WHO, WHAT, WHERE, AND WHEN – As in WHO (you) have cancer, now deep breath…. WHAT kind of cancer do you have? WHERE is that cancer in my body and WHERE is it going? WHEN as in the stage I am at, my prognosis, my timeline.

MAKE IT PERSONAL – with your doctor. Don’t let yourself be just another chart. Do whatever you can to build a relationship between your provider and yourself so you can be comfortable asking questions.

NURSES ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS – At the office or in the hospital, you will spend more time with your nurse than with your doctor. Nurses are on the front lines of cancer and are a wealth of information. They chart everything, so treat them like the gold they are.

WHAT, WHICH, WHY – WHAT – are the treatment options for your type of cancer and circumstances? WHICH treatment option is recommended for your type of cancer and circumstances? WHY is the doctor recommending that treatment? Is it because that is what is recommended, or because that treatment is best for you?

AND THE GOALS IS – to beat my cancer into remission? To stop my cancer from spreading? To give me a few more months? Tough questions. There is no way around it. But since there is no way around it, it is best to know up front what you are getting into.

HOW LONG & HOW BAD – will it be? How long will your treatment last? What kind of side effects can you expect from your treatment?

IS THERE A CLINICAL TRIAL FOR YOU – to participate in? Well, ask your doctor, sure.  But doctors can’t know everything. We have direct access to all available clinical trials right here at no cost. Search this database and see which trial might work for you. Then talk to you doctor about it.

The unknown can be daunting, and for someone newly diagnosed with cancer, it is easy to be overwhelmed by that diagnosis. You find yourself alternately wondering what to do, how to tell loved ones… and none of that makes things easier for “you.”

This section of our site is a constant work in progress because no two people are the same and every set of circumstances is different. We want to lay out a few things to consider. Take what works for you and leave the rest.

And please, if anyone in our community can think of something we can add, let us know here.