An open, honest relationship can build trust between people. This may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your doctors and nurses. But talking openly with your care team may help get you through the process more easily. Your care team includes your doctor and other cancer care specialists, including:
- Oncology nurses
- Social workers
Each member of your care team wants to give you the best treatment they can, and everyone wants you to get through chemotherapy (chemo) with as few problems as possible.
Here are some things you can do to grow a trusting partnership with your doctor and care team:
- Speak openly and tell your doctors and nurses if something feels wrong.
- Ask questions and talk about your fears.
- Listen to what your doctors and care team have to say.
- Prepare ahead of time with questions.
- Use the worksheets to help you know what to ask.
- Take notes so you can follow through on your doctor's advice.
- Become your own advocate; ask for what you need.
- Know that a solid partnership with your healthcare team can take time and effort.
You have rights as a patient. Here are some things you can do to ensure that you are an active member of your care team:
- You have a right to ask for and obtain complete information about your cancer care and treatment.
- You can ask about any medication you are being given.
- You can request medications that you think might help you.
- You can expect your role and your caregiver's role to be treated with respect.
- You can request a second opinion.
Your doctor and care team want to give you answers. So ask questions when you have them. It makes their job easier, too!
The Chemotherapy and Infection Discussion Guide can help you understand your
risk of infection
Infection can be a serious side effect of strong chemo. Find out the factors that affect your risk of infection. Simply answer a few questions, and then print your results to share with your doctor.
Use the Chemotherapy and Infection Discussion Guide to find out more.
- Know what to ask your doctor to help you prepare for chemo side effects.