Being told that you have cancer is an intensely frightening experience. Although we all react in our own unique way, for most of us it brings an overwhelming and sickening fear and feels like our world is suddenly spiralling out of our control. Often the words, ‘You have cancer’ is the last clear thing you hear in that initial appointment because the rest of the conversation becomes a blur.
Our advice for this consultation would be to take someone with you who knows you very well. While you will want to put your hands over your ears like a child who doesn’t want to hear what’s being said and hope it will go away, they will hopefully assume responsibility for hearing what will happen next and make sure your needs are met as well as making sure you get home in one piece.
Knowing how to communicate your diagnosis to friends and family can be difficult so we have provided you with some suggestions in Chapter 4 that will give you some guidance.
Here are 5 of 15 questions that will be useful to ask your doctor.
1. What tests will I need?
2. When will tests/treatment start?
3. Is surgery/treatment absolutely necessary?
4. What are my treatment choices and what are the benefits/risks of each?
5. What is the success rate of treatment for this cancer?
Stay tuned for more excerpts from The Cancer Journey – Positive Steps to Help Yourself Heal.