"We've Been Given Treatment Options..."

You've received a diagnosis, and your doctor is discussing treatment options.  What do you do?

The First Step

Carefully consider your doctor's advice and the treatment options offered. Write everything down where you can look at it later.  Call back and ask questions if you need to - it is important to know the risks, the options, the prognosis and the method(s) of treatment. 

 Make sure you understand the treatment options - research them carefully, if there is time.  If you are in an emergency situation, you may not have time to fully understand everything that needs to happen or even why.  Even so, if at all possible, make sure you understand whether or not there are alternatives to what is being offered, what the risks are of going through with the treatment as well as the risks of not doing the treatment. Ask questions. Do your best to get the facts.  
See Understanding Your Child's Diagnosis


 

The Second Step

Plan for Treatment
If you choose to go forward with treatment, and you have some time before it begins, start planning.

If treatment will happen in another city and it requires travel or overnight stays, research the hospital's website and look for information for patient travel.  You may have a contact at the hospital who will help you with travel (i.e. applying to Ronald McDonald House or getting a special low rate at near-by hotels), or your doctor's office may connect to that person on your behalf.  See Hospital Visits.

If treatment is local, or requires several different specialists or therapists in your area, start by getting organized with a calendar and begin putting in the times and dates of your child's appointments, including where they will happen if there are different treatment/therapy places. (Your doctor's office will usually make initial appointments as referrals, on your behalf.)  

Are there side-effects?  Know your child's possible reactions to treatment and be prepared.  Know if certain side effects require a call to the doctor or constitute an emergency.  Keep all information on side effects where you can find it.  Starting a hard plastic, portable file folder for your child's medical information can be very helpful.

Will your child be on medication(s) at home? Will your child be going for a lot of appointments or therapies? Our free download "24 Hour Care Schedule and Medicine Chart" can be extremely helpful to post where you can see it in your home.

The Complete Caregiver Journal Workbook is very portable and has everything you need to keep track of your child's care.


 

                                                                                              

 

  (These statements and suggestions are in no way intended to be construed as medical advice or as advice from a medical professional.)

 

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