|SUE - a breast cancer survivor||
Patients often come in after having chemo and the weekend off and will tell me that they are experiencing side effects that may include diarrhea and more. Each patient receives chemo teaching and are repeatedly told that we do have 24 hour coverage and that they should call with any issues. By the time they come in on Monday, they are dehydrated and feeling worse each day. I understand that you don't want to inconvenience the doctor and that you don't want to be thought of as a complaining patient but more importantly, we need you to help us do our job more effectively and helping to deal with your side effects is part of that job. We need your input in order to better treat you and it may be using different drugs, a different combination of drugs, or even changing the timing or dosing of the drugs you are to be taking to treat your specific type of cancer. It is important that you tell us about you symptoms as you feel them. I often say, that you can't catch a car that is going downhill if you are behind it and that is often the example that clears up that we need you tell us your concerns and symptoms as they happen, not three days later. We are better able to handle them at that time and it helps you from experiencing things that may not be necessary if we know of it and can treat it then. Your caregiver may notice you are more fatigued and even other symptoms but the bottom line, is you are your own best expert. Please help us help you by providing accurate and timely information.