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Wednesday April 16th 2014

7 Suggestions for Post-Diagnosis Waiting

7 Suggestions for Post-Diagnosis Waiting

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Keep up with your homework.


Since you never know what that first appointment will bring, it's important to be as prepared as possible ahead of time. If you believe there is a chance of being admitted, you may want to pack a small bag with necessities ahead of time to have on hand. Spend some time compiling lists of medical information, such as an up-to-date list of current medications, insurance provider information, or a detailed write-up of symptoms and any previous treatment. Doing housekeeping, freezing some meals and mowing the lawn will give you peace of mind and staying busy will keep your mind from focusing on concerns that you can't do anything about yet.

Quit procrastinating on the paperwork.


No one likes thinking about documents like their will, living will, or healthcare power of attorney, especially when the shock of a diagnosis is still fresh. Most people look at these tasks negatively and so they avoid them. But it's important to think of it as something that you need to do for your family. It's one of the things you can control and do proactively during this time. Laws vary by region, so be sure to discuss specific requirements with an attorney or clerk of courts office. And after you've completed your documents, store them in a safe place. Make sure that those closest to you know where they are and have a general idea of what your wishes are. As a last resort, write down a list of your basic wishes and have it notarized.

Give yourself financial reassurance.


It's no secret that medical treatments can be financially devastating. And receiving upsetting financial news at the peak of an illness or mid-treatment can cause unnecessary stress. Take some time to get on the phone to get a detailed listing of benefits, fill out any necessary paperwork, and figure out what your up-front costs may be. Knowing this ahead of time will allow you to make a financial plan, or identify sources of financial aid.

Be prepared for an emergency.


Even though your scheduled appointment may still be a few days (or even weeks) away, it's entirely possible that you may find yourself in a situation where your condition worsens quickly. These are often unavoidable, and you should be prepared to take all of the medical test results, medications, and information that you have already accumulated from the general practitioner with you. If possible, avoid going to the emergency room during peak hours, which typically occur on Friday and Saturday nights. If you're at risk for disease, stop by the pharmacy and pick up a facemask before you go.


Remember to take it one day at a time. Control the things you can control, focus on the day ahead, and keep a positive attitude. Your appointment will be here before you know it, and you'll be ready for it when it's time.


Joni Aldrich is a speaker and author of five books, including Connecting through Compassion: Guidance for Family and Friends of a Brain Cancer Patient (Cancer Lifeline Publications, 2010). For more information, please visit www.jonialdrich.com.

 

 

 

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