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Picking a Medical Team for Treating Cancer

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Bottom Line/Health: All right, so let’s talk about your treatment a little bit. How did you pick your medical team?
Hollye Jacobs, RN, MS, MSW: I began by collecting as much data as I could about my diagnosis. Then I prepared a list of questions that I would ask each person. I knew that I was going to interview a number of people as I was putting my health-care team together. This is really important—to interview as many people as you possibly can. Now I acknowledge the fact that in some places, there aren’t a lot of choices, but you really want to talk to and engage as many people as you can. You want to sit down, and you want to go through this list of questions. You want to take notes…you want to possibly record the session with your medical team…and then you take the answers that you received and make a decision about the best fit. You know, I’m always amazed by how much time and effort people spend when buying a car or renting an apartment—we cross every T and we dot every I. We need to do the exact same thing with our health-care team. We’re not trying to make friends here. This is truly a meeting of the minds and also of the hearts, because you want to have a connection. You want to know that these are the right people to take care of you. I interviewed four different oncologists before I found the right fit for me.
Bottom Line: That’s great information, Hollye. In fact, in the book, you have a whole series of questions—you actually help people with questions to ask their doctors because it’s overwhelming. It’s great help. One of the things you talked about was having a palliative care doctor on your team—tell me about that.
 
To watch the entire interview with Hollye Jacobs, click here.
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Source: Hollye Jacobs, RN, MS, MSW, a palliative-care nurse and social worker based in Santa Barbara, California. She is a breast cancer survivor, mother of four and author of The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer. TheSilverPen.com Date: September 16, 2014 Publication: Bottom Line Health
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