From picking out my cancer care team to how we handled the logistics of routine medical appointments and surgery, somehow we made it through!
I have cancer. I have cancer. I have cancer.
It was hard news to digest for both myself and my family.
I have always been the person who kept up with healthy habits. I drank at least 3 bottles of water a day and walked a total of 10 to 15 miles a week. I hardly ever ate out and tried to keep indulging in “junk food” to a minimum.
I lost 40 pounds in 2 years a few years back due to consistent exercise and portion controlled eating…which is why it took everyone by surprise when I told them the news.
After the shock value wore off, it was time to start figuring out what the next steps were in this journey.
The biopsy doctor had ties to one of the major hospitals here in the city, which also happened to be where my primary doctor was located.
He referred my case to this hospital and before I knew it, I started receiving phone call after phone call from the staff over there.
We did call another hospital system to get a second opinion, however, after following up with them 3 separate times only to have someone ‘call me back,’ I gave up and decided to go with the hospital that kept knocking on our door.
It didn’t take long for us to figure out the major key players who would make up my cancer care team.
My case was assigned to the following doctors and staff:
- A breast nurse navigator
- A breast cancer surgeon
- An oncologist who handles breast cancer
- A radiologist
After learning about each of the roles these doctors would play in my journey, hubby and I had to figure out the logistics of everything.
We spent a few evenings in deep thought and sometimes disagreeing over which hospital branch to start seeking treatment. Originally, I wanted to have my entire care team at the branch that was an hour away from our house.
However, this was not a good idea if I wanted my husband to be able to drive me to my appointments and to be there for them. He worked on the other side of town and it would take him at least an hour to drive back home to pick me up and then head back out to the hospital.
Our children were also a factor we had to consider. They depend on us for rides to school and back so the closer hospital location, the better.
In the end, we ended up compromising. I chose to go to the breast cancer surgeon who was an hour away, with the rest of my care team located at the hospital branch that was only 30 minutes away.
I would try and schedule my appointments for the times between school drop off and pick up, with my husband meeting me at some of them and taking me to others.
My parents wanted in on helping us out so we also included them in our logistical plans as well.
Little by little, it all started coming together and I began the process of meeting each doctor and getting familiar with their styles and services.
My day to day routine all of a sudden consisted of calling the hospital and driving to appointments after I dropped our children off at school. My life was slowly changing all because of the “c” word.
I found myself having to carve out time to ‘make room’ for cancer. It wasn’t fun and on some days, I found myself wishing I could go back to my ‘old life.’
To hear more about the doctor’s who are on my cancer care team, watch the video below!
***Note: If you are reading this on your phone, click “Watch This Video on YouTube” to watch the video.***