Here are some suggestions for managing care at home, developed by Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) patients and staff to help you.
- Ask questions of your doctor and nurse. Do not make assumptions. If you are not sure, use the phone numbers provided, and call your clinic or the after-hours phone number.
- Remember that you are a member of the health care team, and your input is important. Keep your nurse and doctor informed of any issues, questions, or concerns you may have.
- Review the symptom sheets your health care team gave you, if you are experiencing any symptoms.
- Review hints for self-care if you are the patient or the caregiver.
- Ask your family and friends for help before you are too fatigued.
- Keep a list of what friends can do, and delegate. For example, one person could drive you to an appointment, another could make a meal, and another could go to the grocery store. See tips for getting the help you need.
- Organize your day as the patient and as the caregiver into manageable segments.
- Develop a schedule for each day and each week with your family and your caregiver. This process allows everyone to be in agreement with the goals for the day or week, as the case may be. If everyone is working with the same agenda, the tension within a family usually decreases.
- Stop by the Patient & Family Resource Center to pick up free copies of the informative National Cancer Institute publications, Taking Time and When Someone in Your Family Has Cancer.
The staff at SCCA is here to support you as the patient and as the caregiver. Tell your physician or nurse if you need more support. Call your social worker for additional emotional support.