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Suzanne Gibb

Update from Suzanne

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Hello,

I have met my radiation oncologist and my nurse on my team in Oshawa. Both were wonderful. I mistakenly thought that I would have radiation treatment first but he told me that I would have chemo first. I meet my oncologist on Monday next and she will talk to me about chemo. I am registered with my region's Community Care and my access to volunteer drivers has been confirmed. Luckily my first driver was the husband of a friend and we had met before. Great conversations on the hour long drive there and the drive back and not about cancer. I am blessed. I am receiving calls right, left and center booking appointments. I need an MRI, a PET scan, a colonoscopy and a Pulmonary Test. Never been on the phone so much but very grateful that my doctors are working so quickly. I was given a bag of booklets to read but as I was reading them I realized that a lot of the information I had already learned from this website. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences and expertise. More next Monday I think.

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Hi Suzanne

You’re now in the throws of what I call Scan-a-mania which is all part of the diagnostic process to develop the treatment plan that is best for you.  The hardest part is the hurry up & wait.  Then more waiting.  Take it one test at a time.  We invested in a old fashion calendar planner to keep track of “incoming”.   

Sounds like things are moving along. Thanks for keeping us posted! 

Michelle

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Suzanne, 

Glad to hear you have a treatment plan in place and will be meeting your oncologist soon.  Once my mom's treatments were in place, stuff started to fall into place and she was able to get into a routine.  The routine made it a bit easier to deal with things and helped her to focus on her recovery.  I hope that you are able to find your routine quickly and it provides some relief for you from the craziness that a lung cancer diagnosis causes.  

Ohh and the volunteer driver program sounds really cool - maybe you will be some great folks along the way! l

Take Care,

Steff

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Thanks everybody. I had a bone scan this morning and that went well. I have discovered that I prefer right now to go on my own to appointments because I absolutely hate keeping people waiting even the volunteer drivers. I know that I have to work on this because I find that I do not want to ask the doctor questions because it will extend the time I am keeping someone waiting for me. This makes me very tense almost more that what the doctor is saying. Any tips on how to accept help?

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Suzanne,

You’ve got a serious disease and most doctors understand consultation time includes patient questions. It is not selfish to take time. It is expected. You will be making decisions based on answers your doctor provides to your questions.  

How does one accept help? Accept you need it. Here is a tip. Tell your doctor right off that you need help. Start right; end right. 

Stay the course. 

Tom

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I'm pretty sure volunteers understand that the length of appointments are not always predictable.  IOW, they know that doctors sometimes run late, that some appointments may be fairly quick/routine, while others simply take longer.  They are volunteering to HELP you.  I'm sure most of them would be upset to feel that you rushed through an appointment just to make their wait shorter.  

I get where you're coming from, though.  I'm single, too, with no family nearby and not a lot of close friends, either.  I wound up asking a former boss (with whom I didn't always get along when we worked together) to drive me for my surgery.  I wanted her not to stay, but she insisted on staying until I woke up.  I felt weird asking, but she had once told me to call her if I ever needed something like a ride for a medical procedure.  She's single, too, and I figure we single women gotta look out for each other!  My neighbors picked me up when I was discharged, and then drove me back to the hospital when I was readmitted and picked me up when I was discharged the second time.  They are lovely neighbors and we try to help each other out when needed.  

It does feel weird when we're not used to asking for help, but seriously, wouldn't you be happy to help someone who needed a ride if you could?  It's always good, too, to express your gratitude.  If a friend drives you, you can give her/him a little gift or take them to lunch or dinner sometime, or give them movie tickets or some other small token of thanks.  With volunteers, you could always write a note to their company expressing your thanks for the wonderful service the volunteer provided.  I always find that doing something to show my thanks makes both of us feel warm and fuzzy.  :)  

It gets easier with practice.  And as my mom would say, "It builds character."  (She said that any time I complained about anything!)

 

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Suzanne it might help to remember that the anxiousness you feel during your visits is not the same anxiousness others are feeling.  For the doctor it’s their job.  They do it day in and day out.  If it’s a good doctor they want to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.  Making sure you have all the information you need will be important for a good doctor to feel like they are doing the best job they can for you. If you want the doctor to feel good about your visit give them the opportunity to do their job the best way they can.  Allow them to explain things to you and give them feedback.  For volunteers, what they are doing for you is a positive experience for them.  I know that sounds strange that your appointments, which are probably very stressful for you, make them feel good about themselves because they are doing something nice for you.  Allow them to feel that.  You are on a tough road.  There are good people out there who want to help.  The nicest thing you can do for them is allow them to help.  

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I had so much help during 2018 going through surgery and treatments. I didn't have much choice....two days after I found out I had lung cancer, my husband had a massive heart attack. As we both struggled through 2018, we would try to do things for ourselves-  like taking out the garbage....such a small thing but we were both depleted.  People who offer to help....want to help.  Let them.  Hugs

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