Monday, 21 October 2013

The process of cancer treatment; PART I

You've had the biopsy. It came back positive. You've dealt with the emotions. (If not, seek counselling. There are many there to help.)
Your physician has referred you to an oncologist.
What can you expect?

My previous post, Preparing for a Visit With a Specialist, provides some more suggestions.

If you live in a rural area, as we do, you must face a big trip into the city to visit the hospital.

What I find is that if it is the regular driver who is having treatment, the spouse, or partner or another family member must drive. This can provide its own concerns.

Remember that there are several strategies to find transportation to get to the Cancer Centre: Community Home Support provides drivers (e.g.,, contact your local CCAC for a self-referral.
The Canadian Cancer Society (ONT) provides volunteer drivers. For for those on Ontario Works or Ontario Disability, contact your case manager.

  • Gather together your OHIP card; the name, phone number and address of your GP; any 
    My ducky and I assisted a client
    medications, including over the counter vitamins; your hospital card (if you have one).
  • Check out any specific instructions. For example, the Ottawa General Hospital states that you must first check in and register at the main desk. If you do not have a hospital card, you will be issued one.
  • Parking is not cheap. Several hospitals charge $14 or $15 per day. 
  • Take a pen and paper.
  • Be prepared to answer the Self-reporting History form (PDF). In fact, print it and take it with you. It will save you time and energy.
  • Take a family member or friend. Contact your local Community Home Support CCAC office, or your local hospice, if you need someone to attend with you. I have perform
    Volunteer driver with step-stool
     ed this service for many clients.
  • Prepare a list of questions if you have them. Please read this post regarding treatment plans, treatment options, side effects.
  • Bring something to read or to do: puzzles, magazine, a book.
  • Prepare a snack, bring water or juice.
  • Bring your drug benefit card, if you have additional health insurance.
  • Do not wear perfume. It's not fair to anyone in hospital.
  • Know that there are always volunteers to assist you, should you require it. 

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