While your oncologist is focused on treating your cancer, the palliative care team works to manage any symptoms of cancer, side effects of treatment, or other stressors you are facing, she says. .
Contact your health care team to help you find resources. After being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, you may need help with everything from managing your emotions to paying for treatment.
Members of your cancer care team can help you sort through the resources you have. Your team may include doctors, nurses, social workers, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists.
For example, says Wethington, social workers can be very helpful.
“Social workers can help you with everything from accessing resources, if someone needs resources, to understanding insurance, to what equipment you might need at home, to supportive therapy and therapist service, ”she says.
Track your follow-up care. After completing treatment, you may feel both relieved and anxious. Expect your doctor to closely monitor your recovery with follow-up appointments and long-term monitoring. Ask them what schedule they suggest and follow it.
Since ovarian cancer is often diagnosed at a later stage, there is a good chance that the cancer will come back. If this is the case, your doctor will make a treatment plan based on the exact location of your cancer, the treatments you have had before, and your general health. Some people need intermittent treatment for years.
Keep copies of your medical records and health insurance claims. If you need to change doctors, it will make the transition easier.
There is no way to guarantee that your cancer will not come back. Healthy habits like exercising, eating well, and reducing stress might help, Wethington says. But, she says, “none of them are a silver bullet.”
Understanding how to live with ovarian cancer can be a steep learning curve. Through it all, Rouse says, she found the emotional journey to be the hardest part.
“I understood the physical things quite quickly. It was the emotional aspect that required the innermost evaluation to feel healed again, ”she says. “It’s best to take it one day at a time.”
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