When meeting with your doctor to discuss your illness and pain and symptom management, write down your questions prior to your visits. Tell your doctor that you welcome his or her honesty and ask for clarification if needed. It also can be helpful to bring someone you can trust to take notes so you can review what you talked about later.
- How do you think this illness will affect me…
- In the short term (6-12 months)?
- In the long term (3-5 years)?
- What tests and procedures will be done and why?
- What are my treatment options? For each option discussed, ask:
- Will this treatment cure my illness?
- Will this treatment help manage my pain?
- Will this treatment improve my quality of life?
- If not, will this treatment prolong my life?
- Will there be any symptoms or negative side effects?
- Will I be able to stay at home during treatment? If so, what type of help will I need during treatment?
- Do you have any studies or statistics on the success of the treatment that you can share with me?
- How long will it be before we can evaluate the results of my treatment?
- Will my insurance cover this treatment?
- Who in your office can I call in case I have questions? What are their hours of availability?
- How many cases similar to mine have you treated before?
If you choose not to have treatments, or choose to stop treatment, ask your doctor:
- Will my quality of life be better or worse without treatment?
- Could I benefit from hospice care at this time?