Although it sounds absurdly simple, one of the best and most effective ways to manage your loved one’s care while they are in the hospital is to make this question your mantra:
Does what the medical professionals are telling me make sense?
The hard truth is that blindly trusting that “doctor knows best” is a recipe for disaster, based on our experience. I am not suggesting that we should doubt our doctors, nor that we should not trust them– I am simply recommending that the acid test of logic be applied to all input from medical personnel.
Let me give some examples of how asking ourselves this question saved John from inappropriate drugs being prescribed, from “expert” advice from a nurse which was wildly inappropriate, and from needless suffering caused by a doctor who paid no attention to what his patient was telling him…
I suspect that most spouses and caregivers to cancer patients become patient advocates in the same way that I did: they didn’t want it, never ever imagined that they would be in this position–yet found themselves suddenly and completely unexpectedly thrust into an alien environment with rules of engagement about which they knew nothing.
This is how and why this blog, which is now in an E-book format that can be read on your computer (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3331M) came into existence. The remainder of this chapter explains a simple way to assess the effectiveness of the pain drugs being administered to you loved one, how to make the most of your post-surgical pain pump while in the hospital, and basic rules of the road for preventing constipation.
You have stumbled upon a rare opportunity to learn first-hand from another colon cancer patient’s four years of experience in navigating the colon cancer maze.
Our doctors told us we were the most informed patient team they had ever encountered– yet we felt utterly lost a great deal of the time. Every cancer patient I’ve talked to felt the same way. We learned so much about The System, and how critical being an informed patient is to getting the treatment you need, how to deal with difficult doctors, troubleshooting and taking charge of pain control– and so much more, none of which you will hear about from your doctor.
You owe it to yourself and your loved one to benefit from all that we learned the hard way. This is the kind of information that, until the publication of this book, could only become part of your database by living through it and realizing in retrospect how all the pieces fit together: colon cancer from the patient’s and caregiver’s point of view. $9.99 seems like a very small price, considering the emotional and physical suffering you will likely be saved by learning from our experience.
Shedding Light on the Cancer Journey: Navigating the Colon Cancer Maze http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3331M can now be read on any computer or other reading device. The reader interface is available free from Amazon and is downloadable in seconds.
I will realize absolutely no profit from the sale of this book. All proceeds from the sale of this book will go towards the support of the 400 monks, nuns and yogis in the seven Tibetan monasteries of Tulku Orgyen Zangpo Rinpoche, who have devoted their lives towards building the foundation for peace and freedom from suffering for all beings in this world.