Tuesday, April 11, 2017

A Care Plan?

A long time ago, back when I was in a support group weekly, I was offered a care plan to complete with my doctor to make sure I kept track of my cancer treatment.... It was several pages that were copies of copies of copies and difficult to read. I got the point but decided to skip that.

There were several reasons (besides starting with the s-word) that I avoided it.

First of all, it only covered your cancer diagnosis. It didn't include other issues, like additional cancer diagnoses, and other ailments. It only covered one cancer treatment.

Second, I keep better records than my doctors. I started a spread sheet of my medical expenses for tax purposes to see if we could deduct them - and at least get credit for all the miles traveled. This has all the information I need to track my treatment and tests and appointments.

Now a new study (because we need new studies to keep researchers busy) says that they are surprised that very few breast cancer people have cancer care plans. This surprises them? I am surprised they are surprised.

They also expect the patient to sit down with their doctor to write up their plan. Does your doctor have time to sit down and fill out a several page form with you? I'm not sure mine does.

Personally, I am happy to keep track of my treatment. I usually go to the same hospital and once I give them my record number they can pull up all my ailments, medications, and allergies. I do take medical information with me when I travel in case something happened to me and I couldn't go to my regular hospital.

But seriously? I don't need a lot of paper work to drag around for one ailment.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

We had a couple of NPs who do survivorship care plans. I, honestly, found the appointment I had to mostly be a waste of my time. The person couldn't answer the questions I really needed answering. In many ways, I'm learning that the GP (PCP) is the doc that is in the best position to keep everything together and understand the implications of complex things. I have more than cancer, and my specialists, including my cancer specialists, tend to only focus on the acute areas - or the areas that they specialist in - where my PCP looks at the whole me, in a way that my onc team doesn't. It took me a while to realize that I was asking too much of my onc team when I expected them to appreciate long-term care (other than cancer specific care) ... and that my PCP is just in a better place to bring it all together.