What to Expect

What to Expect

Every patient with a blood disorder at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) has a personal team that includes a hematologist or hematologist-oncologist, social workers, physical therapists, nutritionists, nurse case managers, and a radiation oncologist, if needed.

Before your first visit, your team will have reviewed your pathology slides (tissue samples from any biopsies) and any scans or tests you have already had. If you do not live in or near Seattle, we may ask your referring doctor to arrange for additional tests or scans so that these results are available before your appointment at SCCA.

Your First Visit

During your first visit to SCCA, you will meet with your doctor, who will ask about your medical history and your current problem and examine you. Then you will sit down for a conference with your doctor and other members of your team to discuss a treatment plan.

This visit usually lasts one to two hours. We recommend that you bring a friend or family member with you to your appointment for emotional support and to help you keep track of the information your team will be giving you.


You may find that your disease and treatment impacts nearly every aspect of your life. Relationships with your family and friends may take a new shape. Your work and leisure activities may change. Certainly your inner life—your thoughts and feelings about your body, health, and future—may shift as you go through this experience.

The practical matters of daily life can be disrupted, too. For instance, if you live outside the Seattle area, you may need to relocate here for a while during your treatment.

At times you may settle into the new routine of treatment. Sometimes the whole experience may feel overwhelming. Feelings that can accompany a serious diagnosis include depression, anxiety, mood swings, and fear of complications or death. These feelings may continue after your treatment ends.

The staff at SCCA can help you deal with both the practical and emotional impacts of your disease and treatment. Visit our Patient Guide to learn more about the ways we can help.