-Friday afternoon, almost at night! - My surgeon called me on the phone. In that call, he confirmed the result of the biopsy performed. Her diagnosis was "undifferentiated breast cancer."
Friday afternoon, almost at night! I would have to wait two very long, almost endless days to speak with my oncologist.
I had a million questions. I wanted the call not to end for the world. However, that was not to be the case.
And I say to him: “Doctor, tell me what to do in the meantime? I'll see the oncologist until Monday! "And his response has been one of the most valuable he received:" Come on, go and buy a notebook. "
Notebook? I listened to his recommendation. I went and bought it. I've always been quite nerdy! It was a new, special notebook that could fit in my bag. I could have it on my desk, next to the bed. He accompanied me wherever I went.
My surgeon told me something like this: “From now on, during this entire journey to cure cancer, you will have many questions and you will receive a lot of information. You will meet at least 5 or 6 doctors with different specialties, who will take care of you for a long time. It can be overwhelming. You better have a place to aim ”.
Surgeon. Oncologist. Radiologist. Gynecologist. Plastic Surgeon. Nutritionist Therapist. Physiotherapist. Lots of nurses (who are almost the "all-powerful" in the doctor's office). This without counting the complementary or alternative doctors and therapists that you would see.
What good advice! Too much technical and casual information. Too many names of people, medicines, procedures. The doubts and questions came to me in the middle of the night, before entering the consultations, just after finishing the consultations, in talks with friends, praying in church, reading a book. At all times, my notebook helped me put a little organization in my head, because in moments of such stress, I did not have many resources to think in an orderly way. My brain was in shock too!
A notebook, something so simple, was an extraordinary tool to start the path of my cure and restore a little sanity. A notebook helped me make better decisions, based on the much information I was receiving.
So yes, my doctors were sweating the fat drop when it came to consultations! One day I had to read the report, which was made by my oncologist after one of the consultations. It made me laugh to read that he had invested 15 minutes in reviewing me and 45 minutes in answering my "very well supported" questions.
Other alternative resources to the "notebook" can be electronic versions: use your iPhone, your iPad, etc. It also works to take a family member or friend with you to the consultations. What you do not manage to capture or digest, is captured and digested by whoever accompanies you.
Notebook! I still have it. I do not use it. My brain once again had the resources to organize itself. And I stopped seeing so many doctors so often. Also, I stopped waking up in the middle of the night, with questions and hypotheses.