Monday, September 21, 2015

DAY TWENTY-ONE Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month - Talk to your doctor

Graphic courtesy of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
Mom had a pretty good weekend and didn't feel too run down after her chemo last Wednesday. She did take it easy and went out for a couple of short walks vs. what she normally does, as she doesn't want to push herself too hard. She did notice some more redness on her feet, but who knows what that symptom is related to... the Doxil made her feet red and sore, but she hasn't had that for over 9 months. We will see what this week brings when she goes back this Wednesday for the double does - taxtere and carbo.

So todays topic: talking to your doctor. If you have not done so in the past - there is no better time than now to take an active role in your health care. You have to be your own advocate.

It's important to share any symptomatic information you can, even if you're embarrassed. One of the things I enjoy about the Dr. Oz show (when I can be home to catch it) is his candor at talking to people about their symptoms. Dr. Oz talks about bowel noises, strange odors and gross oozes. Whatever we have developed in our culture about being embarrassed to talk about personal symptoms related to our bodily functions - you have to leave that attitude at the door and tell your doctor about ALL of your symptoms... no matter how weird or minimal.

Don't be afraid to speak up. Doctors/physicians went to medical school for a reason and no one expects you to be the expert. If you don't understand something - say so. If you feel like you are having a bunch of 'medical jargon' thrown at you - say so. It's important that you understand everything that your doctor is telling you.

Make the pen and paper your friend. Before your appointment, write down thoughts and questions as they come to mind. Yes, it may be in the middle of the night, but believe me you won't remember the next day or you will keep yourself up all night worrying about remembering your question. Best to write it down and go back to sleep.

More importantly, if you feel uncomfortable around your physician or are unable to really discuss the concerns that you have - find another doctor. Trust is important, and you have to have a good relationship with your doctor to get the best care for YOU.

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