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What to do when you're new to all this, a response from Karen, taken from another thread.

california_artist's picture
california_artist
Posts: 865
Joined: Jan 2009

This is a post by Karen from another thread, but was so pertinent I thought it deserved its own posting.

Here are a few suggestions that may be helpful.

You want to have your surgery done by a GYN Oncologist so if you are seeing a regular GYN, ask for recommendations and then do some research on the ones suggested. Talk to others in your area who might know the docs.

Write down your questions in advance and take the list with you.

Take someone with you and have them write down the info the dr. says as it is impossible to remember everything they say. Then you can refer to it later if you are confused.

At this point you want to know what the surgical plan would be...what all will be removed? How many lymph nodes do they typically remove? What is the rationale of removing the lymph nodes if they appear and feel o.k? What are the long range repercussions of removing lymph nodes (lymphedema).

What can you expect in regards to your recovery?

What type of procedure does the surgeon use? Regular abdominal incision or the DaVinci and what are the pro's and con's.

How soon after surgery will you know the results...The TYPE of cancer, the Grade and the Stage. Many doctors do not inform their patient until the first post op check up which could be 4 weeks.....don't accept that for an answer. It is too hard to wait for the verdict that long. The report is actually available a few days after the surgery!

How available is he and/or his nurse to answer your questions? How does he communicate? Email? Phone calls?

Do not hesitate to get a second opinion....especially if you don't feel comfortable with the physician you see.

Once you find out the type of cancer, grade and stage, there will be lots more questions about the type of treatment, schedule, etc. But just take it a step at a time.

Let us know what type of cancer you have, grade and stage and I know the ladies on this site will have lots more suggestions on what to ask.

You will do just fine but it is overwhelming when you first hear the news. If you cursor down through the posts on this site you will find other "newbies" who have sought info initially and you read our replies to those folks...it may be helpful.

Best wishes to both of you! Will be thinking of you tomorrow!

Karen

Thank you so much Karen. This was spot on for those wonderin what to do. I would only add that, I bring another copy of the list for the doctor to read and respond to and that can be left in the doctor's file, and that, one can get the reports from medical records in case you are reluctant to ask the doctor's office for copies.

Claudia

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