Sometimes when you’re ill, it can feel like there are lots of people who want to help decide what’s best for you. Your family, doctor, nurses, social worker, or friends, teachers and relatives might all be involved.
It can be nice to know lots of people want to help you, and it’s fine if you want to leave them to it! But if you do feel like taking part in talks about your health and treatment, that’s okay too.
Talking about what’s right for you can really help you feel more in control. If you want to be involved in discussions, try asking questions as early as you can. That way your cancer care team and loved ones will get used to including you. But if you’re too tired, unwell or unsure about speaking up at the beginning of your treatment, don’t worry. You can start asking questions whenever you like.
Getting the facts
Being in the know can really help you think about what’s right for you. The best place to start is by talking to your doctor. They can tell you about the medicines and treatments for your kind of cancer.
The decisions you can make
Your doctor or nurse will be an expert on your health, so some decisions will be up to them, and some parts of your treatment simply have to happen at a certain time or in a certain order. But there are some other things that could be up for discussion - for example, in some cases it could be possible to delay a stage of treatment if there's something you wanted to go to.
Sometimes your doctor or nurse might tell you that what you’re asking for isn’t safe. They may not be able to move things around because treatment needs to happen in a specific way at a specific time. But you’ll never know unless you ask!
September 2015, next planned review 2017