• Closer to home???

    Asked by youngfarmgal on Tuesday, May 6, 2014

    Closer to home???

    Should I have chemo/radiation closer to home or where my oncologist is based? It's going to be summer so snow won't be a problem, but what about how I feel afterwards as well as the blood tests needed before?

    18 Answers from the Community

    18 answers
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      How far will it be?

      about 7 years ago
    • youngfarmgal's Avatar
      youngfarmgal

      Omaha vs. Lincoln. May only be 50 miles, but with a sandwich therapy (3 chemo, 5-6wks radiation, and 3 chemo) do you know if the distance will be too much.

      about 7 years ago
    • djy's Avatar
      djy

      Depends how much money you have to spend - my oncologist is at the Fred Hutchson Cancer Center - 2 hrs drive from my house - radiation is 5 days a week for 7 weeks and chemo 1 once a week during the 7 weeks - couldn't drive everyday to seattle as traffic too much and then I would have to pay for housing and food for 5 days - I am still under my oncologist but have my treatments in Bellingham 20 minutes from home

      about 7 years ago
    • alimccalli's Avatar
      alimccalli

      It does depend somewhat on how far it is and how easy it is for you to get there. As long as your oncologist is overseeing the treatment and has a good working relationship with where you are considering going, I don't really see any reason why you shouldn't go somewhere closer to home for convenience.You don't know yet how you will feel, and chances are pretty good that at some point those 50 miles will take more energy than you will have. If you are comfortable with the location/facility and your doctor agrees, make it easier on yourself. One thing I learned from my nurses is that treatment is treatment - the location or who administers it doesn't matter so much as the fact that you need to be comfortable with the facility.

      about 7 years ago
    • lilymadeline's Avatar
      lilymadeline

      I would have treatment where your oncologist is, because I had problems myself and it was definitely a big plus for me to have my oncologist right there and on hand down the hall....he showed up at every treatment I had and I often scheduled appointments while I was at the cancer center to deal with side effects, also with the social worker, dietitian, patient services, everybody was right there when I needed them. And it was much easier in many ways to have my oncologist and my whole medical team so handy. Because it just isn't the same over the phone or a computer to being able to talk to someone in person. If your oncologist sees you first hand he is much more likely to give you the attention that you need. But of course it depends on if you have drivers available to help you get back and forth. So if you have a difficulty with transportation it would be better to have treatment closer to home. The patient services department should be able to help you with transportation as well. Good luck with whatever you decided to do and best wishes for your treatments!

      about 7 years ago
    • Lynne-I-Am's Avatar
      Lynne-I-Am

      When I was diagnosed no gyn onc in our town so we looked around for a hospital that had a good reputation for cancer treatment and research and settled on a doctor two and a half hours away one way.He was very practiced at debulking surgery and ovarian cancer. My infusions although I could have received them locally ,I chose to have them where my gyn onc was located.You have to have confidence in your medical care. If you are lucky enough to have it closer than farther away that is great.When traveling close or far suggest having some one else drive you till you know how you handle the treatments.Had my blood tests locally then faxed to my gyn onc.I was lucky because my sister in law and brother in law lived close to where my treatments were given and sometimes we stayed with them rather than travel back the same day. My husband and I had decided whatever it took to get the best care for this disease we would do.Take care,all the best.

      about 7 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      you can call the American Cancer Society at the number listed on the right side of this screen and ask about their "Road to Recovery" program. They have volunteers that will drive you to and from treatments. Free. Worth looking into, it's a good program if it's available in your area.

      about 7 years ago
    • barryboomer's Avatar
      barryboomer

      My opinion is that you should go to the closest place.

      about 7 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      I think you should discuss this with your main oncologist. If that person feels CONFIDENT that the closer location will provide treatments effectively, then closer is the clear winner. If not, then things become much more complicated and difficult. I hope that you get the former!!!!!

      But first and foremost, ask your oncologist. 100 miles of driving every day is TOUGH even when one is healthy! Not knowing how you might react to your chemo drugs - well - it's just hard to predict.

      I was SUPER LUCKY - my treatments were less than one-half mile from my office and only 5 miles from my home. I was soooo fortunate to NOT face this decision you face.

      My oncologist told me about people who drove hours to get to the cities for treatments - every time. I think that would make an already tough situation tougher.

      Good luck - I hope that your oncologist feels confident that the local team can provide effective treatment. Consider the possibility of having chemo in your oncologist's location but rads in your local location - it might be that one or the other can be readily provided.... if both cannot be provided. Know what I mean?

      Good luck.

      Lee

      about 7 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar
      abrub

      While my main oncologist was at a cancer center 175 miles from home, he worked with a local oncologist so that I could get most of my chemo nearer to my home. The highly specialized chemo that I required (intraperitoneal chemo) could only be done at the cancer center.

      about 7 years ago
    • Bb31565's Avatar
      Bb31565

      Talk to your oncologist. Also, check with the American Cancer Society they also have the transportation service as well as a lodging program. They are a great resource

      about 7 years ago
    • virg112012's Avatar
      virg112012

      Do research and choose the center with the best facility and reputation Let your friends know you will need help. Some people need to be driven to treatment even if not far from the hospital. It all depends on how you react to the treatments. God be with you.

      about 7 years ago
    • cam32505's Avatar
      cam32505

      I asked my onc about getting radiation treatments closer to home because it was 1 hour drive. He would only consider the major hospitals in my area, which were just as far as the university hospital. So, I ended up going there. My concern was the $ for parking daily. Well, as it turns out, they have free parking only for the rad onc dept.

      about 7 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar
      Ivy

      I don't know your driving conditions, so I can't speak to that. However, my blood tests, scans, and such were always a distance, and generally we were able to schedule everything for the same day.

      Regarding the chemo, but the last ones, you'll probably be alright for the drive home, but you'll be much weaker, and it may be harder to pay attention to the road. If you have someone who might drive you to these last chemo sessions, it's a good idea.

      The sandwich radiation you mention, although you did't expressly say, is probably brachytherapy to the vaginal cuff. Although many radiologists may be comfortable with administering this procedure, it does require expertise and experience that most don't actually have. I wanted to switch doctors during radiation, and the head of the department at my very major cancer center told me that they did not have specialists in this type of brachytherapy at all their locations, and that in fact, he didn't even feel qualified to do it himself.

      On a similar note, at the same major cancer center, a leading specialist in chemotherapy told me I could have the chemo administered almost anywhere. So if you're trying to avoid some of the driving, you might have the chemo close to home and the brachytherapy at the cancer center.

      Good luck. I don't have words to express how great it is to have it all behind you.

      about 7 years ago
    • youngfarmgal's Avatar
      youngfarmgal

      Ivy, the radiation is going to be both external and internal, so will be an ordeal Hopefully the closer one will be able to provide the best experience. Will definitely ask them the questions if they are qualified in brachytherapy. Thank you all for all the help you've given me during this time.

      about 7 years ago
    • Ivy's Avatar
      Ivy

      I suggest asking the question more specifically: how many times have you administered this brachytherapy to the vaginal cuff before? (There are many different types of brachytherapy, so the general question might generate answers that don't apply to you.)

      about 7 years ago
    • SueRae1's Avatar
      SueRae1

      Hugs and healing vibes. This is a tough call. On the one hand being close to home, is really nice, and convenient especially in bad weather. I know that after my treatments, radiation and infusion, all I wanted to do is get home and in bed ASAP.

      On the other hand, as others have mentioned, being near your oncologist should anything go wrong is a very very big plus. I am fortunate that I did not have to make this choice, I live a mile from the hospital I was treated at. I know that many of the oncologist there work with other hospitals and treatment centers (I live in NYC) to help coordinate treatment of their patients, so they don't have to make the trip into Upper Manhattan -every day and/or week. Can your team do that?

      about 7 years ago
    • Janetspringer's Avatar
      Janetspringer

      I always saw a doctor or PA at my center so going elsewhere was not an option. However, my oncologists were located in several areas. Also, the clinic had centers in several areas. I would check with your doctor and see what you can work out. As for the chemotherapy, I usually did not feel the effects until a day or two after treatment.

      about 7 years ago

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