Patient Doctor Relationship - Colorectal Cancer - Jayme W



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Video Transcription

To find the oncologist that’s right for you is a really important step in your treatment. Finding the right doctor is the first thing you have to do before you can start anything else, and my advice is to ask around. Ask your friends. Ask your family. And ask who. Everybody knows somebody that has cancer. Everybody knows somebody that’s been through treatment. So ask around and see who’s the doctor that they recommend, what doctor’s name comes up more often than not. I was very fortunate; I have friends who work in the medical field. So I asked them to put together a list for me, “If you were to create a dream team, if you were diagnosed, if you were handed this cancer diagnosis, what doctors would you pick? Who that you work with would you want to be your doctors?” And all of the people I asked came up with the same people on their lists. And so that was definitely who I went with, the people who showed up on everybody’s list. And I’m so thankful that I did because, as far as I’m concerned, I have the best doctors in the world. They’re amazing. In order to build a good relationship with your doctor, you have to ask questions. You have to be informed, and you have to do your research. I did a lot of research, after I was given my diagnosis, before I met with my doctor. And so I had questions to ask. I was familiar with the vocabulary. I was familiar with the words that they were throwing out at me at those first few visits. I was able to ask questions about the treatment options she was giving me, and I think the more informed you are, the better patient you’re going to be. And the better patient you are then the easier job your doctor has for being your doctor. Because you are an active member of your treatment team at that point. When you become a active member of your treatment team, it’s definitely a totally different experience. It’s one thing for your doctors to tell you, this is what’s going to happen. It’s a totally different experience when you’re involved in making all those decisions, when you go, “Hey, I have a question about this,” “Hey, I read this.” Knowing things, asking questions, bringing up different ideas is by far the best way to make sure you receive the best treatment possible. Also, get to know the nurses. The doctor’s ultimately in charge of your treatment, but the nurses are the ones who hand out the treatments. So get to know your nurses. Get to know what’s going on with them. Get to know them. Make sure they know you. The nurses are going to be the ones who can tell the doctor, as soon as something’s wrong, “Hey, you know, here’s Jayme and this is what’s going on with her and that’s not normal. So we need to check it out.” I know that I got to know my nurses pretty well, and I don’t think I would have felt as comfortable with my treatment if I hadn’t known them as well as I did. Another thing is to be comfortable with asking those questions. And if something comes up, you’re on your way home and you think of something, oh, my gosh, I forgot to ask them da, da, da, da, da, then call them when you get home. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone, call when you get home. They’ll call you back. They’ll answer your questions. If you have a good doctor, if you have the right doctor, if it’s the right fit, and it’s the right treatment team, they’ll always call you back. They’ll always get back with you.