.
Get a Second Opinion - Doctor's opinions vary about possible treatments.
Know - That you are not only a patient you are a consumer entitled to the best possible services, insist on them.
Research - Do your homework. Gather information from the internet, libraries and national organizations. Information is power, especially now! Be your own advocate.
Create Your Personal Support Network - Designate a family member or trusted friend as coordinator of your team. Arrange for a team member to accompany you on doctor visits, chemotherapy treatments or just to be there to listen. If you prefer to visit your doctor alone, bring a tape recorder so that you can review your conversation.
Join a Support Group - Cancer increases stress; support groups help relieve it.
Know Your Insurance - Check with your carrier for in-network and out-of-network procedures. If referrals are needed, make sure you arrange for them. Check your deductibles. Speak with a representative to get an overview of your benefits. Designate the follow-up to a member of your support team.
Practice Extreme Self-Care - Take time to pamper yourself, meditate, learn to ask for help and receive it.
Need a gift for a friend or loved one facing a wellness challenge? The Cancer Wellness Gift Shop offers unique, custom-made gift baskets designed to promote wellness as well as comfort, inspiration and beauty for body, mind and spirit. Call our toll-free number and speak with a member of our design team, who will be delighted to help you create a gift that makes a difference.
Contact Us at: 1.800.797.9757
After Kathryn Tunstall, president of a medical device company, was diagnosed last year with stage II breast cancer, she founded HopeLink.com to connect people to emerging medical treatment options. A spinoff of the site is www.webofhope.com. Check out this site for the latest information.
Free Mammograms - Click on to
The Breast Cancer Site
Each time you visit
The Breast Cancer Site
and click on the donation icon, sponsors contribute to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The contributions are used to fund free mammograms for low-income women. Last year, 4.7 million clicks resulted in tests for more than 400 women. Check out the site and Click!
Mount Sinai Breast Health Resource Program - A recently created Men's Breast-Cancer support group to provide support and increase awareness that breast cancer is not solely a women's disease. For information call: 212.241.7491
"Free" Self-help in a Toolbox - The New Cancer Survival Toolbox audio tapes provide practical discussions, which are presented in, clear, concise, and easy-to-understand formats. This set of three tapes (available in Spanish as well) provides strategies to help you take charge of your care and make sure that you get the best treatment available. To order, call toll-free 877.866.5748
SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS
Are you currently going through chemotherapy? Have some personal tips to share that would help others facing this challenge. What little things do you do for yourself to promote extreme self care?
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will post your thoughts, suggestions and successes.
DR. SUSAN LOVE'S BREAST BOOK
Susan M. Love, M.D.
THE BREAST CANCER HANDBOOK
Joan Swirsky & Barbara Balaban
Gerald P. Murphy, M.D., Lois B. Morris and Dianne Lange
Believe In Yourself
"Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson