Tips For Newly Diagnosed Cancer Patients
Have you or a loved one recently been diagnosed with cancer? Are you currently preparing for the first visit with an oncologist? Although a cancer diagnosis can be scary, especially at first, knowing what to expect can help make the process much easier to deal with. Before the appointment, it's a good idea to prepare a few things ahead of time. A few things that you should do include:
Start a question notebook
Dealing with cancer can be stressful. Stress can easily make a person forget many things. You may have a bunch of questions to ask the oncologist only to forget them once you're in his or her office. Or you may find yourself asking the same questions, and getting the same answers, with every visit.
A question notebook will not only keep track of the questions that you want to ask, it'll be useful for recording the answers to questions that you've already asked in the past. To help make things more clear, it may help if you write your questions in one color of ink, such as red, and write down the answers in another color, such as blue or black.
Stock up on a variety of foods
Cancer treatments are notorious for causing nausea and a lack of appetite in many people. While this may or may not happen to you or to your loved one, it's a good idea to be prepared. Have a variety of bland foods and drinks, such as crackers, applesauce, and ginger ale, on hand at all times.
However, you should also have a small selection of aromatic foods available as well. Although strong smells can sometimes trigger nausea when undergoing treatment, some treatments may actually result in a temporary loss of smell that makes most foods taste bland and unappetizing. Having something that smells delicious on hand to eat may be exactly what's needed.
Put together a good first aid kit
The oncologist will let you know what sort of side effects to expect from the treatment. Since slow healing can be a side effect of some treatments, having a first aid kit to deal with household injuries is essential. Where before you might simply have slapped a bandage on it and called it a day, now you should make sure to clean the area and keep it sterile. Should surgery be necessary, be sure to have sufficient supplies on hand so that you won't have to do something like make a midnight run to the nearest pharmacy in order to purchase a roll of gauze.