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Before Seeing Your Doctor
Written by Carrie Host, carcinoid patient, survivor, author, and mother of three.
From the patients perspective the following things are helpful.
Select at least two, if not three, doctors to meet with as opinions may vary widely. You want to have the best possible set of options before you choose a path for yourself. If you are not able to do that then choose a single oncologist who has experience with your specific cancer type.
Make a written list of your questions, leaving six to eight lines below each one to write in the answers. Having a friend or family member to write down the answers as you ask your questions is ideal so you are not trying to write down answers and “listen” at the same time.
If possible take a recorder to any of your appointments where you know that you might feel overwhelmed and need support. Ask the doctor if it is okay to record your conversation. It is not a threat to the doctor but there is a lot of new terminology. You might like to hear what a certain doctor said, or to share your appointment with a friend or family member. It is much easier on you if you don’t have to rehash the appointment for others, or to exhaust yourself by having to recount these things. Also your friend can get a much clearer sense of what was said. They can also better understand the options that have been outlined for your care and/or treatment. There are many inexpensive and easy to use portable recorders. (There is a handy little recorder that pops onto the top of the ipod, if you are ipod user friendly, which makes playback in a variety of settings possible.)
Do you have recommendations for what patients should do before seeing their doctor? Please e-mail suggestions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.